Do you really need a professional financial plan? Yes, according to Jeanette Brox, CFP, a Senior Financial Consultant with Investors Group in Toronto. Jeanette says that financial planning provides a vital road map for anyone’s financial future, regardless of age or net worth.

A road map for your financial future: “A financial plan is like a road map to help you achieve your financial goals and dreams,” says Jeanette. “It provides clarity and shows where adjustments might need to be made.”

But once you have a plan in place, it doesn’t end there. A financial plan needs to be reviewed regularly and adjusted as necessary. Keep your plan current by visiting your financial planner at least once a year, as well as when you make a significant life change like marriage, a new job or expansion of your family. “A regularly reviewed financial plan is like a road map with a built-in GPS,” emphasizes Jeanette. “If you veer off-course, it recalculates to get you to your destination.”

The power of setting goals: The act of setting goals through financial planning is a powerful force, says Jeanette. “Goals are only wishes until they’re written down and a plan put in place to help you achieve them,” she says. “If a goal is time-bound, like wanting to save an additional $20,000 to buy a house in two years, it gives you the awareness to rethink your daily spending choices and make better decisions.” And while everyone has a multitude of needs and wants, a qualified financial planner can provide clarity on competing goals and priorities, giving you a reality check about what’s possible for your financial situation and short- and long-term goals. “If you set goals with the help of a qualified professional and monitor them regularly, you will achieve them.”

Start now for the best results: When to get started? The sooner the better, according to Jeanette, who attests that there is a definite opportunity cost to delaying saving, investments and other important financial decisions.

Although saving is important and is often what people think of first when it comes to financial planning, a professional financial planner will look at all areas of your life, including financial management, asset management, risk management, tax planning, retirement planning and estate planning. This consideration of all areas of your financial life is a key benefit of working with a qualified financial planner.

Why financial planning is for you: “People need to know that no matter what their assets or net worth, financial planning is worthwhile,” Jeanette says. “So many of my clients started small when they first came to me. After clarifying their short-term and long-term objectives, many are now well on their way to realizing their financial goals.”

To find a qualified financial planning professional in your area, that will help guide your financial future, use our Find Your Planner tool.

For more information on getting started with the right planner, read Choosing a Financial Planner and 10 questions to ask your planner.