As a financial coach, I am always trying to distinguish myself from financial planners. When most people find out what I do, their first response is usually, “Oh, so you are a financial planner.” I then have to explain that I don’t sell investments or insurance and instead I work with people in all kinds of financial situations from crisis to wealth building and I work more on developing winning behaviors and attitudes with money that will last a lifetime. With that being said, I have nothing against financial planners and I recommend them to anyone who has questions about purchasing investments or insurance. A lot of people can’t even begin to think about hiring a financial planner because they can’t afford the high rates or do not have enough assets. But recently I have been introduced to a product that can help you develop a financial plan for all incomes levels, is easy to use, and is affordable.
eFinPlan is a web based financial software solution designed to “take the mystery out of financial planning.” How the software works is pretty simple. Once you sign up (you can get a free 30 day trial), you answer some detailed questions on your current financial situation about such things as income, investments, assets, liabilities, and current family makeup. It also asks you questions about your future like when do you plan to retire, when do you plan to receive social security, and your expected life expectancy. It then asks you to list your annual expenses and any future big purchases you plan to make. Finally it also asks you to describe your money habits, like whether you are a spender or saver, if you do a budget or not, what are your values with money, and what kind of risk you like to take when it comes to investments.
After you answer all the questions it will compute a report based on your answers in a matter of minutes. This isn’t just some report with two or three pages, but a large report full of financial analysis. My family’s report was 67 pages full of easy to read reports. It also does projections based on the answers you provided and projects how much money you will have at retirement and upon death. It shows if you are on pace for retirement or college funding for your child in addition to doing best and worst case scenarios for your future. At the end if gives you the option of doing a “what if” scenario and you get to see what would happen to your finances if you changed your savings rate up or down, cut your spending, or whatever scenario you can come up with.
In my opinion eFinPlan is a great and useful tool to help see where you are financially and where you are projected to end up. I like the fact that you can answer the questions at your own pace, save them at any time and pick it back up when you get the chance. I also like the “What if” scenario generator and playing with the numbers to see what will most benefit you financially. Finally it forces you to look at your current financial state and know the answers such as how much do you have in savings, what is your net worth, and are you going to have enough in retirement. With that being said, some of the down sides is that it doesn’t really help in explaining how to get out from under a financial mess or help you cut your expenses. But you have to do that yourself anyways as there is no magic software that will help you from making bad financial mistakes.
Overall I really like the value that it provides my family, and I will be using it when working with clients. You can get more information about eFinPlan on its website and use the coupon code jonw1 to receive 15% off the initial price. If you are looking for a good way to help prepare for your future and see where you currently stand, eFinPlan would be very hopeful.
Disclosure notice: I was not paid in any form to write this article, however I was given a free demo to test eFinPlan out and write this article.