Why you need a financial plan

We’ve all heard the expression, “training for a marathon, not a sprint.” I am, in fact, in the midst of training for a marathon as I write this blog post and still have a few weeks to go. On my long run yesterday, I started thinking about how much financial planning is like training for a marathon. This article will be the first in a series on financial planning. Let’s run with it!

Before you throw your hands up and say, “I can never run a marathon, so this won’t make sense to me,” first of all, you might actually be able to run a marathon under the right circumstances. Second, even if you’re not training for a marathon, at some point, you have likely followed a program to get fit, lose weight, obtain a degree, write a book, tackle the Appalachian Trail or some other meaningful endeavor. The mindset behind meeting any significant goal is similar, with different obstacles to overcome, whether that’s an injury, writer’s block, bad weather, sickness, etc.

Why do I run marathons? Well, there are a few reasons. For instance, I feel a sense of accomplishment and I love to eat and need to keep burning calories; plus, I do better when I have a specific goal and plan to help me get there. What I noticed as I packed on a few extra pounds over the earlier days of the COVID-19 pandemic is that I really need a plan to keep me on track. Otherwise, it’s easy for me to lose focus on my fitness routine.

I am not running to break any records but to keep myself fit, healthy and happy. When I decide to run a race, I pick a date that’s far enough out that I can train properly and then develop a training plan to help meet my goal. The first week begins with deciding on a race to enter and then developing a solid plan to achieve my goal of finishing the race.

How is this like financial planning?

In my view, you first need a plan to help you achieve your financial goals. Maybe your goal is to retire early, send your kids to college debt-free or buy a second home. You likely won’t really know how to achieve these things without a plan, right? Heading into retirement or buying a second home with no preparation and no steps to get there is like me showing up on race day, having only run three or four miles ahead of the event. Could I finish the race? Perhaps. Will it be painful? Most definitely. By taking the time and energy to develop and follow my plan before the race, I am prepared for what’s to come, can deal with the likely ups and downs of the race and can finish it confidently.

I think the same rationale applies to your financial plan. Not every day, month or year will be rosy, but if you plan well, you should better weather whatever comes up and feel confident about achieving the goals you had set for yourself.

How does one start building a financial plan? It may seem overwhelming at first, but there are tools online that you can search for and try out if you have the time, ability and inclination. Or you can choose to work with a financial planner who will have the knowledge and experience to uplift you through those tough periods and help you make smart decisions in good time to keep you on track.

I have a trainer who helps me with the strength training side of fitness, and she pushes me to stay consistent and use heavier weights than I would choose on my own. Using this trainer makes me stronger and, as a result, a better runner who is more likely to reach my goals. Sure, there are good running plans online, but I hit a better stride when I use an expert professional along the way who helps me build a personalized plan and motivates me to stick with it. We’ll continue with our discussion on financial planning, but right now, it’s time for another run.


Abigail Rosen, MS Financial Planning

Abigail Rosen, MS Financial Planning

Partner, Wealth Advisor

Abigail (Abby) Rosen is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER professional with over 17 years of experience in the financial industry. Prior to her career in finance, Abby was an officer in the United States Navy. Abby is responsible for managing client relationships and coordinating all aspects of client service for the team. Abby specializes in working with corporate executives to help them take full advantage of their available benefits, implement in respect to employer stock concentrations and manage their stock option strategies. She has a designation in Global Financial Planning.

She graduated with a Bachelors of Arts from the College of the Holy Cross, and received a Master of Science (distinction) in Financial Planning from Bentley University. She was 2020 Citizen of the Year for her work as Treasurer of the New Jersey Psychological Association, Foundation, is Treasurer of the Harding Township Educational Foundation (HTEF) and a Girl Scout Troop Leader.


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