In the financial world, the name of the game for prestige is designations. The letters after an advisor’s or consultant’s name says a lot about their background, training, expertise, and professional focus. Popular designations such as the CFP (Certified Financial Planner) or the ChFC (Chartered Financial Professional) are often readily recognized by the general population. When you get into the more obscure designations, the origin and meaning of the credential becomes somewhat obscure, and is only really understood amongst professionals. One such designation in the financial world is the CSSC or Certified Structured Settlement Consultant.
Spelling out the acronym CSSC goes a long ways in explained what the designation actually covers. Anytime that a field of practice becomes inundated with new faces looking to capitalize on the market, the seasoned veterans of that area of interest are going to look for ways to not only distinguish themselves from the crowd, but to assist the general population in weeding out the inexperienced or unknowledgeable consultants.
Those not dedicated to their field of study or those just looking to do the bare minimum for a paycheck will rarely commit themselves to the additional cost and educational requirements of a professional designation. To receive the CSSC, the applicant must not only have at least two full-time working years in the industry, but they must also enroll in a 4-day classroom and coursework structure with a comprehensive exam at the end of the training.
The Certified Structured Settlement Consultant program is offered through the National Structured Settlements Trade Association in conjunction with the University of Notre Dame. The cost of the program is in the range of $3000 – $5000 per applicant, minus the cost of books. The program attempts to educate consultants in different areas pertaining to structured settlements, including Medicare, settlement planning, fixed annuities, claims, tort law, and a number of other applicable topics.
A combination of the cost of the program, the time requirement, and the effort needed to get the designation have narrowed the field of candidates in the structured settlement arena. An advisor with this designation may not be more qualified than other professionals, but you know that they are dedicated to their profession and have taken the necessary effort to remain abreast of the industry’s knowledge. Whichever advisor you choose to go with, it is important that you are able to establish a relationship of trust with them. A designation is not a substitute for trust.
1. Gather and Prepare Your Personal Financial Situation Status Quo
This kind of information can depend a lot on you as an individual, but it usually has to do with…
— your investments,
— your insurance policies (life, health, long-term care, property, liability, etc.),
— your retirement benefits,
— your tax situation (income tax, estate tax, gift taxes, etc.),
— your will or trust,
— your other estate planning information,
— your powers of attorney,
— any other financial information or documents you may need.
It’s helpful for you to put together some simple personal financial statements. These can be much like those that are used in business. They might include your personal balance sheet, an income statement, and other relevant statements.
In the case of a balance sheet and income statement, the assets and liabilities, as well as your income and expenses, are included in the statements. These can be combined, for example in the case of husband and wife, or separate income statements and balance sheets could be put together for each person in your family.
If you are using a professional, they may have forms already made up that you can use for these purposes.
2. Identify Your Goals and Objectives
This will take some thought, and is one of the most important foundations to your financial planning.
Put some time and thought into it, and the rest will fall into place much better.
3. Compare Your Current Scenario With Alternative Ways To Handle Each Part of Your Financial Planning
Relate it to your goals and objectives. Get the advice and information you need from others, including professionals, and make decisions for changing what is the status quo.
4. Develop and Put Into Place Your Plan
Not someone else’s plan, but YOUR plan.
Putting together the facts of your current situation, your potential future situation, your goals and objectives, and looking at those alternative ways of handling your case, you can lay down a plan that, while flexible, will act as a map for your future years in planning your finances.
5. Review and Revise Your Plan As Needed Periodically
Don’t think of your plan as carved in stone. Things change. Circumstances change. YOU change.
There may be family occurrences like marriages, divorces, deaths, births, changes of occupation, varying economic conditions, and many other things that enter into making financial planning decisions.
Put these five steps into play, and you’ll be glad they did. Read more. Absorb lots of information. But don’t let it paralyze you. Information plus action will take you a long way.
A detailed description of a new or existing business, including the company’s product or service, marketing plan, financial statements and projections and management principles, require a plan to be implemented. A document that spells out a company’s expected course of action for a specified period usually includes a detailed listing and analysis of risks and uncertainties. For the small business, it should examine the proposed products, the market, the industry, the management policies, the marketing policies, production needs and financial needs. Frequently, it is used as a prospectus for potential investors and lenders.
Think of it as a production line. What’s go in the start are raw materials and unfinished assemblies. Here, the raw materials include:
-Talent and initiative from employees
-Capital -Market position
-The company’s creditworthiness
-The firm’s earning capacity
-Assessment of changes in the marketplace.
It should have four major aspects:
– Its contribution to purpose and objectives
– Its primacy among the manager’s tasks
– Its pervasiveness
– The efficiency of resulting plans.
The Contribution of Planning to Purpose and Objectives: Every plan and all its supporting plans should contribute to the accomplishment of the purpose and objectives of the enterprise.
The Primacy of Planning Manager must plan in such a way that it leads to proper organizing, staffing, leading and controlling which support the accomplishment of enterprise objectives. Planning and controlling are inseparable. Any attempt to control without a plan is meaningless, since there is no way for people to tell whether they are going where they want to go. Plans thus furnish the standards of control.
The Pervasiveness of Planning: Planning is a function of all managers, which vary with each manager’s authority and with the nature of the policies and plans assigned by superiors. If managers are not allowed to a certain degree of discretion and planning responsibility, they are not truly managers.
The Efficiency of Plans: The effectiveness of plan refers to its contribution to the purpose and objectives. Plan is efficient if it achieves its purpose at a reasonable cost, when cost is measured not only in terms of time or money or production but also in the degree of individual and group satisfaction.
Procedures: Procedures are plans that establish a required method of handling future activities. They are chronological sequences of required actions. They are guides to action rather than to thinking and they detail the exact manner in which certain activities must be accomplished.
Rules: Rules are unlike procedures in that they guide action without specifying a time sequence. In fact, a procedure might be looked upon as a sequence of rules. Rule may be a part of procedure.
Programs: Programs are a complex of goals, policies, procedures, rules, task assignments, steps to be taken, resources to be employed and other elements necessary to carry out a given course of action; further supported by budgets.
Budgets: Budget is a statement of expected results expressed in numerical terms. Financial operating budget is often called a “profit plan”. This budget can be expressed in financial terms, in terms of labor- hours, units of product or machine hours or in any other numerically measurable term.
Steps in Planning: Being aware of opportunities, a manager should take a preliminary look at possible future opportunities and see them clearly and completely know where they stand in light of their strengths and weaknesses, understand what problems they wish to solve, and why and know what they expect to gain. Planning requires a realistic diagnosis of the opportunity situation.
Establishing objectives: This is to be done for the long term as well as for the short term. Objectives specify the expected results and indicate the end points of what is to be done, where the primary emphasis is to be placed and what is to be accomplished by the network of strategies, policies, procedures, rules, budgets and programs. Objectives form a hierarchy.
Developing premises: There are assumptions about the environment in which the plan is to be carried out. It is important for all managers involved in planning to agree on the premises. Forecasting is important in premising: what kind of markets will there be? What volume of sales? What prices? What products? What technical developments? What costs? What wage rates? What tax rates and policies? What new plans? How will expansion be financed? What are the long-term trends? Because the future is so complex, it would not be profitable or realistic to make assumption about every detail of the future environment of a plan.
Determining alternative courses: The more common problem is not finding alternatives but reducing the number of alternatives so that the most promising may be analyzed. The planner must usually make a preliminary examination to discover the most fruitful possibilities.
Evaluating alternative courses: From the various alternatives available proper evaluation should be done which may involve ash flow.
Selecting a course: The best alternative should be selected.
Numbering plans by budgeting Final step is giving them meaning by converting them into budgets. The overall budgets of an enterprise represent the sum total of income and expenses, with resultant profit or surplus and the budgets of major balance sheet items such as cash and capital expenditures.
Risk management in financial planning is the systematic approach to the discovery and treatment of risk. The objective is to minimize worry by dealing with the possible losses before they happen.
The process involves:
Step 1: Identification
Step 2: Measurement
Step 3: Method
Step 4: Administration
The process begins by identifying all potential losses that can cause serious financial problems.
(1) Property Losses – The direct loss that requires replacement or repair and indirect loss that requires additional expenses as a result of the loss.
(For example, the damage of the car incurs repair cost and additional expenses to rent another car while the car is being repaired.)
(2) Liability Losses – It arises from the damage of other’ property or personal injury to others.
(For example, the damage to public property as a result of a car accident.)
(3) Personal Losses – The loss of earning power due to death, disability, sickness or unemployment and the extra expenses incurred as a result of injury or illness.
(For example, the loss of employment due to cancer and the required treatment cost in addition to normal living expenses.)
Subsequently, the maximum possible loss (i.e. the severity) associated with the event as well as the probability of occurrence (i.e. the frequency) is quantified.
(1) Property Risk – The replacement cost necessary to replace or repair the damaged asset is estimated by a comparable asset at the current price. Indirect expenses for alternative arrangements like accommodation, food, transport, etc, needs to be taken into account.
(2) Liability Risk – This is considered to be unlimited as it will depend upon the severity of the event and the amount the court awards to the aggrieved party.
(3) Personal Risk – Estimate the present value of the required living expenses and additional expenses per year and computing it over a predetermined number of years at some assumed interest rate and inflation.
Methods Of Treating Risk
A combination of all or several techniques are used together to treat the risk.
(1) Avoidance – The complete elimination of the activity.
This is the most powerful technique, but also the most difficult and may sometimes be impractical. In addition, care must be taken that avoidance of one risk does not create another.
(For example, to avoid the risk associated with flying, never take a flight on the plane.)
(2) Segregation – Separating the risk.
This is a simple technique that involves not putting all your eggs in one basket.
(For example, to avoid both parents dying in a car crash together, travel in separate vehicles.)
(3) Duplication – Have more than one.
This technique requires preparation of additional back up(s).
(For example, to avoid the loss of use of a car, have 2 or more cars.)
(4) Prevention – Forestall the risk from happening.
This technique aims to reduce the frequency of the loss occurring.
(For example, to prevent fires, keep matches away from children.)
(5) Reduction – Minimize the magnitude of loss.
This technique aims to reduce loss severity and can be used before, during or after the loss has occurred.
(For example, to reduce losses as a result of a fire, install smoke detectors, sprinklers and fire extinguishers.)
(6) Retention – Self assumption of risk.
This technique involves retaining the risk consciously or more dangerous as unconsciously to finance one’s own loss.
(For example, having 6 months of income in savings to protect against the risk of unemployment.)
(7) Transfer – Insurance.
This technique transfers the financial consequences to another party.
(This will be covered in more detail as a topic.)
Administration Of Method
The selected methods must be implemented.
And finally to close the loop for the process, new risks must be continually identified and all risks needs to be re-measured when required. Treatment alternatives should also be reviewed.
Jesus came to give us an abundant life as spoken in John 10:10. This abundant life includes peace, joy, love, wisdom, success, health, weight loss, confidence, having children, spouse, money making ideas, inventions, freedom from sin, freedom from fear, holiness, super intelligence, financial abundance and anything else that would be a blessing. This article focuses on just one of those blessings, financial abundance and how to obtain it for a purpose.
Compared to the rich in the world, most of the Church has been broke for hundreds of years because of a failure to name their financial offerings. The offering is above the tithe. The tithe is one tenth of your income. Without a proper understanding of sowing and reaping, the finances of even the best money manager come far short of the financial abundance of an anointed and instructed sower. You see, although Christians named their tithes which took care of the operating expenses of their local church and subsequently took care of their own house expenses, they failed to name their financial offerings. Result, Satan stole the harvests they would have received from their offerings and left the Church with a paycheck to paycheck broke existence. But that is all changing. God is restoring to the Church an understanding of how to properly sow and reap abundant harvests. He is fulfilling Proverbs 13:22b in these last days:
“The wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just.”
So let me show you how to experience financial abundance through the biblical principle of sowing and reaping.
Jesus taught sowing and reaping. Remember the crowd on the Galilean shore in Luke 5:3 where Jesus preached to them from Peter’s boat. By loaning his boat to Jesus, Peter had activated the sowing and reaping principle. As a result of sowing his seed (boat loan) into Jesus’ ministry, Peter got a harvest. A miracle boatload of fish. Look at Luke 5:4-6:
“Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon (Peter), Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught. And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net. And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake.”
Just as a farmer expects a harvest when he sows his seed into the soil, you are to expect (have faith for) a harvest when you sow your finances into a ministry the Holy Spirit has prompted you to support. It could be your local church or some other ministry that is advancing the kingdom of God, reaching souls for Jesus. And make sure you give your seed an assignment by naming your seed when you sow it. You could name it “financial breakthrough,” or “financial abundance.” If you are a writing a check, write the name of your seed, “financial breakthrough,” somewhere on your check.
Important – Sowing is to be a lifestyle, not a one shot thing. You don’t name your financial seed, plant it and never sow again. No, continue to sow consistently, naming your seed until your harvest comes in. After your first financial harvest comes in, keep sowing for another financial harvest. The bigger the financial seed you sow, the bigger the harvest. And the bigger the harvest, the bigger the seed you can sow, producing bigger and bigger harvests ushering you into your wealthy place.
It may be a day, a week, a month or a year before your first harvest comes in, but your harvests should manifest in due season. Once they start coming in, you’re on your way to living the abundant lifestyle promised you by Jesus Himself.
“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap” For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not”(Galatians 6:7-9).
Listed below are the sowing and reaping steps you take to release your faith for your miracle abundant financial harvests:
Step 1. Know God Is Your Source of Supply – Don’t try to figure out how He is going to do it. That is His job. Your job is to sow and expect a harvest.
Step 2. Pray for What You Desire – What do you desire? Let’s say you would like a financial breakthrough. Okay. You need a scripture to base your faith on. John 16:23 will work. “And in that day ye ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you.” So, ask your Heavenly Father in Jesus’ name according John 16:23 to give you an abundant financial breakthrough harvest on your financial seed sown. When do you believe you have your harvest? The moment you pray. You must believe God heard your prayer and granted your petition the instant you prayed. If you believe you have received your financial harvest the moment you prayed then you must act like you have it. Your actions are called works. You release your faith by your works.
The Bible says in James 2:17 that faith without works is dead. What are works? Let me illustrate to you what works are. Let’s say a very rich person you know and trust hands you a check for thirty million dollars. What would you do? Jump, shout and celebrate. Right? Those actions (works) show that you believe you have the thirty million dollars. When your bank sends your bank statement saying you have thirty million dollars in your account would you start jumping, shouting and celebrating again. No. You did your celebrating the moment your rich friend handed you the check. Same way when you pray and ask God for something. You celebrate the moment you finish asking God for what you desire. Your words, celebration, joy and your financial seed sown are your works that show you believe you have received your harvest the moment you prayed. So you release your faith by your actions (works showing you believe you’ve got your harvest now). Your works give life to your faith. Your works release your faith. Your works complete your faith.
“Therefore I say unto you, What things soever you desire, when you pray, BELIEVE THAT YE RECEIVE THEM (the instant you pray), and ye shall have them” (Mark 11:24).
Step 3. Name Your Seed – Naming your seed gives it an assignment. What do you want from your harvest? Healing, finances, peace, a spouse? Whatever it is you want, name your seed. And make sure the name of your seed corresponds to your prayer. If you prayed for a financial breakthrough, then name your seed “financial breakthrough.”
Step 4. Sow Your Seed – Ask God the Father in Jesus’ name where to sow your money seed. The Holy Spirit will direct you to sow your seed in good soil (a church or ministry doing the will of God – winning souls, teaching healing, sowing and reaping etc.). Bad soil is where God’s will is not being obeyed. Your seed (works) is the evidence that you have faith in God’s promise (John 16:23) to grant your prayer request for an abundant financial harvest.
Step 5. Sow as an Act of Love, Worship and Obedience – Sow your seed as an act of love, worship and obedience to God. You are obeying God’s command to give when you sow and out of your abundance you can bless others as the Holy Spirit directs.
“Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again” ( Luke 6:38).
Step 6. Believe You Have Your Harvest Now – Release your faith by daily thanking, praising and worshipping the Lord Jesus Christ because God has seen your seed planted and has granted your harvest. That’s faith when you act like you have your harvest even before you actually see it with your physical eyes. Visualize your harvest. Use your God-given imagination and see yourself with your harvest. See yourself dressing the best, driving the best, flying the best and always having abundance of finances. See yourself as a blessing and money magnet.
Why is it vitally important to believe you have it (your harvest) before you can see it? Because if you do not believe you have your harvest the moment you pray and plant your seed, you are not in faith. Faith says, “I have it now.” Doubt says, “I will not believe I have my harvest until I see it.” Secret: A key to accelerate (speed up) the manifestation of your harvest is to daily rejoice that you’ve got it (harvest) now before you see it with your physical eyes.
Step 7. Speak God’s Promises over Your Seed – As you daily release your faith through thanksgiving, praise and worship for your harvest to manifest, speak God’s promises over your seed sown. For instance, if you named your seed “financial breakthrough,” speak financial prosperity scriptures over your seed like Psalm 1:1-3, Psalm 35:27, Luke 6:38 and Philippians 4:19.
Step 8. Keep a Record of Your Seed Planted – This way you can focus on your seed planted as you release your faith for your harvests through thanking, praising and worshipping Jesus Christ and declaring God’s promises over your seed sown.
Step 9. Be a Conduit for God’s Finances – You are blessed to be a blessing. Yes, because you are to be God’s representative, an ambassador for Christ, you are to dress the best, drive the best, fly the best, live the best, but always on call to sow your financial seed wherever God directs. His agenda is to become our agenda. His agenda is for souls to be saved, delivered, discipled, serving in a local church, bearing fruit and walking in His glory, virtue and perfect will.
Very, Very, Very Important! There are two things that will hinder you from receiving your harvest. Disobedience and lack of faith. I will explain. Disobedience: If you fail to ask God how much you should give and you give an amount He is not pleased with, then you are being disobedient. If you fail to ask God where to sow (plant) your seed and you sow your seed in the wrong soil (ministry), then you are being disobedient. Don’t expect God to give you the harvest you desire if you have been disobedient. What does this mean? To avoid being disobedient, you will have to spend time listening to the voice of the Holy Spirit who will guide you into all truth, helping you make wise sowing decisions.
I know I mentioned faith in step six, but I want to drive this faith principle home. Lack of faith is a big no no. When you sow your financial seed, you must believe (expect) your harvest to manifest, to come in. Don’t just drop your money in the bucket and not expect God to multiply your giving and bless you with a bountiful harvest. If you don’t expect a harvest, you’re not going to get a harvest. Faith is what moves the hand of God to multiply your seed sown.
This sowing and reaping principle I have shared with you will work in every area of your life, not just for finances. As listed at the beginning, you can sow for a miracle harvest of peace, joy, love, wisdom, success, health, weight loss, confidence, having children, spouse, money making ideas, inventions, freedom from sin, holiness, freedom from fear, super intelligence, financial abundance and anything else that would be a blessing to your life. There is miracle power in the seed. Release your faith for the abundant life through sowing and reaping.
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Jesus said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” We are commanded in Matthew 28:19-20 to witness to the lost. Do you love Jesus? Please don’t disobey Him by not witnessing to the lost. Don’t forfeit your soul winner’s crown awaiting you in heaven. Click “Soul Winner’s Crown” below to receive free online teaching on how to be a successful soul winner for God.