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Online Resources on the Basics of Financial Planning

iStock_000007392168XSmallThe best foundation for personal financial planning is having an overview of the process and understanding how the important components in financial planning work together—cash flow management, income tax planning, risk management planning (insurance), investment planning, retirement planning, and estate planning. The following resources provide an excellent place to start.

Money 101 from Money Magazine offers 23 ten-minute lessons in a variety of topics related to financial planning. Though they are not organized in a coordinated "course", each lesson provides clear, useful discussion. CNN Money does have advertisements but the information is sound and without hype.

Financial Planning and Retirement from AARP provides an excellent overview and specific topic articles in planning for adults of all ages. Though the site is strong in retirement and estate planning, the articles cover all aspects including creating a master plan and a number of worksheets and forms to help you keep track of information and records needed for sound financial management.

The Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards offers "Learn About Financial Planning," a page on their website that provides resources on the basics of financial planning, particularly about working with a financial planner.

The Federal Consumer Information Center's Money section offers booklets and articles on money, credit, investing and saving, and retirement planning produced by a variety of government agencies. Read them online for free or order hard copies.

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