These are just some of the hundreds of questions that we ask ourselves everyday as we go through life. Some of these questions worry us a great deal and can be a cause of stress because of the unknowns they represent.
Answering all of these questions with the goal of eliminating the stress from the unknown is what Personal Financial Planning is all about. Once you have a plan established and meet with us every year to update your results, you will feel a greater sense of control of your life. Hopefully you won't need to stress about what the future will look like because you already have a good idea!
Benefits of Using a Financial Planner
How do you know if you could benefit from the services of a financial planner? You may not have the expertise, the time or the desire to actively plan and manage certain financial aspects of your life. You may want help getting started. Some reasons for seeking professional financial planning guidance might include:
- Making sure your money will last during retirement
- Handling the inheritance of a large sum of money or another unexpected financial windfall
- Determining how much money you will need to save for retirement
- Planning for the birth or adoption of a child
- Facing a financial crisis such as a serious illness, layoff or natural disaster
- Caring for aging parents or a disabled child
- Coping financially with the death of a spouse or close family member
- Before, during or after a divorce
- Funding education
- Buying, selling or passing on a family business
Our Financial Planning Process
We follow the seven step Certified Financial Planning process recommended by the Board of Certified Financial Planners™. Personal Financial Planning is a stand-alone service we provide to our clients. It is not required that you transfer your investments to our firm in order for us to develop a written plan for you. Should you decide to ask us about our investment management services we would then explain how the firm builds and manages the portfolios that align with the recommendations in your plan, and how your portfolios results link directly to your plan so we have a daily update on your plan status.
- Understanding Your Needs – Understanding and learning your personal and financial circumstances. We set expectations of each of our responsibilities, including the services we will provide.
- Identify and Select Your Goals – Discovery and exploration of your goals, both personal and financial. This includes gathering the necessary documents to understand your current financial picture.
- Analyze Current Course of Action – Gain insight from you, the client, as we analyze your current and potential course(s) of action. We take a deep dive into where you are today and weigh different options to help you achieve your goals, this is a very collaborative process.
- Develop Plan Recommendations – We develop an action plan based upon insight gained from our last meeting and develop financial planning recommendations.
- Presenting Plan Recommendations – Present your personal action plan and review with you, the client, to ensure understanding. Together we will determine who oversees each action item and the recommended timeline.
- Implement Plan Recommendations – Take action to implement the agreed upon action plan with regular check ins from our team.
- Monitor Progress – Maintain action plan into the future. Our team will provide support as necessary and we are available for annual updates of your plan.
We invite all potential clients to begin with a 30-minute complimentary phone call with one of our advisers to learn about our process for Dynamic Personal Financial Planning and answer any questions you may have. If our services match what you are looking to accomplish, we then invite all potential clients into the office for a complimentary 1-hour meeting to expand upon your goals, further learn about our financial planning process and get all of your questions answered.
Financial Planning Meeting Steps
The first meeting we ask the client to bring in all of their tax, loan, investment, insurance, and estate documents. We will make copies at our office a return the originals to them before they leave the first meeting. During this meeting an adviser will ask the clients to discuss their goals, breaking these down further into needs, wants, and wishes. Next, the adviser will conduct a document review. This is to make sure we have a complete understanding of the client's current financial picture.
The second meeting is where the adviser gives the client an initial look at how close they currently are to attaining their goals. Many times there is a gap between what the client's goals are and their current situation. This is NORMAL and not to be feared. This is the reason you hire us! During this meeting the advisor will work with you to show several alternatives on to reach your goals. This is YOUR plan and it is our job to help you succeed. By the end of this meeting the goal is to make sure the adviser has accounted for all of the client's resources and documents correctly in the plan and the client has reached a decision on their goals for their initial Personal Financial Plan.
The final meeting is when the adviser delivers the Personal Financial Plan to the client. The adviser will review the plan with the client and discuss the recommendations and action steps. The action steps are included so the client has a checklist of 'To-Do' items to make sure the plan is implemented as intended.
WE ARE NOT DONE!
At this point many firms send the client on their way and leave it up to them to follow the plan. Not us. In addition to the action steps we will schedule the client for annual follow up meetings. During these meetings the client's goals, resources and documents will be updated to insure the client is still on track with their plan. It is during these annual updates that we can make adjustments if the client's goals or circumstances have changed to keep them on track with their plan. Clients find that after the first few years of reviews they are able to refine their goals and feel confident in their financial future.
You may also fill out the form below if you would like more information on how we can help you in Planning for Today & Tomorrow.
*Securities and Investment advisory services offered through Voya Financial Advisors, Inc. (Member SIPC)