- How much do I need to save for retirement?
- At what age can I retire safely?
- Am I using my employer's savings plans correctly?
- How do I know how much risk to take with my investment?
- Do I need life insurance when I retire?
- Are my auto and home insurance coverages correct?
- Should I start a 529 savings plan for college expenses for my children?
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!
Financial planning is a process, not a product. It is the long-term method of wisely managing your finances so you can work toward achieving your goals and dreams, while at the same time negotiating the financial barriers that inevitably arise in every stage of life. In order to create a sound financial plan, goals must first be established. Data is then gathered to analyze and evaluate your financial status. Once complete, your plan can be developed and implemented. Monitoring the plan on an ongoing basis is essential in order to make necessary adjustments to reach your goals.
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 other 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
- Funding education
- Buying, selling or passing on a family business
We follow the six step Certified Financial Planning process recommended by the Board of Certified Financial Planners™. Dynamic 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 match 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.
- Your Financial Advisor will explain the services they will provide and define each of your responsibilities.
- You and your Advisor will talk about your current financial situation and gather any necessary documents. Together, you will define your personal financial goals, including timeframes.
- Your Advisor will take all your finances into account and determine how to meet your goals. Their analysis may cover your assets, liabilities, cash flow, current insurance coverage, investments, and tax strategies.
- Next, your Advisor will go over their financial recommendations, explaining the rationale so you can make informed decisions. They will address your questions and concerns and revise their recommendations if necessary.
- You and your Advisor will need to agree on how the recommendations will be carried out. Your Advisor may carry out the recommendations them self or serve as your coach, coordinating the process with you and other professionals, like attorneys or stockbrokers.
- As you work towards your goals, you and your Advisor will need to decide who will monitor your progress to make sure you are staying on track. If the planner is in charge, they will check in from time to time, reviewing your situation and making any necessary adjustments to their recommendations.
We invite all potential clients to have a 1 hour complimentary, no obligation meeting with one of our advisers to learn about our process for Dynamic Personal Financial Planning and answer any questions they may have.
If a decision is made to proceed with creating a plan then the client can typically expect to meet three times with an Adviser with each meeting lasting approximately one and a half to two hours.
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.
Contact us today 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)