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The most impactful part of one's financial plan is— the path they follow while working towards their goals; for the entirety of their lifetime.
When asking people what they think a Financial Advisor does, most people I talk with think a Financial Advisor is someone who helps them pick investments within their risk profile that will achieve the highest return in those investments possible. While this is somewhat correct, this is only a minor piece of the much larger picture.
In reality, a Financial Advisor should be someone who helps you develop, initiate and implement your long-term investment needs/retirement plan. This financial plan should range from account titling and extend all the way through investment planning.
To better understand the range of subjects we'll cover, view our "Start Your Retirement Plan Informational Page" by clicking here.
There are no costs with developing your plan! As we dive deeper into the planning portion, the first step where costs will be introduced will be during the recommendations stage. Along with the recommendations, you will have a detailed cost structure of that recommendation, if it has one. At that point you can chose to take the recommendation, alter it, or veto it all together.
As with most goals, the most difficult part is the question of—where do I start? We’ve helped outlined what you can expect once you do make that leap.
To develop a plan, you need to know where you stand. To know where you stand you have to know what you have, what you spend and what options you have available to you. Think of this step much like you would a blood test for your physician. The more detailed information they have the more accurate the recommendations they can make. The same is true with a financial plan, it is only as good as the information supporting it.
The gathering of information is split into two main parts: The QUESTIONNAIRE & STATEMENT UPLOAD.
The QUESTIONNAIRE is a great starting point to compile the information which doesn't show up on a statement or helps to explain the information in each statement.
The questionnaire should take you somewhere around 10-30 minutes depending how available the information is to you. During the questionnaire it's a good idea to save any statements or screenshots that you reference for your answers. If you need to look up a number or answer most likely that is a supporting document you'll want to upload on the next step.
Next UPLOAD SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS part is the most important of the two parts. The information in the statements and screenshots supply more information than just a number or balance.
We use all the information supplied to look for red flags you wouldn't think or know to mention. As an example, the Social Security statement tell us more than your amount of Social Security you will receive at your full retirement age. The statement also shows us your earnings history and the changes in that history, the amount that you have contributed toward Social Security, the amount your employers have contributed and the age that Social Security uses as your Full Retirement Age (FRA). All of this information is valuable for different reasons when developing your plan.
The last action is to schedule our ONLINE SCREEN SHARE APPOINTMENT.
On this appointment we will review the findings together and discuss strategies that you may be able to benefit from.
During the second step in developing your financial plan, your Financial Planner will analyze all of the data you supplied to determine a detailed list of recommendations based on your situation, needs and expectations. Together you will review these recommendations and determine which ones will be implemented, adjusted or vetoed.
Now that your recommendations have progressed into plans, an in-depth course of action will be developed and transitioned into an action plan.
Every plan is different; some require reviews daily, some monthly and others quarterly. Some must be done by you, others must be done by your Financial Planner. During the course of action step the review plan will be determined and introduced.
Annually you and your Financial Planner will sit down to do a full analysis of your plan to make any needed changes or adjustments.
Knowledge is invaluable! Throughout the year you will have numerous opportunities to educate yourself on different aspects that are important to your situation. The website is a valuable source of information. Use the resource center to strengthen your knowledge in certain areas and completely learn a new subject in other areas.