1. Discovery Meeting
In the discovery meeting we discuss your current financial position. This discussion is centered around your assets, liabilities, income, and goals. For example, securing your retirement at age 65, sending your children or grandchildren to college, and eventually passing your assets along to beneficiaries in tax-advantaged ways.
Essentially, this first step is a data-gathering process. We go over all your employee benefit booklets, review copies of your retirement plan documents, wills, trusts, insurance policies, investment statements, brokerage house statements, and bank statements. These are the tangible bits of information we need to offer quality advice and fulfill our fiduciary obligation to you.
There is also less immediate information collected at this meeting, such as: What are your lifestyle goals? How do you want to distribute your estate? At what age do you want to retire? What is your plan to pay for long-term care (if needed)? How much income do you need/want during retirement?
Then there are assumptions that need to be figured into the process. What is going to happen to interest rates? Where is the economy headed? How much inflation will occur? What effect will future tax rates have on your income? Having a well-rounded discussion with one of our experienced financial advisors on these topics is crucial to help set expectations and build a realistic plan.
2. Plan Preparation
Preparing your plan typically takes three to four weeks. During this time, our team is performing a culmination of in-depth analysis and diagnostic work in order to make the best recommendations possible for you. We prepare written recommendations; some might be major strategic recommendations, while others will be minor tactical recommendations. They will, however, complement one another and work to achieve your long-term financial goals.
Based on the Discovery Meeting we know where you are and where you want to be. We will outline any suggestions designed to help get you there. This takes place behind the scenes in our offices.
3. Plan Presentation
After all the recommendations surrounding your plan are formally in writing, we will present the portfolio to both you and your significant other. Generally, you will take the plan with you, read it, study it, and jot down questions you may have. We later reconvene to answer your questions and clarify details. As you agree on the recommendations, we will prioritize them into an “Implementation Check List.”
4. Plan Implementation
The first three steps move rather quickly. Step four, implementation of the plan, takes a lot longer – usually about five or six months. During this time, we are meeting and going over tax planning, retirement planning, estate planning, and insurance needs. Generally, we work with other experts to help fully complete the plan, such as attorneys and CPAs, as we do not offer legal or tax advice.
5. Financial Planning Process
This is the ongoing monitoring and maintenance process. Here we provide you updates and consistent advice regarding your plan. We normally have two to three meetings a year to address tax planning, portfolio reviews, insurance updates, etc. Along the way, we will be here to guide you through any life events that may affect your financial future. Such events may include refinancing your mortgage, buying a car, or even funding your children’s or grandchildren’s education expenses. No matter what, our team of experts is focused on providing outstanding service and always putting your needs first.
For more information, please contact us.