We understand that the world of financial services can be a complex area. Having a financial plan that continues to evolve with you, helping you to move towards achieving your financial ambitions and goals, can make a significant difference. A financial planner can help you to create this plan and provide you with the ongoing service you need to meet your financial objectives throughout your lifetime.
What should you do before meeting with a financial planner?
Once you arrange a meeting with a financial planner, you need to think about your current financial situation and what your goals would be in the future. Some questions that may help you are:
- When would I like to retire?
- What does my dream retirement look like?
- How will I pay for my children’s education?
- How will my family cope financially if anything happened to me?
- What do I want to achieve?
- What do I want my life to look like?
- Who do I want my assets to pass to when I am gone?
What should you bring to your first meeting?
A good document to prepare first is your monthly budget. You want to give your financial planner accurate insight into how much you earn, spend, and save in a month. In addition, you should include documents about any savings, investments, insurance policies, pensions and your mortgage if you have one, but ask your adviser if they need to see anything else.
Go a step further and identify which of your expenses are fixed and variable. Fixed items like bills are expenses you pay no matter what kind of income you receive each month. Variable expenses include items that you wouldn’t spend if you lost income—such as going out to eat or to the movies.
Looking at your spending patterns during your first meeting will allow your financial planner to determine how much you could reasonably save and invest on a monthly basis—or where you could cut back to save and invest more. This then enables them to work with you to define achievable objectives and financial goals.
What should you expect from your first meeting with a financial planner?
Your first meeting is a great opportunity not only to find out more about your financial planner but also about the investment philosophy of the company and the services they can offer. You can ask any questions you have so you are completely comfortable with the advice process and determine whether the professional is a good fit for you.
What happens after your first meeting?
After your first meeting, you should have a clearer idea of where you stand financially and where you want to be as well as the next steps in your financial planning process. By understanding your financial ambitions and goals, your financial planner will be able to provide unbiased and objective advice and in your following meetings recommend a financial plan that can continue to evolve with you.