As CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM professionals, we follow a rigorous process that will help you make informed and educated decisions about working together. Becoming familiar with this process will help give you the knowledge you need to decide if we’re a good fit to work together.
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Using the CFP® Planning Process
To help ensure that our clients receive the best financial planning experience, we are CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM professionals and follow a six-step trademarked planning process when working with clients.
Getting to Know
In the first step of the financial planning process, we’ll come together to discuss what will be covered in your financial plan. Sometimes financial planning engagements can be limited to investment management, such as an exclusive review of a 401(k) allocation. Other times, a review of the total of a client’s insurance needs can be performed — to determine whether a client has sufficient (or excess) life insurance, disability insurance, liability coverage or the right type of medical insurance for themselves and their family. More inclusive financial plans can include retirement planning — to determine if a client is on course for retirement or if their budgeting in retirement is sustainable.
As CFP® professionals, we can also produce a comprehensive financial plan and review your options for charitable giving and/or business retirement solutions. Some areas that can be covered in our comprehensive financial plan include:
- Investment Management
- Charitable Giving Services
- Financial Planning
- Business Retirement Solutions
- Retirement Planning
- Insurance Services
In the second step of the financial plan, we’ll dig into your financial information. This can include your employer’s 401(k) menu of mutual funds, or statements of all your insurance policies. In addition to the hard data, we will also discuss your goals and values to determine what matters most to you and how we can help you get there.
We’ll work together to answer what we call the Big Three questions:
- When can you retire and do you have enough money to retire?
- Will your money last through your retirement?
- Will your family be ok?
Once you’ve shared the required information, we’ll begin analyzing. We’ll use a variety of methods including financial planning software to determine if you have enough money saved for retirement. We’ll also look at if you have enough life insurance coverage and if your portfolio is well diversified and appropriately allocated given your risk tolerance and timeline to retirement.
Recommendations & Planning
With the analysis complete, we will have a second meeting to review the results. In plain English, we will provide you with your strengths, opportunities, and challenges and explain what you need to do to reach your financial goals. We will also answer the Big Three questions we asked during our information collection phase.
Financial planning, implementation and execution of your financial plan requires a strong partnership. It’s important that you take as much time as needed to make this important decision. After you’ve had time to review your plan, we’ll work together to decide which recommendations you’d like to take.
We will be honored to have the opportunity to work with you. The final step of the financial planning process will be for us to determine who will be responsible for the financial issues addressed in your plan. As we continue our partnership, you will have unlimited access to our firm. If life throws you a curve ball, we can revisit your plan and adjust along the way.