The hardest part about planning for your financial future is figuring out where to start.
You already took the first step by performing your due diligence and selecting a financial planner. Now it is time to meet them to discuss your current situation and create a plan to help reach your goals. It’s natural to feel a bit unprepared, because there are a lot of moving parts, and discussing your finances with somebody new can be intimidating — especially if you’re not sure which questions to ask.
To make the most of working with a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional, it is helpful to come prepared to discuss your financial situation. In your first meeting, it’s common to discuss the financial planning process, the goals you would like to accomplish and how your CFP® professional can help you work toward them. You should have some key information ready and be ready with some questions to ask your new adviser.
The steps below will help you set yourself up for a successful relationship with your planner. They help your financial planner do their job of bringing a holistic, personalized approach to assessing and building your financial future in a way that pulls all the pieces of your financial life together.
Understand what to expect from your adviser
Your CFP® professional will usually start by walking you through the financial planning process. Then they will conduct a thorough review to assess your current financial situation and work with you to develop or refine your goals.
In subsequent meetings, your financial planner will use that context to create and discuss a custom plan to help you reach your goals. They will also guide you through the steps and help you chart your progress over time.
Know what you don’t know
Many times, clients spend their first meeting with their planner overexplaining or justifying their prior financial decisions. Know that your CFP® professional is not there to judge you, only to help you.
To expedite your first conversation and put your mind at ease, you may want to learn more about some of these issues beforehand:
- Understanding insurance and what your policies protect (and don’t)
- Establishing and funding an emergency account
- Knowing the difference between good and bad debt
- Considering your estate planning needs
Gather key information
To plan for your financial future, you must share an accurate picture of your financial present.
You can help your CFP® professional understand your current situation by bringing the following documents and information to your meeting, in …….