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For many, when you start your first job and begin the onboarding process, you are first introduced to the concept of taxes, retirement plans, and health insurance coverage. More specifically: the difference between gross and net income.
As you advance in your career, you save your money and work within a budget, and eventually someone mentions to you about investing, life insurance, and the idea of building your future. He enter a financial planner. But knowing that he needs a financial planner and understanding how they can help him are two different things.
If you ask someone what a financial planner can do for you, the typical answer is: financial planners help people achieve their financial goals. But what does this mean?
The role of a financial planner is to understand your priorities and where you stand in relation to those goals today, whether you’re looking to create a plan to prepare for retirement, learn about investing, build long-term wealth, or budget better. They then create a roadmap for you to achieve those goals and provide ongoing support. Here’s what you can expect from working with a financial planner:
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The first time you meet with your financial planner will be a “get to know” meeting. Your planner will want to know more about your financial goals and aspirations. At what age do you want to retire? How much money will you need for retirement? Do you plan to put money into your child’s education? How risky are you as an investor?
Your financial planner will also want to know your current financial situation to understand what is needed to help you reach your financial goals within the desired time frame. How much do you currently have saved for retirement? What assets and liabilities do you have? This knowledge will help your planner build a strategic plan for a successful financial future.
Just as your financial planner will take the time to get to know you, make sure you take the time to get to know him. Research them: Check out their LinkedIn and website. After your first meeting, you should feel confident that your planner is someone you can trust with your planning needs and someone you can build a relationship with.
After the meeting, your planner will request documentation to support your discussion. This will help your financial planner develop an accurate plan. After receiving the necessary documentation, they will create an analysis that illustrates their personal plan. They will analyze your current situation and develop comprehensive solutions. The analysis will indicate if you are on track to achieve your goals according to the given timeline or if you are not currently meeting your plan. A planner will often model potential scenarios and outcomes so that you can plan proactively rather than reactively. Once the financial analysis is complete, it’s time for the next meeting.
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It’s time to take a look at what your advisor has prepared for you! During the second meeting, a planner will present and deliver their plan. They’ll walk you through the analysis and review the big picture – your financial position and any areas of weakness or opportunity. If you are comfortable with the plan a planner develops, you can choose to implement the plan with them or go ahead and implement the recommendations on your own. If you decide to work with the financial planner, this will start the beginning of an ongoing relationship as you work toward your financial goals.
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Your financial planner will manage and monitor your money on a regular basis to ensure it stays on track. They will schedule regular check-ins with you to give you the opportunity to review your current situation on an ongoing basis and ask any questions related to your financial situation. This will also give you the opportunity to update them on any changes to your plan. If you recently had a child and now want to start saving for related expenses, your planner can modify your plan to include your new goals. You may have inherited a sum of money or been fired from your job. These scenarios will affect your financial plan and should be addressed with your planner.
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Trusting someone else to handle your financial situation is overwhelming! A great financial planner invests in you. They build and nurture a relationship so that their wins and losses are their wins and losses. Be sure to do your research and find a financial planner you can trust to get you closer to achieving a successful financial future.