A comprehensive financial planning process will coordinate all three phases of wealth management:
- Accumulation: investment and savings strategies (retirement, college, tax-sensitive)
- Protection: life, disability, and long-term care insurance strategies
- Distribution: retirement income planning; estate and charitable planning
Planning services specific to any one of these phases of wealth management is available if desired. Experience has demonstrated, however, that these are all related to each other, and most of my clients will ask me to advise them in these phases comprehensively eventually, if not at the beginning of our relationship.
Steps in the process:
- Introduction and Discovery: The discovery meeting is complimentary and is an opportunity for each of us to see if we're going to be a “fit” for each other. I want to get to know you and your situation, and I want you to have an understanding about my approach to the planning process.
- Goal Establishment: If we've agreed to proceed, the next step is to work with you to define exactly what your goals are—or what it is exactly that you want to accomplish. We also discuss how much time you have to accomplish your goals and what resources you can currently bring to the effort.
- Plan Development and Recommendation: Based on your goals and information we've gathered, I'll develop an analysis of your current situation, identify any “gaps” between your “current” plan and what you're trying to accomplish, and present a plan of action and recommendations—a strategy—that if followed gives you the best opportunity to reach your goals.
- Action: Based on our recommendations, you'll make a decision to make changes or implement strategies that we've recommended. Obviously, I am available to help you implement the strategies.
- Ongoing Advice: A plan worth developing is a plan worth continuing. Part of the advice model is to maintain a long-term relationship with clients through regular monitoring and review of your strategy—updating and making subtle changes as warranted by life events or changes in your goals.