The Financial Planning Process

July 11, 2018 Alicia Butera Blog

Are you wondering what it looks like to do financial planning with a fee-only and fiduciary financial planner?

While each planning firm does things differently, here is how we at Planning Within Reach walk our clients through creating and developing a financial plan.

An Initial Call

We start by understanding your desire to have planning done now and what questions you need answers to. Here we can determine if we are a good fit for each other and if we would work well together. We give you a quote for the cost of your plan on the call.

Financial Goal Discovery

Once you move forward, the planning process starts with a discussion about your financial goals. Everyone’s goals are different and that’s why each plan is customized to the client’s particular situation. Examples of goals are; home purchases, planning for babies, saving for retirement, saving money on taxes or even taking a less stressful, but lower paying job, to name a few. We want to know your goals so we make sure your plan incorporates guidance on how to reach them.

Gathering Data

We send a checklist of financial information to collect, that helps us build your comprehensive plan. Things like; insurance declarations, pay-stubs, expenses, estate planning documents, beneficiary designations and more help us to review your entire financial life as a whole and build a plan that encompasses it all.

Creating the Plan Recommendations

PWR does the heavy lifting to crunch numbers and organize your financial data to come up with plan recommendations for you. When we present your plan, we discuss the multiple options you have for achieving your goals and let you decide what feels like the best route to take. Once that route has been set, we give you a one-page prioritized action list of items for you to tackle.

Implementing the Plan

Our clients are responsible for implementing the recommendations we give them. We give help and encouragement along the way to keep you accountable and on track with the plan’s action steps. We check in with our clients every four months and throughout the year we are available for any clarifying questions on the advice given in the plan.

Revisiting the Plan

Life is constantly changing, so you need your plan to change with you. We recommend reviewing your plan every year or sooner if there is a large life event or change such as an inheritance, job change, or an unexpected bonus.

While all of our financial plans follow the same process, no one plan is exactly the same. Financial planning is not a “one-size-fits-all” approach and your financial planner should plan for your specific situation.

The best plan is one that you are committed to sticking with, which is why we recommend you work with a fee-only and fiduciary professional to create a custom plan for you. Take action today and contact a planner to help you go through the process of documenting your financial goals and how to achieve them.