The Financial Planning Process
Below is an example of the process for a typical, one-time financial plan. For the Financial Foundation Plan, this process usually takes 2-4 weeks to complete and meetings are typically held via Zoom or teleconference. For the Comprehensive Life Plan, this process typically takes 4-6 weeks and meetings may take place via Zoom, teleconference or in-person.
After getting acquainted and agreeing to contract terms, we work together to gather relevant financial information, documents, and data, which will provide a baseline for your plan and identify any immediate needs. For the Financial Foundation Plan, this step can be completed in one session in person, on Zoom or over the phone. For the Comprehensive Life Plan, this step typically takes 1-2 weeks to gather relevant documentation.
Clarify your values & goals. At this stage, I mostly listen and probe to better understand your concerns and priorities. Once I understand the life you want to live, I can shape a plan for you to achieve that life. Meeting #1.
I analyze your goals, resources, risk tolerance, and other relevant information to map out strategies to achieve your goals and to live the life that you want. A key part of building your financial plan is developing trade-offs that we discuss in Step 4. For the Financial Foundation Plan, this step takes about 2-3 days. For the Comprehensive Life Plan, this step typically takes 1-2 weeks.
In this meeting, I present your preliminary plan, including specific recommendations, detailed analyses and "what-if" scenarios. We discuss specific steps, including implementation (Step 5), that should be taken to achieve your goals. For the Comprehensive Life Plan, this usually requires two meetings.
Meetings #3 & #4.
You take steps to implement the recommendations in the plan. These steps might include, for example, opening new accounts, paying down debt, re-allocating investments, or engaging with a CPA or estate attorney. I provide specific action items and guidance on how to complete each step. I also stay in contact during this time, providing coaching and motivation. For the Financial Foundation Plan, clients typically accomplish tasks within a week. For the Comprehensive Life Plan, clients typically take 1-2 weeks.
This is the wrap-up step of our initial engagement. After reviewing Step 5, we discuss how you want to monitor and manage the plan going forward. Meeting #4.