If you’ve ever asked someone whether they have a financial plan and been met with a blank stare you are not alone. Too often do we speak with prospective clients who have no idea what a financial plan is, how it is made, and what it does for them. Possibly the worst part is that those clients have often dealt with another adviser.
1. YOUR FINANCIAL PLAN SHOULD INCLUDE THE OBVIOUS AND NOT-SO-OBVIOUS THINGS OF YOUR LIFE
Everyone with an adviser should have a financial plan that they have been part of creating. This plan should cover all aspects of a client’s life such as the obvious: education, retirement, and risk planning but should ideally look at far more than this. A well-structured financial plan would also include life transitions, investment strategies, and cashflow planning. These are some of the vital parts of any financial plan that need to be discussed in depth with your adviser both initially and in your annual review meeting.
2. YOU NEED TO UNDERSTAND YOUR FINANCIAL PLAN
It’s great if you have a financial plan (or are on the phone right now with your adviser to get one!) but do you understand it? Do you have access to it at any time to check up on important information? Your financial plan will lay out future actions that you need to take and how they will affect your plan such as: how often you replace your vehicle and at what cost, when are you able to reduce your risk cover, and how trade-offs such as working longer, saving more, or targeting a higher return can make a difference to your desired outcomes. All of this information should be easily accessible either online, on paper, or through a visit to your adviser so that you can stay on track and make informed financial decisions.