Planning Process Series – The Financial Plan

Mature Oak Tree with a water well

I wanted to write about our initial planning process in order to remove the fear of the unknown on how we begin to work with our clients.  The process will be broken into four separate posts and will hopefully illustrate how easy taking the first step is in relating money to your life.

This post discusses the second step in our financial planning process.  The first post detailed the first meeting (the discovery meeting) and how in our initial conversation  we discuss what your short and long term goals are as well as discuss your current situation.  It allows us to help you clarify what you are trying to achieve and review what you currently have in place.  The second meeting will discuss how we will help you achieve your goals with a personalized financial plan.

The Financial Plan:   In this meeting, we will bring our insight into how to achieve your goals – or how to relate money to your desired life.  The financial plan will discuss how to achieve your goals and the risk that is associated with your investment plan.  The 3 page plan deals with where you are, where you are going and how to get there.   We provide you with an  Investment Policy Statement (IPS) which is a document that details our recommended portfolio and how a similar portfolio has performed historically.  In addition, your retirement plans will be discussed to determine what adjustments may be necessary for you to retire at your desired age.

In other words, we will illustrate what it would mean to you and your finances if you decide to retire at different ages.  This illustration helps to have you be aware of what your financial future will look like and what steps need to be taken in order for you to make an educated decision on your retirement date.  We can explore what are the implications for saving additional money, delaying retirement and other decisions.  We explore what your future income needs will be after a cost-of-living adjustment is made.

We also conduct a “financial fire drill” which helps prepare you for the journey ahead and what we will do when- not if- the markets temporarily turn down.  This discussion requires us to talk about the various bear markets that have occurred since the 1940s and to ensure that you are not surprised when they do in fact occur in the future.  As a reminder, a bear market is when the prices of the stock market decline by 20 or more percent.  Click on link to the right to read the post for the full description:Financial Fire Drill Post

We go through this exercise to have clients understand that “emergencies” are more common that most believe and thus our hope is that you will not be surprised when market declines occur.  In addition, we go over what needs to be done during those bear markets to help you reach your financial goals.

We also discuss where gaps may exist with your insurance needs, trust and estate planning, or college planning.  We work with you to discuss the best ways to transfer risks to insurance companies.  We have professionals that we can recommend or we just give you ideas to discuss with your other professionals.

Once the financial plan is reviewed and established, the next step is the paperwork.  The next post will go over the different paperwork that is necessary to open an account and why each form is needed.

Our goal is to work together with you to help ensure that you will stick with your plan – even through the difficult market cycles. Our focus is to be at your service for all of your financial decisions throughout your lifetime in order to ensure that your goals are met.

Call us to schedule your discovery meeting! We would love to work with you and your family!

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About Maureen Crimmins

Maureen Crimmins is co-founder of Crimmins Wealth Management and a fee-only independent financial advisor. Have a financial question? ASK MAUREEN

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