26 Feb What You Need to Know Before Meeting with a Financial Planner
Meeting with a financial advisor can seem like a daunting activity. It doesn’t have to! Believe it or not, your financial advisor just wants what’s best for you. If you’re ready to make changes to your financial present and future, don’t let a little bit of fear stand between you and the success you deserve.
Of course, it helps to have some planning already completed before you arrive, but we won’t judge you if you don’t. You can take some time to plan before you visit, if you want. These tips can definitely help you start down the right path.
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Hey, everyone has different feelings about money. What you feel and how you react to financial situations isn’t wrong—even if you have a significant other, friend, or parent that would like to tell you otherwise. It just means you have a different money personality, and that’s okay.
It’s important to know your personal preferences and reactions to money. We can help you plan and build better if we know whether you’re a Champ, a ChessMaster, a Funster, a WhirlyBird, or a Tortoise. Not only that, knowing your money personality will help you better communicate with others who are invested in your financial future.
You may want to be ready to discuss and present documents regarding your current assets such as savings accounts, checking accounts, 401(k)s, health benefits. Be sure to include any debt you carry, including credit cards, student loans, car loans, and home mortgage or rent. Then assess your monthly cash flow– how much you make per month, spend, and save.
Separate these expenses into fixed, like mortgage and bills, and variable, such as dining out and entertainment. This establishes a base for understanding of how much you can reasonably save and invest, and that’s the first step toward your success. When we have this overview, we can also help to see where you can eliminate some expenses.
When you know where you stand financially each month, you can start focusing on objectives. Short- and long-term goals are important. Maybe you just want to be able to afford that new handbag at the end of the month. Maybe you’re working on an even loftier goal. Are you looking at purchasing a new house or planning a big vacation? Do you want to pay off debt and start an emergency fund for unexpected expenses? Do you want to start investing and saving for retirement? By knowing where you currently stand and where you want to be in the future, you and your advisor can start building your plan to reach your goals.
After setting your current goals, you and your advisor can put together a monthly savings plan. Your investments should align not only with those financial goals, but also your timeline and risk tolerances. Ask questions to ensure you’re comfortable and understand how to manage your investments and accounts. After all, this is your financial health, and like your physical health, you are ultimately responsible for making all informed decisions both during and after your appointment.
Remember what we talked about in the first point? Knowing your money personality makes this part of the process a lot easier. Frank and open conversations are necessary even before you speak with your advisor. You and your partner or any other significant person with input into your financial security should be on the same page—or at least somewhere close. You have discussed basic goals and have come up with ideas and topics to go over during your meeting.
An advisor can also give objective advice and assist with topics you may be having problems understanding or agreeing on, such as budgeting, saving, and interpretation of numbers. Be as honest as you can with your advisor and don’t worry about judgement or similar issues. The more you openly share, the stronger your financial plan will be.
Talking about spending, saving, and the future isn’t always comfortable, but it is necessary to secure your financial future. Having at least a basic understanding of what you want your financial security to look like is important before you start the planning process. By the time you’re done with your meeting, you’ll feel a lot better about your financial future.
We’d love to help with your financial planning and security. Give us a call to schedule a meeting today!