Broker Check

Is it Time For You to Begin Financial Planning?

January 13, 2023

When should you begin financial planning?

This is not to be confused with “When should you seek out financial advice?” Most people can benefit from some form of financial advice or consultation at almost any point in their life, but as for developing an in-depth financial plan… Well, that answer is not always as straight forward.

Something we like to consider when looking to begin a financial planning relationship with a prospective client is: What can we do for you? We begin our financial planning process even before you pay a fee with some exploratory meetings, during which we get some basic information from you and create a proposal outlining what gaps we can fill and what services we can provide.

And sometimes that means telling a prospective client that a financial plan may not be appropriate for them at this time. There are a few reasons we might do this, and some of the more common ones include:

  • We are not everything for everyone – quite simply, we may not specialize in the type of planning you are looking for and therefore a different type of advisor may be better suited to your needs.
  • We engage in holistic financial planning -- we maintain close relationships with our clients so that we can develop a holistic financial plan and avoid any gaps in planning which may create problems later. For individual product sales without the benefit of a financial plan, we may not be a best fit.
  • Or you may not be ready for a full retirement plan – This could mean you are still in the early stages of accumulating assets, or a reference to the stage of life you are in. This most commonly occurs with young single individuals or young married couples where their finances are so straight forward that there is little for us to provide advice on other than the generic save more. We do charge a fee for our services, and planning takes time. As such, we want to make sure we are making valuable use of both your time and ours by creating a plan with substance. In these situations, we may provide general education on some basics for a new family such as basic documents, building an emergency reserve, making the most of your employer sponsored retirement plans and the value of securing term insurance.

So, the question remains: when should you engage in financial planning? A good rule of thumb, might be to consider engaging in financial planning when you are in a period of flux.

Are you preparing to retire? Are you a recent empty-nester whose lifestyle and priorities might have changed? Have you recently lost a loved one? Or are you looking to make some other significant lifestyle change?

All of these are good indicators that it might be time to look towards creating a financial plan; that your goals may have changed, that your utilization of assets may soon change, and/or that you may need to review your plans to protect and transfer assets.

All of these and more are areas that we can address in your financial plan. Our goal in planning to help you achieve the things that are important to you while reducing the risk of bad things happening along the way.

During the planning process, with your cooperation, we articulate and quantify your goals and the terms of success, we provide an overarching view of your current financial situation highlighting gaps and potential pitfalls along the way. Then we offer potential solutions, alternatives and a set of steps to help you close the gap between where you are and where you want to be.

Do you think you might be ready for a financial plan? Contact us. The first two meetings come without a cost; together we can determine if there is a good fit.