What you can expect when you hire us for financial planning
We provide personalized financial planning and investment solutions to individuals and couples who are at, or nearing retirement. Whether your focus is growing wealth, protecting it, or both, our job is to help you identify the goals you value most, and present you with a range of possibilities, including before / after comparisons, so you can see which financial decisions most improve your outcome. With a financial plan you won’t have to wonder if you are doing the right thing, you will know.
Our financial planning process is framed around the Certified Financial Planner ™ practice standards. And no matter the extent of our engagement, you will be guided through our process as we build your custom-crafted plan.
Below is our 6-step planning process:
Step 1: We Listen
We begin with an introductory conversation regarding what you would like to accomplish (including what steps you’ve already taken and any concerns you might have). After which, if we feel we are able to add real value to your situation, we will provide you with an estimate of the services required to address your needs, estimated time-frame and costs. However, if we do not feel that we are best equipped to address your specific situation, we will tell you so, and provide alternative direction when possible.
Step: 2 Gather Data and Develop Goals
We then explore and identify the financial and life goals you value most (time frames, amounts, priority, importance, etc.) and begin painting a picture of your current financial situation ( savings, income, insurance, risk, etc.). This step forms a baseline from which to begin planning and from which to compare future progress. We will collect (through online assessment, paper-based questionaires, and in person interviews) all information necessary to understand your situation.
Step 3: Cover All the Angles
We consider all aspects of your situation to determine what you need to do to realize your goals. Because financial planning, like many of life’s decisions, often involves trade-offs, here we offer something uniquely valuable– after establishing an initial strategy for you to have a successful outcome, we then guide you through customizing your plan by looking at different scenarios, stress testing your concerns and understanding the trade-offs, so the plan you end up with is truly custom-fit to you. We do this because research indicates that when you are actively involved and play a role in creating your own financial plan, you are more likely to succeed.
Step 4: Recommend Solutions
Based on your uniquely prioritized goals, we will present specific recommendations you can use to achieve your goals. You are also encouraged to share any concerns you have so revisions can be made.
Step 5: Set Your Course and Go
Once specific recommendations have been selected, we will agree on how solutions will be carried out. We can implement the recommendations for you or serve as your coach, coordinating the process with you and other professionals. You are presented with a report that explains, in plain English, the recommended changes, next steps, time lines, and clearly designates who is responsible for carrying out the changes.
It is also at this point in the process that you can hire The Prudent Planner to implement the investment objectives of your plan. When hired to manage your investment strategy, we use your financial plan to illustrate how certain investments and strategies can be best aligned to achieve your objectives. Once a strategy has been agreed upon, you will receive a personalized Investment Policy Statement (IPS); a guiding document which highlights what your strategy will entail (allowable investments, asset allocation parameters, tax strategy, and goal tracking). Your IPS acts as a compass, a check to keep your investment portfolio on course to meeting its goals, even when the market and your emotions may be telling you to run for the hills.
Step 6: Track Your Progress with Regular Reviews
An annual review helps to keep you on track and allows you to visually benchmark your progress toward achieving your financial goals. It is also a good time to revisit goals and make any necessary course corrections to your strategy.