The personal financial planning process can be a complex and confusing one for many. With all the jargon, questions about assets and liabilities, as well as financial goals, it can be difficult to get started.
- What does the first meeting entail?
- How can I be confident the investment recommendations are best for me?
- What should I expect from my financial planner after we’ve established an agreement?
These are just some of the questions that might be going through your head right now.
And that’s okay.
Jump straight to…
Most people don’t know what to expect when they first work with financial planners and may even feel intimidated hearing the jargon used by financial professionals.
In this My Money Sorted guide, we’ll break down the personal financial planning process you can expect to go through with your financial planner, including:
1. The Initial Consultation Meeting
2. Setting Personal and Financial Goals
3. Understanding Current Financial Position
4. Recommendations and Strategies
6. Ongoing Review and Management
What to Expect & the 6 Steps in the Financial Planning Process
Park your worries for now.
Know that your financial planner will be there for you at every stage of your journey to a richer life and is ready to help answer any question or concern that may arise throughout the course of time.
It’s crucial that you feel comfortable working with your financial planner before you start the process.
Step 1. Consultation Meeting – Outline the Process & Establish a Relationship
You know you’re off to a good start when you see that your financial planner has taken the time to understand your needs, goals, and preferences.
In addition to learning about your needs and confirming that they can be met, your financial planner will outline the actions they’ll follow. From your side of the table, you can ask about their qualifications, how they work, and their fee structure.
A financial planner may ask the following details from you to give advice that is pertinent to your circumstance:
- The state of your superannuation
- Your assets (such as property and investments) and liabilities (such as mortgages and loans)
- Your total earnings (wages, salary, interest, rentals, and dividends)
- Your daily living costs (food, clothing, general expenses, and holidays)
- Insurance coverage
- Your risk-taking behaviour – Do you dislike taking risks, or are you willing to take some?
Preparing the information and supporting documents beforehand is best for an organised and effective consultation meeting.
Step 2. Communicate Personal and Financial Goals
Everyone wants to have financial security and achieve financial freedom whilst enjoying the lifestyle they want. Your financial planner will help you identify the sweet spot where you can have balance with both, especially during unforeseen events such as the loss of a job.
A clear picture of the goals you want to achieve will allow your financial planner to assess a reasonable timeline to tick these off your list and build strategies accordingly.
What are common personal and financial goals?
- Paying off your mortgage
- Paying off credit card debts
- Saving for an emergency fund
- Saving to maintain the lifestyle you want during retirement (retirement planning)
- Preparing your children’s education fund
- Investing in ethical super funds or other investment decisions
- Getting started on estate planning
If you are undecided about specific goals, your financial planner will help you identify goals that may be relevant to you.
Step 3. Understand the Current Financial Position
The quote “Shoot for the Moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars” does not apply to financial planning.
Since financial goals are time-bound, they must be feasible according to your current financial situation. Transparency with your financial planner allows them to identify roadblocks and prepare clear-cut strategies to bring positive results.
Step 4. Financial Planning Recommendations & Various Strategies
Your financial planner’s expertise will come into play as they lay out different recommendations and strategies.
Some strategies may include the following plans of action:
- Diversification of asset allocation
- Minimising Superannuation fees and taxes
- Identifying risks and managing them appropriately
- Potential savings on tax
- Various Government pensions and benefits
Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
Step 5. Implement Recommendations to Improve Financial Situation
Once you’ve come to an agreement with your financial planner, it’s time to navigate the road to financial freedom.
Part of your strategies can be:
- Restructuring or consolidating current loans
- Adding concessional contributions to your super
- Buying or selling investments to maximise your investment portfolio
- Additional personal and wealth protection (simply put, insurance)
No worries. Your financial planner will help you implement these recommendations.
Step 6. Ongoing Review and Management with Financial Planner
Schedule an annual consultation with your financial planner to review your financial plan. Your lifestyle and situation may change over time – the same with your goals. Review your financial strategies with your planner to ensure that you are on course.
Main Goal of Financial Planning
Financial planning is necessary in order to live a comfortable life even after retirement. By beginning with the end in mind, the goal is to ensure you have enough funds accessible throughout every financial stage.
Benefits of Working with a Professional Financial Planner:
A financial planner will bring a wealth of knowledge to the table and will always have your best interests as their priority. Take the opportunity to benefit from their expertise at every step of the financial planning process.
No emotional baggage
There will be instances where you’ll need to make tough financial decisions like letting go of an asset or investment for a specific need or better opportunity. Your financial planner can review this and make a sound recommendation of your best option so you can make informed decisions.
Bird’s eye view of your situation
Your Financial planner will ensure all your bases are covered, not only when it comes to growing your money, but also ensuring there are no leaks in your financial buckets.
For example – tax planning is as important as laying the foundations of your investments. Why pay unnecessary taxes when your financial planner can map out an investment plan that maximises tax efficiencies and benefits?
Planning for financial freedom and retirement can be a daunting task on your own.
What if you could tap into the wisdom of an experienced finance expert instead of taking the all too common ‘hit-and-hope’ approach?
Many people may be unaware of this…but just like you, 41% of Aussies intend to get financial advice rather than going it alone, according to an Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) report.
Find the right Financial Professional for you with the help of My Money Sorted
When you book a call with My Money Sorted, you’ll:
✓ get a better understanding of your money matters
✓ have an idea of the experts you can call on to help you reach your goals
✓ be matched with the right financial adviser who can help simplify your family’s journey to financial wellness
My Money Sorted is your stress-free pathway to getting ahead with your money.
Here’s what your journey will look like:
Step 1: Start off with a quick money matters session with My Money Sorted
Step 2: Get matched with a licensed Finance Adviser that’s right for your money situation
Step 3: Take the first step towards your money goals with a clear and sound roadmap prepared by an experienced Financial Adviser