It can be scary to schedule your first financial planning meeting. You may not really know who your advisor is or trust him or her yet (check our guidelines for how to find a fiduciary financial advisor before you sit down with anyone!). You may feel apprehensive or embarrassed about your current finances - many people think they have way too much debt, or they're not saving enough, or they're not making enough money. There's nothing to be embarrassed about. By taking the step to set up a meeting, you've already shown that you're committed to your own financial future. You're exactly the type of client The Du Charme Financial Group is looking for.
Your First Financial Planning Meeting Checklist
When you meet with an advisor from The Du Charme Financial Group, we'll focus on getting to know you, and helping you clarify what your goals and dreams for the future really are.
First, your advisor will ask you some questions, like:
- Your age
- Present income and projected future income
- Current and future financial needs
- Financial goals for the short, mid, and long-term
- Projected expenses
- Your assets and liabilities
- How many children you're responsible for
- Any possible health or external issues that may impact your finances
By spending some time ahead of your first meeting gathering financial documents, you'll equip your advisor with the information he or she needs to help you design the best plan for you and your family. A few documents you'll want to pull out include:
- Tax return and W-2 from previous two years
- Current bank statements (checking, savings, loans)
- Employer pay stubs with 401(k), pension plan, or other retirement information
- Other financial information like alimony, child support agreements, Social Security, etc.
- Insurance statements including coverage and premiums for your auto, health, dental, vision, long-term care, disability, annuity, life, or other types of coverage (don't worry if you don't have these in place yet! That's why you're coming to us.)
- Loan information (education, car, mortgage, etc.)
- Credit card statements
- Investment statements including mutual funds, ETF's, stocks, bonds, IRA's, annuities, etc.
- Personal information including monthly budget, trust/will documents, estate details (again, don't be intimidated if you don't have these things - we're here to help)
If you'd like, you can download and print this checklist to help you prepare.
Pulling It All Together
Another benefit of bringing all of this paperwork to your first financial planning meeting is that we can set up your Personal Financial Website right away. This private, secure portal will help you keep all of your financial information in one place. Additionally, we'll scan all of your documents and upload them into your vault for safe-keeping! As a result, your Personal Financial Website paints a clear picture of where you are today, and offers you tools to manage your financial future.
Now, Let's Look To The Future
Once we've walked through the detail of where you are today, we get to the fun part - dreaming of your future. By sharing your values, hopes, and dreams with your financial advisor, the Du Charme team can design the best plan to get you there. Think of all of your opportunities:
- Start a family
- Retire early
- Purchase a home or vacation home
- Provide a college fund for your kids or grandkids
- Be prepared to care for your aging parents when the time comes
- Purchase a new car, boat, motorcycle, or ATV
- Make sure that your family is taken care of financially should something happen to you
- Start or purchase a business
- Travel the world
These ideas are only the tip of iceberg when it comes to the hopes and dreams of our clients. By helping your financial advisor understand the things that are most important to you, you'll be one step closer to achieving them.
So, you've taken the time and energy to lay out your current financial situation, and talk about your hopes and dreams for the future. Now what? Well, now it's time to design a strategy that fits your life and goals.
First, there are some simple solutions that can be implemented right away to help with short-term goals.
- Feel like there's just not enough money coming in each month to take action? We can help you drill down into your expenses (like auto and home insurance) to see if there's an opportunity to save on a few things to help free up some dollars (don't miss our blog designed for those who fear becoming "premium poor")
- Is credit card debt holding you back? We can help you outline a realistic budget to pay it down
- Are you committed to saving for retirement, but don't feel like you have enough cash left over every month to open an account? We'll help you open an online investing account (it takes 10 minutes, and you can put in as little as $1 to start)
Mid and Long-term priorities
Next, we'll help you identify your most important mid and long-term priorities. If you've just started a family and don't have enough insurance to cover a disaster, we need to address it. If your goal is to retire early, but you haven't looked at your retirement accounts in a few years, we should see if there's a more effective way to help you build wealth.
Finally, we'll set up our follow-up meeting. Your Du Charme Financial Group advisor will put his or her head together with the other experts on our team to develop a unique plan for you and your family. We'll use our combined experience to make sure we've covered all of your bases, and recommend a strategy that will actually help you reach your dreams.
Are You Ready For Your First Financial Planning Meeting?
See, it's not so scary after all! If you're ready to put a plan in place to achieve your dreams, now is the time to make an appointment with one of our experienced Financial Advisors. Contact us to make an appointment - we look forward to listening and learning about you and your family.