During our initial meeting, we will get to know each other and find out a little bit about your situation and we will cover how our scope and process may assist you in achieving you in your goals. During the meeting we will attempt to answer three questions:
- Would you benefit from having objective financial advice?
- Does each of us feel that we would be a good match to work together?
- Does it make financial sense to engage in the process?
We will answer these questions in the following manner. The first question will be determined through a conversation we will have together and whether you feel that the scope and nature of services of Objective Planning would provide a good mutual fit. The second question will be answered based on how we feel about the prospect of working together. We will be able to determine the final question through Objective Planning providing a good faith estimate for what it will cost us to work together over the coming year. Objective Planning will honor this estimate for the next 90 days after our initial meeting. Should you decide to continue within this 90 day window, Objective Planning will honor this price for working together for the duration of the agreement. If the answer to each of these questions is yes, then you can expect to schedule another meeting and be assigned homework to complete.
Many of our clients are surprised at the level of detail we take in order to get to know you and your goals. We encourage our clients to write out a list of what is important to them in all aspects of their lives and what they are hoping to achieve, experience, or have. For those who may have an artistic bent we further encourage to put together a dream book which is a collection of images or other media that they have of their goals.
The collection of your goals may range from short term to long term and from small to large. By putting these goals out on paper, we believe that not only can these goals can be prioritized and clarified; we believe the chance of these goals being reached increases.
In order to help you achieve your goals we believe that it is extremely important to clarify what exactly it is that you are hoping to achieve and its importance to you.
In order to be able to put together a proper plan of action to take, Objective Planning needs information on your financial situation. This includes:
- A list of income and expenses
- Two past consecutive pay stubs
- Two past consecutive bank statements
- Investment account statements
- Listing of real estate owned
- Listing of privately held businesses
- Listing of personal property and important collections (including but not limited to art, antiques, collectibles, wine, etc.)
- Any commodities held (precious metals, timber, etc.)
- Liabilities (mortgages, student loans, auto loans, credit card statements, etc.)
- Benefits booklets/handbooks from work
- Insurance policies (life, health, disability, long term care, auto & home)
- Two past tax returns
- Estate planning documents (wills, trusts, health care directives, etc.)
Once we have gathered your relevant information, we will ask you clarifying questions and share different concepts that may be useful in terms of helping you achieve your goals. We will cover issues such as cash reserves, your assets and liabilities, risk tolerance for investments, time frames, risk management and tax strategies. Perhaps one of the most important discussions we will have will be centered on your budget.
The financial life blood of any organization ultimately depends on its cash flow. At Objective Planning, we believe that budgeting is probably the single most important aspect of your financial plan. It has been said, “It is not what you make; it is what you keep.” Once we have clarified your goals, we will begin to assist you in the budgeting process. We will compare how you are currently spending your resources with your stated goals and make suggestions on how to help you align your budget with your identified priorities.
During our strategy session we will cover a number of different possible ideas along with the pros and cons of each strategy to focus in on your ultimate plan of action. This is a good opportunity for you to ask questions so that you can understand the actions that will be proposed for the plan.
During this meeting, Objective Planning will present a written financial plan to you that should address a way for you to reach your goals that are practical to reach. Payment for services rendered is expected at this time. You are free to accept or reject any and all recommendations. Please note, that should you decide to follow any or all of the recommendations it is your responsibility to follow up with any professionals necessary for transactions or additional services. Objective Planning provides advice only.
For most people, it takes a period of a year or so to go through and complete the recommendations made in the plan presentation. Objective Planning, LLC will help guide you through the process and help work with other professionals as necessary. Initially, the implementation phase takes place during the same period that we are beginning to monitor and review your progress.
It is important to follow up and update information on the plan. If you elect to have comprehensive financial planning, you can expect to have the option to have three additional meetings to review your progress towards your goals. You may also choose to either renew the annual comprehensive financial planning contract where we would meet for up to four times each subsequent year or merely engage in annual review of your progress.