As we continue discussing the 6 Step Financial Planning process, we have now got to the planning meeting. You have told me about what you want to achieve, how much it is going to cost and I have got to work on drawing up the initial financial plan. Now it is time to see what your future financial roadmap looks like. What do you need to do to continue enjoying life and achieve your goals.
We run through your objectives to make sure that I haven’t missed anything that you want to achieve. There can be a delay in gathering the data for the lifestyle expenditure questionnaire, so I want to make sure that your objectives haven’t changed between then and now.
I explain how the assumptions work and we all agree with the assumptions used. We use conservative assumptions for our cashflows. There is no point in using unrealistic assumptions as it will have a huge accumulative effect on future cashflows and you will get no benefit from the plan.
We summarise your net worth, confirming the value of all the assets that you currently have. Each asset will accumulate at different rates dependent on which asset class it belongs to.
We confirm the income that you are receiving and will receive in the future. We can scroll forward to retirement age and see where your earned income ends and retirement income starts. It’s all in today’s money, so you have a realistic idea of what that level of money can buy you today.
We confirm all your expenditures that you gave me. We can also see a comparison of income versus expenditure. If there is a surplus income year, I ask if you find yourself with this money in your bank account at the end of the year. If not, you haven’t accounted for all of your expenditure.
All along the way, we can make changes to the figures that are in your financial plan. You can increase, decrease or add in a new category of expenditure at any time during the meeting. It will automatically adjust your financial plan accordingly.
At long last, we look at the lifelong cashflows. Do you have enough money to do all the things that you want to do. If not, what do you need to do?
We also look at this situations under Catastrophe headings of premature death and disability. What does your cashflow look like in those situations and what do you need to do to mitigate the risk.
I hope this gives you a good idea of what it in a financial planning meeting. Remember, it is your plan, not mine, so make as many changes as you want to it. It is important that it does what you want from it.
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