Clients, when we say “plans” and “planning,” what exactly is it that we’re talking about? From Day 1, our conversations center on you: your goals, your concerns, and how your life and your money work together. So planning, we believe, includes any and all topics that affect your financial wellbeing.
Our planning services are included as part of our process working with clients. Some investment advisory shops do bill separately for time spent selling “Financial Plans,” so it bears mentioning that we do not.
Instead, we tend to use wide-ranging planning conversations throughout our relationship. They’re handy when we’re first meeting each other, and they give us useful talking points over time, like when we’re reconnecting at or in between our annual reviews.
Not every client will bring up the same topics or concerns, but generally, people’s questions tend to focus on some similar desires. Maybe some of these statements resonate with you:
- “I want to figure out how to organize my finances.”
- “I want to feel like I’m financially secure, independent, or free.”
- “I want to be able to support the life I want to live.”
- “I want to be able to create the legacy I have in mind.’”
These desires are not universal, and they’re not necessarily linear. Not everyone moves through them like one step to the next, and sometimes we loop back around to revisit them again and again. And they take some thoughtfulness to maintain.
But you might notice these four items do capture some trends and progressions. They cover a range of chapters in our lives—from getting started, to getting a grip on things, and then to getting what we want out of the whole deal. Once we know where we are in the process, it can be easier to get down to the details.
Consider some examples.
“I want to figure out how to organize my finances.” Does my monthly cash flow comfortably cover my outlays? Where does my time and money go right now? How is my job or career outlook? What are some good first steps for me given where I am?
“I want to feel like I’m financially secure, independent, or free.” Do I have what I need in terms of an emergency fund and a support network? What demands affect my cash flow now and in the near-future? What financial challenges and financial goals can I anticipate in the coming chapters of my life?
“I want to be able to support the life I want to live.” Am I living where I’d like to live? Working how I’d like to work? Enjoying what I’d like to enjoy? How do my saving, spending, and investing align with what I want now and what I want later?
“I want to be able to create the legacy I have in mind.” What’s on my heart? What estate or charitable considerations are on the horizon? What opportunities have presented themselves? What impact would I like to have?
Clients, our operation is continuing to grow, and we need to be able to serve you not only in the months and years ahead—but for the decades ahead! Your beneficiaries and the generations to come will be better served if we’re thinking about how this work persists beyond any one of us.
That’s why we’re taking the time here to try to define our terms.
It’s important that we’re on a common mission here. Financial planning prompts like these aren’t a script, and they aren’t something that will be “one-size-fits-all.” Instead, they give us a jumping off point. They give us somewhere to start from or begin again—together.
Are we due for a conversation? Call the shop or send us a message, anytime.
Want content like this in your inbox each week? Leave your email here.
Play the audio version of this post below: