Financial plans should never be static. A strong plan adapts to your circumstances and needs as they grow and change. It’s one of the core reasons why we don’t offer one-time financial planning. To make sure you stay on track for your long-term goals, we analyze your circumstances at least annually and update your plan where necessary. More frequent updates might be required depending on the size and scope of the changes. Many factors come into play when revising your plan, more than you might think.
Where Do We Start?
The first thing we review are notes from your advisory team. These records indicate if you have already communicated with your advisor about changes in your life as they occur. Once we’ve reviewed notes and other documentation within your account, we will thoroughly analyze your finances and update your financial plan accordingly. Alongside assessing prior documentation, we will reevaluate recent transactions within your investment accounts.
This preliminary work and analysis often help us connect the points between your previous financial plan and an updated one.
What Are We Looking For?
When updating your plan, we look for specific information. Here are some of the items we often need to update regularly:
• Family circumstances
• Account and loan balances
• Property tax and expense adjustments
• Detailed cash flow overview
• Contributions to retirement accounts
• Savings, transfers, and gifting
All of these items play a crucial part in updating your financial plan. If anything changes, including financial habits, our financial planners and advisors work together to adjust your plan to reflect those changes.
General living expense is often the hardest data point to nail down. While we usually have access to the investment accounts we manage, without dynamic connections to the accounts you spend from regularly it can be hard to narrow down your exact expenses. These are topics we can cover in our annual meeting and adjust where needed.
How Do We Use This Information?
Once we’ve obtained updated information, we will walk our clients and prospects through a projection of their plan. Having accurate core data allows us to review and discuss critical transitions and strategies. At this time, we can review changes to retirement expectations, social security claiming strategies, and even analyze how a future estate will transition to loved ones. Additionally, we can dive deeper into specific calendar years and events to optimize long-term recommendations.
The Bottom Line
Your financial plan will never be a one-and-done process. We will continually adjust on your behalf to make sure your plan grows with you. If you are still curious about how or why we frequently revise your plan, consider scheduling a discovery meeting with us. We’d love to discuss the importance of perpetual guidance when it comes to financial planning.