Checklist for a check-in
Perhaps the best relationships between financial advisors and their clients are based on a holistic approach to life planning, in which your hopes, your priorities, and your dreams form the basis of your plan for financial well-being. Helping your advisor understand the choices you make in terms of your lifestyle and your purpose — and how those affect your finances — can be helpful in designing that plan around your specific goals and aspirations.
As you explore ways to plan for the future you envision, consider the following:
- What are you most passionate about?
- Who are the important people in your life? Are there any important events coming up, such as a wedding or the birth of a baby?
- Where are you in your career? Are you happy with your work? Have you recently had, or are you planning, a career change?
- Are there charitable causes or social issues that are important to you? Do you have a sense of how much you feel comfortable contributing to these causes?
- What are some of your favorite activities? Do you have anything coming up in this area, such as a dream vacation? How do you budget for these activities?
- What is your housing situation? Are you planning any changes, such as the purchase or renovation of a home?
- How is your health? Do you or anyone close to you have health concerns? Do you know how much you should budget for healthcare costs?
- How did your parents approach their finances? What were some of the important things that you learned about money when you were growing up? Do you still find these to be true?
- What spending decisions are you making today that you’ll be happy about a year from now?
- What are your most important financial goals? These might include saving for college, planning for income in retirement, or protecting your assets from market volatility. How will these change in the coming years?
- What do you include in your monthly budget? What are your top priorities?
- What do you do when you are facing an unexpected financial challenge?
- What plans do you have in place for financial emergencies?
For purposes of this discussion, “advisor” is used as a general term to describe insurance/annuity, investment sales and advisory professionals who may hold licensing as insurance agents, registrations with broker/dealers, and registrations as investment advisory representatives (IAR) of registered investment advisors, respectively. “Advisor” in this context is not intended to necessarily refer to IAR-offered fee-based financial advisory/planning services.