If you have financial goals, you should have a written financial plan. Here are a few questions I like to ask...
- Does the client have an emergency fund of 3-6 months expenses? How is it invested?
- Is the client a spender or a saver? Start by creating a budget to see where your hard earned money is spent. Consider using a budgeting software program.
- People are living longer. Does the client have a pension? If so, are there benefits for the surviving spouse?
- Is the client on track for retirement?
- Is the client saving at least 10-15% of income each year?
- What is the best method of saving? This may include a combination of 401k, Roth 401k, IRA, Roth IRA, SEP IRA, SIMPLE IRA, and taxable savings
- Has the client funded educational goals? What is the best method for funding?
- Does the client panic? Volatility is a normal part of investing. An all cash portfolio is susceptible to inflation risk.
- Is the client properly diversified? Asset classes can go in and out of favor over time.
- How does the client handle risk?
- Does the client own a home? How much debt do they have? What are the terms of their debts?
- Is the client correctly taking advantage of their employer’s benefit plan?
- Does the client have a will? Durable power of attorney? Health Care directive? Trust? Has anything materially changed since these documents were drafted?
If you don't have the answers to these questions or you're not sure if you have the right answers, I encourage you to schedule a time to meet with me.