If you’re looking to plan for your financial future, there is no better way to do that than getting help from an expert. A professional financial planner can help you get on track financially and spend the time to go over all of your options and opportunities. To help prepare you for your initial meeting, here are a few tips:
Gather Financial Documents
Your financial professional will need a few documents to assess your current situation. Make sure you bring the following:
- Latest account statements (IRAs, 401(k)s, 529s, savings)
- Information about other investments or assets you may have (e.g., stocks, real estate)
- Compensation details (pay stubs, pensions, employer benefits statements, Social Security, inheritance)
- Monthly expenses (credit cards, mortgage or rent, loans, other bills)
- Tax returns for the past two or three years
- Insurance policies
- Estate planning information (trust, will, life insurance)
Be Prepared to Share Your Financial Goals
Give your financial planner an idea of what you’d like to achieve, by writing down your financial goals and prioritizing them. Some questions you may ask yourself include:
- When do you want to retire?
- What do you want to do when you retire?
- Where do you want to live when you retire?
- Do you need to set aside money for your children?
- Do you need to save for a down payment on a home?
- Do you have loans or debt to pay off?
- Do you have an emergency fund?
Create a List of Questions
At your meeting, you should ask as many questions as possible to ensure the financial professional can handle all your needs. Write your questions down in advance and bring them with you. Some questions to consider asking include:
- What is my current financial situation?
- Am I on track with my retirement savings?
- Can I adjust my plans to retire if something in my life changes?
- Is my portfolio diversified enough to meet my financial goals?
- Is there anything missing from my financial plan?
- When should I change my financial strategy?
- How will my investments affect my taxes?
- When should I review my beneficiary information?