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Financial Planning Process

 

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Financial planning is a dynamic process in which the planner continuously determines the impact of possible recommendations and suggests modifications as changes in the client's circumstances and economic environment require. Although usually described in terms of stages, the financial planning process should be viewed as the coordinated, integrated, and ongoing management of an individual's financial concerns presented as a comprehensive plan.

Plan preparation will usually involve many if not all of the following steps:

1. Clarify the client's current financial situation by collecting and analyzing all relevant financial data including but not limited to the following: tax returns, insurance policies, investments, wills, pension plans, employee benefits, current income, and existing assets and liabilities.

2. Help clients identify both financial and personal goals and objectives. The planner assists in clarifying these goals, which may include funding college education, providing for retirement, or relieving immediate financial pressures.

3. Identify financial problems that create barriers to the client's goals and objectives.

4. Provide a written financial plan. The length and style will vary with the complexity of the individual situation, but will be structured to meet the client's needs and provide a valuable reference tool for both the client and any heirs. A typical financial plan might include:

  • statement of goals and objectives
  • current and projected net worth statement
  • current and projected cash flow requirements
  • standard of living/savings analysis
  • risk management analysis
  • investment analysis
  • income tax analysis
  • financial independence/retirement planning
  • estate planning
  • written recommendations for implementation

 

5. Coordinate the implementation of the plan.

6. Provide periodic review and revision of the plan to assure that client's goals are being achieved. Reassessing the client's financial situation at least once a year to account for changes in the client's life and current economic conditions is essential.

 

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951 Mariners Island Blvd., Suite 300
San Mateo, CA 94404
650.401.3800

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