A financial plan is the financial equivalent of a thorough medical physical examination. Not only is it a complete review of all aspects of personal finances but it will show strengths, weaknesses, risks, and opportunities to help develop a plan to address your needs and concerns. It begins with a preliminary consultation to discuss your goals and concerns but will also include basic fact-gathering to determine areas for further discussion and review. Based on the preliminary consultation, the scope and potential areas for further consideration can be determined. It typically encompasses a review of:
- Insurance programs including homeowner's, umbrella coverage, life and disability, and coverages provided in your employer program
- Tax planning including risks and opportunities in your current and projected tax status
- Investment management reviewing how your current profile matches your stated risk profile and adequacy given stated goals
- Education and retirement funding, appropriateness of investments, time horizons, and adequacy
- Coordination of employee benefit programs
- Need for estate planning
A plan should not be static. Your needs and goals will change over time as will tax codes, benefit programs, government plans, social security, etc. The plan should be reviewed from time to time to determine whether it is appropriate given the current economic, tax, and investment climate as well as changes in your personal situation.