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Bring Everything With a Number on It!

August 24, 2017

Posted in How We Work

Have you ever wondered why we always ask you to bring so many documents when scheduling an appointment?

  • Current tax return
  • Recent paystub(s)
  • Current investment statements
  • Retirement plan information
  • Life insurance and Long-term care policy information
  • Current Mortgage statement
  • Social Security estimate of benefits statement
  • Bank Statements
  • A list of questions and goals

These items help your planner sift through and organize your financial situation, and give us a better picture of your current situation, and your planning needs. We’ll take all the pieces and put them together for you. Here are a few examples of what your financial planner does with the information you provide.

Taxes:

By reviewing your tax return, your planner can discern if tax deductions were properly taken, and determine the tax bracket you are in.  Sometimes we may even find that your return needs amending.

Paystubs:

As your planner reviews your paystub, they are checking to see if you are withholding sufficient income tax, if you have a retirement plan available, and if you are fully utilizing employer benefits offered.

Investment Statements:

As your planner looks through your statements, he or she is verifying that the registration (title of the account) is correctly captured, reviewing to see if your asset allocation is appropriate for your risk tolerance and time horizon, and also checking fund expenses.

Retirement Plan:

A retirement statement will usually list all the funds available in the plan as well as where to obtain plan information online. Your planner will use this information to make recommendations for re-alignment of your portfolio in keeping with your retirement goals.

Life Insurance & Long-Term Care:

Your planner can review your policies to determine if they are cost effective and if you have adequate coverage in place.

Mortgage Statement:

We look at your mortgage interest rate, monthly payment, escrow payments, and how much equity you have relative to your home value. This helps your planner make recommendations regarding re-financing or calculating an early pay-off if this is your goal.

Social Security Estimate of Benefits Statement:

For retirement planning and projecting retirement calculations, your planner will review your earnings history, see if earnings seem properly reported, or need amending, review survivor’s benefits, and for calculating how you can derive the highest possible benefit.

Bank Statements:

Your planner will review your savings and loan statements to determine the best utilization of savings, make recommendations for loan pay-offs, suggest ways to use extra cash flow towards other goals, and ensure account information is true and accurate.

Questions & Goals:

And finally please bring lots of questions! Your financial planner is highly knowledgeable and a trusted guide. They can help you navigate the steps to achieve your financial goals. Preparing this list in advance will ensure all of your questions and goals are covered in the meeting.

The steps above might sound tedious, but it’s for your benefit. Tasks that seemed complex or overwhelming become simple and streamlined. Your caring specialists are here to help you.

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