David J. Perrotto
5 things to do before you meet with your advisor to make your meeting productive
One thing that you can be sure your financial advisor will talk about? Retirement. 99.99% of all advisors talk about retirement with client’s. And for good reason, most clients are afraid they will outlive their money. The first step of solving this problem of course is talking to HR about your benefits. Surprisingly, many people have no idea what their retirement match is, or if they are contributing towards that match. It's a good idea to spend some time figuring out what you already have in place when it comes to your benefits. That includes retirement matching, of course, but also group life insurance/disability, health-care, and Health Savings Accounts, to name a few. And it’s easy to do: Just place a call to your HR department contact or login to your benefits site.
Make sure you’re on the same page with Family Members
Your loved ones will have a big impact on your financial goals and misfortunes. Some examples include; have you discussed with a spouse how much of your child's education you plan to fund? Does mental illness run in your family? Have you thought about long term care? What will you use your annual tax return for? Have either of your parents saved enough for retirement or will they need your financial support? All of these things determine how much you need to save and how you will save it. If you can think of these issues beforehand, your advisor can then better plan around them.
Work Out Money Issues with your spouse
Disagreeing with your spouse over finances? To a degree, a financial advisor can help you sort through your biggest hurdles, such as disagreements over budgeting, saving, and spending. Do the potential advisor and yourself a favor and have a one-on-one conversation with your partner before you go on the financial interview process. You want to make sure you are both on the same page with as many issues as you can, before you even sit down with a potential advisor. There’s nothing worse than finding something out from your spouse that you vehemently disagree over in the initial meeting.
This isn’t necessary, but it could definitely help to streamline your first session with an advisor. Going digital makes it much easier to have a plan in place, and makes client’s feel much more organized.
It also makes it easier to input into financial plans, plus it allows you to pull up specifics of plan/accounts much easier. With everything backed up to the cloud now, you basically create a backup forever.
Managing your money is most likely the most important thing for you, but you should allow yourself to have some fun too! So, if your heart still races when you think about your finances, try a light, fun activity to help put things in perspective.
These are some simple tips to have in mind and get done before you meet with your financial advisor. This will give you, your family members, and spouse a good understanding of what you have to prepare for when you eventually sit down with an advisor.