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Strategies to Make the Most of Your Financial Planner Relationship

Due to impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy, individuals may look to cut expenses or may reassess the importance of working with a financial planner. It’s common to evaluate a financial planner primarily by investment performance, but there are many more benefits to the guidance a CFP® professional provides.

Establish Goals and Find Peace of Mind

Financial planners want to help their clients meet their goals and have financial peace of mind. Establishing a tax efficient retirement savings plan is the most common goal, but planners can also review college savings strategies and estate planning. It is a CFP® professional’s intention to meet client objectives and support the client’s sense of financial well-being. The client and planner should mutually agree on goals, with a focus on making them realistic and reflective of the client’s values.

Understand Legislative Changes

2020 began with the new SECURE Act, which enacted numerous changes to retirement investments. COVID-19 then changed the whole world. In response to the nationwide economic chaos resulting from the virus, the CARES Act was passed. With its numerous provisions, the CARES Act provides financial planning opportunities for individuals and small businesses. A CFP® professional can answer questions, review updated projections and provide adjusted guidance.

Navigate the Impact of Technology

The technological tools available to advisors are ever-changing. The days of simply processing stock trades are over. Financial planners now have access to tools that assist with portfolio rebalancing, tax-loss harvesting, current year income tax projections and, most importantly, forecasting for retirement income and other goals. Many of these tools have a client interface making the information available to end users in real time.

Focus on the Financial Data

A CFP® professional considers all of the client’s financial data to design a plan of action that will match the client’s current financial position to their future financial goals. The management of client accounts is important, especially when balancing life status and risk tolerances in investment strategy. Cash flow, expenses, income taxes, insurance analysis and estate planning also impact the development of a financial plan.

Communication is Key

Communication and transparency are critical to a successful financial planning relationship. Financial planners should inform clients how they intend to communicate outside of the annual review. Communicating accessibility is important, so clients know when planners are available if questions arise.

During this trying time, financial planners are connecting with the public regarding investment strategy, retirement planning, tax strategies and critical small business assistance. Getting the most out of a relationship with a financial planner means getting more than investment advice. A financial planner should guide their clients in coordinating all parts of one’s financial life to identify goals and find peace of mind.

If you are interested in building a financial plan to meet your goals but don’t know where to start, a CFP® professional can help. Use the Find a CFP® Professional tool to locate an advisor.

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