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What You Should Bring to Your First Meeting with a Financial Planner

Did you ever wonder what you should bring to your first meeting with a financial planner?  While it may depend on the individual we’ve put together a few items to consider.

According to Market Watch approximately 62 percent of Americans don’t even have $1,000 saved. Getting your finances in order, saving money, and preparing for the future can be an overwhelming task. Meeting with a financial planner is the first step toward organizing your money and building a solid nest egg. The following are the 7 things you should bring to your first meeting with a financial planner.

Current and Projected Income

Make sure to bring a pay stub with you for your first meeting. If your income varies, bring a pay stub for one of the higher as well as one of the lower amounts. While you can’t be certain what your income will be in the future, it will be necessary to make an educated guess regarding your income for at least the next few years.

Assets and Liabilities

This includes the worth of your home as well as how much you may owe on a mortgage. Any type of debt you may have, such as credit card or medical, should be calculated and brought to the first meeting. Also, statements from your 401(k), IRA, and other savings programs should be included. Everything that would be considered a financial asset or liability should be brought to the meeting. Finally, any life insurance policies or wills should be included as well.

All Monthly Expenses

If you don’t already have a budget now is the time to make one. A Gallop Poll revealed that only 1 of every 3 Americans has a detailed budget. It’s essential that you know exactly where your money is going each month. This includes everything from mortgage and utility payments to grocery, phone, and credit card bills. Once your assets, liabilities, and monthly expenses are calculated, your monthly cash flow will be established. This will be the starting point for creating an individualized financial plan.

List of Dependent Family Members 

Besides children, any relatives that you help support and how much financial assistance you provide should be included. It’s important to make sure the planner knows if you have children who are planning to attend college and if any kind of savings plan, such as a 529, has been started.

Health Conditions You May Have

Those who are younger with no known medical conditions will likely require a different financial plan from those who have chronic illnesses. Factoring costs for treatments or medications for known health conditions would be taken into consideration when creating a financial plan. Investopedia states that when preparing for retirement the risks of needing to move to an assisted living facility should be part of the financial planning process.

Personal Information

A financial planner will need to see your driver’s license and any government issued identification such as a passport. The government requires those working for financial institutions to verify the identity of each client. Other personal information would include marital status and any impending life changes you know are in your immediate future. Life changes may include starting a new job or putting your house on the market.

A List of Questions

Just as you would prepare before visiting a physician or lawyer, you should think about questions you’ll want to ask ahead of time. It’s always a good idea to start jotting questions down as they come to mind a few days prior to the meeting with a financial planner. If you have financial goals you specifically want to meet or a target date when you’re planning on retiring, make sure the financial planner is aware of these goals during the first meeting.

Learn more about Members Plus Savings products:
• Certificates of Deposit
Money Market Accounts
Savings Accounts
IRAs

 

Sources

Market Watch – http://www.marketwatch.com/story/most-americans-have-less-than-1000-in-savings-2015-10-06

Gallop Poll – http://www.gallup.com/poll/162872/one-three-americans-prepare-detailed-household-budget.aspx

Investopedia – http://www.investopedia.com/articles/retirement/08/post-retirement-risks-outlive-assets.asp


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