In order for us to start the financial planning process for you, it is helpful to have as much of the following information as possible for our first meeting:
- Names, dates of birth and social security numbers for you and your children,
- Home value and mortgage information (rate, term of loan, balance, etc.),
- Most recent investment and bank statements (brokerage accounts, mutual fund statements, etc.) for IRAs and regular, taxable accounts,
- Employer sponsored retirement plan information – investment options, contributions, company matching, etc.,
- Employee benefit information (disability, life and health insurance, etc.),
- Personally-held life and disability insurance information (policies, last statement),
- Copy of any estate planning documents (wills, trusts, power of attorney, etc.),
- Copy of last year’s tax return.
In addition to the above tangible requests, please try to identify your top three to five financial goals, in order of importance – the more definitive and descriptive, the better. The following questions may be of help:
- At what age do you want the option to discontinue working?
- How much (in today’s dollars) would you like to spend (after tax) per month throughout your non-working years?
- Who is dependent upon you? (parents in addition to children?)
- If you are not around to provide for your dependents directly, what do you want your estate to provide? (living expenses plus education funding?)
- Would you be concerned about finances if you were unable to work?
- Do you want to purchase a new home or an additional home in the next three years? How much do you want to spend?
- Do you want to pay for your children’s or grandchildren’s education? All, or part? Private or public? Elementary, high school, undergraduate, graduate?
- Are you concerned about income taxes and/or estate taxes?
- Do you have an established, well-defined investment strategy?