Fee-Based Financial Planning
From the Merriam Webster Dictionary's definition of "plan:"
2a: a method for achieving an end
b: an often customary method of doing something: procedure
c: a detailed formulation of a program of action
d: goal, aim
3: an orderly arrangement of parts of an overall design or objective
4: a detailed program
“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?"
"That depends a good deal on where you want to get to."
"I don't much care where –"
"Then it doesn't matter which way you go.”
― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
One of our observations about Americans in general is that for most people their finances happen to them. What we mean by this is that people often end up in a financial condition and are not quite sure how they got there. They went to school, went to work, and then life happened. They did not plan to be where they are currently, so they got there without a plan.
Facilitation is probably the best way to describe helping someone create a financial plan. We ask people to complete a questionnaire that requests financial details and information about their wishes, desires and objectives in life. The questionnaire helps lead a discussion that becomes the foundation for a financial plan.
We then use a few programs to help us create a projection of the future and the options available to the client. The client gets to review the information, make on the spot adjustments and review the results. Once the client has refined the picture of what they would like to see in the future, we create an action plan to implement the steps needed to pursue their new plan.