3 tips to get the most out of your meeting with a financial planner

Jeffrey Haxton Certified Financial Planner™
As we’ve mentioned before, our firm believes it’s important to meet with a financial planner at minimal on an annual basis. As a financial planner I want to make sure you get the most out of your meeting. No matter if it’s your first meeting or your 50th meeting I want to make sure you walk away with something new you’ve learned. However in order to get the most out of a meeting, it is beneficial to be prepared. Here are three tips that I believe will help make your financial meeting a positive experience.

Three ways to get the most out of your financial planning meeting

1. Have goals

The best way to plan for your meeting is to think about what you want to accomplish. Do you have needs or goals that need to be met in a certain time frame? Or are you planning ahead for what you want your retirement to look like? Each situation is different so coming to the table with a clear vision makes it easier to figure out which path is right for you. Before the meeting ask yourself a few questions such as: • At what age would I like to retire? • What do I envision doing during retirement? • Who will be my beneficiaries? By coming with a vision of what you want, you’ll be able to get the most out of your meeting

2. Bring Information

It is difficult for a financial planner to be able to assist in providing direction without knowing a starting point. Sometimes there are challenges that need to be resolved before there is a clear path to accomplishing your goals. It is helpful to bring important information to meetings, especially for the first meeting. Each financial planner can give you specific guidance on what documents you should bring but we typically ask for: • Last year’s tax returns, current wills/trusts. • Copy of bank statements, IRA, stocks/bonds or retirement plans. • Any life, disability or other insurances. • Any data on money owed. For your annual meetings you should bring in any updates or changes to any of this information so your financial planner is continuously updated. This will help to make sure your goals will be met.

3. Ask Questions

Don’t treat your meeting with a financial planner as a one-way conversation. This is your opportunity to get professional advice on your financial situation. If this is your first meeting, it’s a great way to determine if the financial planner is a good fit for you. Any good financial planner will take time to answer your questions. Prepare a couple questions so you walk away with a better understanding of who you’re investing with. Some helpful questions to ask are: • The services they offer. • How they get paid. • How they manage and evaluate your investments. You should feel comfortable and have a basic understanding when you walk out of your meeting.
For more information on preparing for your first (or next) financial meeting, listen to my interview with Clay Moden on 106.5FM WYRK.

You can catch our weekly Plan.Protect.Invest. segment live on WYRK 106.5FM at 7:20am every Wednesday. Each week we will have a Sgroi Financial planner on with Clay Moden and the WYRK morning show to discuss financial topics to educate and help their listeners. Since 1971, Sgroi Financial has proudly served Buffalo, NY and the Western New York community from our West Seneca location.

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