The Importance of an Annual Review

Brian Clouden Vice President
Years ago there was an infomercial for a rotisserie oven that seemed to air all the time. The main reason why I remember it is because of the famous tagline “Set it & forget it.” For a lot of items in life, people want to set it and forget it. However when it comes to financial planning you need to have the opposite mindset. A financial plan should be a journey through your life that you periodically revisit.

Why is an annual review important?

A good financial planner will want to establish a regular appointment. Because lives are rarely static, we recommend meeting on an annual basis and in some cases a quarterly or semi-annually basis. The review meeting provides the opportunity to examine the progress of long-term goals. In addition, it is a chance to evaluate changes that have occurred and anticipate short-term changes that may occur. Finally, a review meeting allows for the planner/client relationship and trust to grow through education and achievement.

What should be discussed during a review?

The annual review provides a chance to measure the progress of the client’s goals that were in the original plan. During that time, decisions can be made to make modifications or complete changes to reach the desired goals. Changes might become necessary when life changing events occur that weren’t in the original financial plan. For example a marriage, birth of a child or loss of a job can all require readjustments. Or a financial planner may make recommendations in light of what the market is doing to realign with reaching your desired goals.

Be prepared with a checklist

If you want to be prepared for your annual review ahead of time or to make sure you’re doing the correct steps in between your reviews, here’s a checklist to help you.  Have a list of your assets (retirement accounts, savings)  Have a list of your debts (credit cards, mortgage)  Set your financial goals (short-term and long-term)  Update your financial emergency plan (emergency fund, insurance coverage)  Review your insurance policies and needs  Review your estate plan/beneficiaries
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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