Today’s post is a guest blog post from Kim Waldman, who is our Chief Operating Officer at Stephens Wealth Management Group.
So, you want to make the most of your financial review meeting, but you aren’t sure how? I totally understand and was in that place myself just a few years back. Following are a few of my ideas for making the most out of your meeting.
1. Individually, or with your partner, think about all the key upcoming events or situations that could impact you or your family. These may include:
- Graduations from high school
- Health of a parent or sibling
- Changes in employment
- 2. As you think about these events, what questions might you have for your advisor? Don’t be afraid to ask questions that you think are very basic.
- College planning – How much should we be investing? When should we stop investing? Do we have enough?
- Marital matters – How do we protect our wealth individually or as a couple? We are thinking of separating or divorcing and don’t know what to do financially.
- Health of a parent – What options exist for caring for a loved one? If they pass, what do I need to do? How do we get our family aligned in dealing with the loss of a loved one?
- Changes in employment – Should I transfer my 401(k)? If so, where? I have new benefit options, and I need help understanding what choices to make. What is an HSA, and should I have one?
- Retirement – When can I retire and live comfortably? What do I need to do to prepare for retirement? What is Medicare and what do I need to do to plan for that?
3. Write down your questions and consider emailing or texting them to your advisor in advance. This will give him/her time to prepare for the meeting and provide you more specific, informed advice.
4. If you don’t understand what your advisor is talking about… come on, we’ve all been there, stop them and ask for clarification. Part of an advisor’s job is to help you understand. Really good advisors can explain things to you in layman’s terms.
5. Prepare for the meeting. If you have new benefit options, bring paperwork along. If you have questions about a statement from the Social Security Administration or a provider of Life Insurance or anything else, bring it along.
6. Be sure to bring paper and pencil to document what you learn during the meeting. If you attended the meeting with a partner, review what you each heard after the meeting to validate you both understand and increase your likelihood of remembering what was said.
Any opinions are those of Kim Waldman and not necessarily those of RJFS or Raymond James. The information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee that the foregoing material is accurate or complete.