Helping your clients spring clean their financial plans

May 19, 2017 by Steph Kotlarek

A financial advisor has a spring meeting with her client.

about the author:

Steph Kotlarek

Business development representative

Steph began her career at Advicent as a mid-market business development representative after returning from the Peace Corps in Costa Rica. Steph is passionate about FinTech and developing her career in the financial industry.

Spring is here and it is time to do some cleaning up. Cleaning out closets and drawers, we have gotten rid of junk that we have not looked at since last year. The garage finally has enough space for a car or two. We feel a weight lifted off our shoulders as our lives have just become a bit more organized and in order. So what is the next step? Tidying up those financial plans!

Oftentimes, clients may think that once they have a plan put together with an advisor that they are good to go. The plan that was originally created together made sense and goals were within reach.

What needs to be kept in mind is that although the “plan” may have made perfect sense when it was started, life happens, things can fall out of whack, and priorities change. As an advisor, you can remind your clients of this; touch base and keep the plan relevant.

What needs to be reviewed

Budget

Very often, clients will severely underestimate their monthly spending. They might tell you they spend $300 a month eating out when in reality, their statements tell you it is closer to $900.

Helping your clients to understand what they are spending can often be a determining factor in the success of a financial plan. Is more going out than coming in? Where does spending need to be adjusted? These numbers will not be consistent over the lifespan of a financial plan. Incomes and expenses will always fluctuate.

Coverage

As major life events happen, clients may need a nudge in the right to remain properly covered. Whether this be a new home, a marriage, a baby, insurance coverage is an important topic to cover to ensure financial security if an unplanned event occurs. Maybe not the most glamorous conversation, but a necessary one. Help your clients understand the impact of unexpected events and how they can protect themselves.

Goals

You work with your clients to build a financial plan to be sure they can achieve their goals, whether short- or long-term. Touching base regularly with your clients will help them understand if they are still on track. Are they being achieved? Are they still on track to meet these goals? Are there new goals that have taken priority? Will they still be able to retire as soon as they had hoped? Help your clients stay on top of their goals and find success in their future aspirations.

Walk through their plans together on an annual basis and make adjustments accordingly. Allowing your clients to view their plans regularly will allow regular communication and help to keep their goals and overall plan relevant and up to date

Click here to learn more about how technology can help your clients stay engaged and up to date with their financial plan.