As important as investment management is to a successful lifetime financial experience, advanced financial planning provides the overarching context for virtually every investment action, as well as other financial decisions. Our advanced financial planning process begins with an in-depth discovery interview and an associated fact-finding project. Understanding personal goals, values, financial history, key relationships and personal interests are the focus of the discovery conversation. From there, the process moves on to the creation of a detailed inventory and analysis of current investments, risk management, and asset protection tools including various insurance coverages, income sources and expense projections, debt arrangements, estate and transfer plans, tax history and other objective fact-finding.
The result of this process is two-fold. First, a thorough picture of a client’s current situation is created. Often, for the very first time, people can see their complete financial landscape in one set of financial statements. In addition, from this current inventory, projections regarding future goals and expectations can be tested and compared to the values and objectives voiced in the discovery conversation. Answers to many questions, including the following can be modeled:
• What level of retirement spending may be sustainable?
• When can I retire?
• Will education goals for children or grandchildren be met?
• Do we have enough insurance if a death, disability or long-term care event occurs?
• Who will get our accumulated net worth according to current documents?
• Are there trust or titling arrangements that would be more beneficial?
• Are there better ways to accomplish our charitable giving goals?
In addition to displaying a thorough picture of current and future financial prospects, the second result of this process is to accelerate the formation of an open and helpful relationship with Foster Group advisers and your other professionals who add expertise and value relative to goals and objectives. We continue to find that the most helpful and understandable solutions to many planning concerns are found in the context of relationships.