Utilizing the ACP Process to Address Comprehensive Planning Issues
The Comprehensive Planning Approach Under the Retainer Model
Comprehensive financial planning can mean different things to different people. ACP financial planners address more than just your investments – they assess your overall financial picture in an integrated manner so they can better address your needs and goals. Working with an ACP fee-only financial planner ensures you have ongoing access to your advisor. This also enables you to develop a relationship with your advisor, providing you with ample opportunity to reach your financial goals.
Fundamentals of Financial Fitness
- Review the five fundamentals of financial fitness, which have historically assisted individuals and couples in ultimately achieving financial independence.
- Five fundamentals include establishing an appropriate emergency fund, setting a reasonable savings rate, owning the right-sized home, paying off certain debt, and investing in your career.
- Construct a detailed listing of your assets, liabilities, and investments.
- Use frameworks to assist you in understanding:
- Your asset accumulation status on the path towards positive financial outcomes
- Your mix of assets relative to those typically recommended, based on your accumulation stage
- Identify year-end tax savings opportunities.
- Discuss easy-to-use recordkeeping system for current and future year tax preparation.
- Discuss your previous year’s tax returns.
- Review potential amended tax return opportunities.
- Review current year tax-savings opportunities and prepare tax returns where requested.
- Review your existing insurance policies and employee benefit selections.
- Assess alternatives, including pros and cons of each.
- Make recommendations for changes to mitigate risk in an appropriate manner.
Investment Strategy & Implementation
- Develop specific recommendations for changes to your portfolio, including tax implications, if any.
- Devise implementation plan including relative responsibility between you and your advisor.
- Assess your current education planning needs.
- Develop plan to fund future education costs for yourself, your children, and/or your grandchildren.
- Devise a plan to pay down any existing student loans.
- Review whether you are on track for retirement, and suggest options for helping you improve your path to freedom.
- May include a review of your current cash flow situation.
- Analyze and compare expected retirement income (e.g., Social Security, pension plans), other resources, and retirement spending needs.
- Help bridge the gap from where you are to where you want to be.
- Review any existing wills or trusts and related estate planning documents to assess consistency with current goals.
- Discuss relevance of each estate planning document.
- Devise a plan to revise documents or create new ones when necessary.
- Use the holistic financial planning process to identify what is most important in your life.
- Determine the relative importance of people, places, and things.
- Define financial independence in your own unique terms.