You’ve made the decision to engage a Financial Planner, the meeting is all booked, but you just don’t know where you’re going to need to start.
You’re not alone. Unravelling your financial circumstances with a complete stranger may feel overwhelming at first. But there are a few things you can do to ensure you feel prepared and get the most out of your first meeting.
First and foremost, don’t go in empty handed! Take some time to review your income sources and expenses.
“The word income can mean so many different things to different individuals,” Financial Planner Robyn Hatch says.
Income information could include the following:
- your most recent pay slip, including details of leave entitlements and long service leave
- your business activity statement
- statement of any rental property income
- share statements
- retirement income including any Superannuation
- and any applicable Centrelink entitlements.
For your first meeting with a Financial Planner, you won’t need to provide immaculate detail of all your living expenses.
“Keep it simple. Provide information on your home mortgage, rent, credit cards and car loans, the rest can come later,” Hatch says. “Providing this information as a basis, allows for a more meaningful initial discussion.”
Remember this is a step towards your financial future. Don’t get overwhelmed by the financial highs and lows you’ve had in the past. “In Financial Planning, we don’t look back, we look forward. We’re interested in what the client wants to achieve in the future, and look at the client’s current financial situation as the starting point.” Hatch says.
Make sure you’ve given some thought to your lifestyle goals for the future. Are you happy with your current lifestyle and want to ensure you can maintain it? Or are you willing to change some areas in order to meet new goals? To help you on your way with planning your future goals – check out our January Blog here on ‘How to start achieving your 2017 financial goals’.
Finally, your Financial Planner must be someone you feel comfortable with and can relate to. If your first meeting feels like a flop, be sure to look around for another suitable planner. It will be worth it in the long run!
“Ultimately a good Financial Planner will endeavour to educate their client and make them feel more comfortable with the financial world, to empower them to make informed decisions on their financial future.” Hatch added.
Robyn Hatch is an authorised representative of Wealth Management Matters Pty Ltd ABN 34 612 767 807 AFSL 491619.