Financial Planning Services

Here are the six key elements that should be addressed when creating your own personalized financial plan:

Long-term goal planning (retirement, education, etc...): Hopefully, your conversation with Normandy Wealth Management will involve an extensive discussion of your personal long-term goals. Most plans do a good job of projecting out the likelihood of achieving these goals and providing suggestions for how to get there faster. The best financial plans will first make sure you’re taking full advantage of existing planning mechanisms like a workplace 401(k) or 403(b), health savings accounts and 529 college savings plans as part of this step. Most planners fail to address these vehicles because they don’t make money off the savings you direct that way, but they should be included.

Financial statement preparation and analysis: The first step in any true financial plan involves getting the full picture of what you have (assets), what you owe (liabilities), what you’re worth (assets minus liabilities), what’s coming in (income), what’s going out (expenses) and how it’s being paid for (cash flow). Any CPA can tell you that these are also the basics of a business’s financial report. As your financial advisor, we believe this information is crucial to a successful plan.

Emergency fund and debt management: Stemming from the financial statements is a determination if you have enough set aside to weather a financial emergency and a look at whether you are managing your debts in the most financially efficient way. Many financial planners jump straight to investments, ignoring the fact that clients may be racking up high interest credit card debt while earning much less in stock market returns. Before you invest in the market, you should have an emergency fund of 3 – 6 months of expenses set aside and you should be free of any high interest credit card debt. A financial plan that doesn’t at least check for these two foundational pieces of financial security is not complete.

Income tax planning: This area is often neglected because financial planners are typically not tax preparers and you can’t expect to receive tax advice from a financial plan. But a complete plan will account for your tax bracket while examining the taxation of things like any large built-in capital gains and will maximize tax savings on any suggested investment plans. This is one area where a financial plan can really add value by saving you money.

Investment planning: Because many financial plans are created with the goal of gathering investable assets from clients, a large focus of many will be on investing. A true financial plan should absolutely include a robust section on investments, and it should be customized for your time horizon, risk tolerance and return objectives. A real plan should also include recommendations for (or at least consideration of) any savings held in your 401(k) or other accounts that the financial planner may not be able to manage for you.

Risk management: This is another heavy area of focus, especially for plans that are prepared by insurance companies, but it’s not just about life insurance. Risk management includes all types of insurance as well as estate planning. A real financial plan will include a review of any property insurance such as home owners and auto, while also ensuring you have a proper estate plan in place.

As you can see, many of the areas that are covered in a financial plan are crucial to the overall success of your plan. At Normandy Wealth Management, we are using the #1 ranked software in the industry (MoneyGuidePro) to offer several suggestions for changes or improvements. Some of those suggestions may include product recommendations, but with our role as an independent financial advisor, it requires that any such recommendations be truly the best option out there for you.

Please contact us to start your customized plan right away.