Why Your Financial Planner Should Be CertifiedSeptember 4, 2018 1:21 pm
Whether you are just starting to think about your financial future or your are already on a path, it’s important to know what you are getting from your financial planner. That may be different depending on their experience, certification and expectations set forth by a board, or not.
In this article we’ll discuss the differences between hiring a Certified Financial Planner and the benefits to you, what you can expect from your Planner, the different stages of life and what you can expect in those stages for financial planning, our four step process to get you started, and finally we’ll review a few tips so you can be ready and get the most out of your first meeting.
Certified vs Not
You may be asking yourself why does it matter to have a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) vs. a Financial Planner. Aren’t they the same? Here’s the difference.
Certified Financial Planner
- Certified is in their job title, because
- They’ve fulfilled requirements set by the Certified Financial Planner Board, and
- Passed a certification exam.
- They’re required to follow strict ethical standards, and
- Must have several years of experience.
- There is no board to oversee and set requirements.
- They did not have to pass a certification exam.
- They may or may not follow ethical standards, or
- Have relative experience.
Hiring A Certified Financial Planner Can Benefit You
Just about anyone can hold the title of financial planner but that doesn’t mean that they’ve completed the Certified Financial Planners Board’s requirements to call themselves a Certified Financial Planner professional.
In order to become a Certified Financial Planner one must have several years experience related to financial planning services and pass a comprehensive Certified Financial Planner Certification Exam.
In addition, Certified Financial Planners have to have fulfilled the Board’s requirements and uphold strict ethical standards to ensure they are providing you with financial recommendations that are in your best interest.
Financial planning is a dynamic process as your financial goals and needs develop and change. Throughout life there are bound to be changes in lifestyle and circumstances such as inheritance, career changes, marriage, house purchases or a growing family. Having a seasoned and well-trained certified professional by your side, providing you with the highest standard of financial planning should leave you feeling confident about your financial planning path and decisions.
What Will A Certified Financial Planner Do For Me?
Certified Financial Planners have been trained and are experienced to help you navigate the uncertainty in life while giving your financial clarity for your future. When working with a Certified Financial Planner you can expect to develop a sound financial plan that will help you achieve:
- A plan to accumulate money efficiently
- How to generate maximum income
- How to protect your assets
- The best ways to transfer money to loved ones
What Planning Looks Like In Different Stages of Life
You may be fresh out of high school or college, starting your life as an adult. Believe it or not, it’s not too early to get on the right financial path. At this stage of life you’ll look at:
- Merging finances with a loved one
- Managing student debt and balancing your budget
- Set short- and long-term career goals
- Establish and maintain good credit
- Consider health care options
- Purchase a car and/or house
In this stage you are growing as an adult and you may want to put roots down, purchase a home, start a family. What does that look like for your financially? When you sit down with a Certified Financial Planner during this stage of life you’ll review:
- Purchasing a home
- Starting to grow your family
- Planning for education; from daycare costs to college tuition
- Consider life insurance options
- Start planning and saving for retirement
- Develop a savings for vacations
You’re knee deep in your career and family life. You’ve established yourself and are ready to think long-term. During this stage you and your Planner will look at:
- Determining your best tax strategies
- Fortifying your retirement savings
- Planning for the cost of college
- Looking after your kids and taking care of aging parents
- Investing in a second home
- Preparing for the unexpected circumstances of life
Maybe you’ve maxed out your 401(k) and paid of your mortgage, so are you ready to retire? In order to make sure you are on the right path to retirement you and your Certified Financial Planner will review:
- Retirement income and how to make your money last
- Develop your estate plan
- Consider long term care for later in life
- Determine your health care needs
- May financially empower your children
- Take the steps necessary toward early retirement
Finally, it’s here! It’s time to enjoy your hard work. For many this means more time with friends, family and hobbies. It’s important to keep checking in with your Certified Financial Planner to ensure that everything is running smoothly. Together you’ll keep an eye on:
- Ways to make the most of your retirement
- If you will want to flex your philanthropic muscle
- Help your children plan to manage their inheritance
- Review insurance needs after the age of 60
- Explore how to finance long-term care
- Maintain your estate plan
Every stage of life comes with powerful and exciting steps to planning for your future. Early in your adult life it may seem like you have so much time. You may forget that you should put a financial plan in place. However, depending on the life you want to live up until retirement, how you want to assist your family, and how you want your retirement to look, enlisting the help of a certified professional is a sure fire way to get you on the right track and take an in-depth look at your finances and goals.
To Begin: The Life Enjoyment ExperienceTM
At Tranel Financial Group we’ve developed a simple four step plan to start the financial planning process and help organize your thoughts about your life and what you expect as your lifestyle and circumstances grow, develop and change.
Step 1: The Exploration
This step will give you the opportunity to see how we are different than other firms. During this kick-off meeting your Certified Financial Planner will ask you questions to gain insight to your unique situation and then advise you about the next possible steps to take. If you feel comfortable with your Planner then you’ll move forward to the next meeting.
Step 2: The Discovery
Here we will take an in-depth look into your unique situation. By the end of the meeting both you and your Certified Financial Planner will understand where you are financially, what goals you want to accomplish and develop a plan on how to get you there.
Step 3: The Map and Guide
This is your personal action plan and will clearly define the steps necessary for your to meet your financial and life goals. Your Certified Financial Planner will provide you with the guidance necessary to implement this plan along the way.
Step 4: The Faithful Watch
Once you’ve become a client and are taking steps towards enjoying a better life your Certified Financial Planner will keep a faithful watch over you to help ensure you are successful and your plan continues to stay on track. Life changes and knowing you have a partner to help guide you through market fluctuations, economic cycles, tax and estate law changes as well as changes in your objectives and personal situation is a welcome feeling.
Our team of financial professionals takes our fiduciary responsibility very seriously and will guide you through whatever comes your way.
Get The Most Out Of Our First Meeting
We understand that financial planning may seem intimidating but that’s why we're here and we love this stuff, which means we’ll make it easy for you. Here are a few tips that may help get the most out of our first meeting together.
- Set Aside Some Time: Don’t be in rush. This is an important step to sharing your finances and goals with your planner. Be prepared for a lengthy discussion.
- Think About Your Goals: We’re going to want to know what you have in mind for your future. What are your short-term and long-term goals? Also, think about how you’d prioritize them.
- Be An Open Book: In order for your Certified Financial Planner to be able to provide you with a well-guided financial plan they’ll need a comprehensive understanding of your financial life as well as your attitude towards risk and experience with money management.
- The Details: Your planner will present you with a process for developing your financial plan. Before your continue, make sure you understand fees and details of your working relationship.
Are You Ready To Meet Your Certified Financial Planner?
Sitting down face to face with a professional is the best way to see if they are a good fit for your goals, and to get a better understanding of what and how they can provide services to set you up for a financial plan that will work with your current life situation and guide you to where you want your life to be.