Broker Check

Do you need Financial Planning? Questions to consider

| September 24, 2019

Quick Thoughts

Complimentary Phone Call: If you'd rather talk about it than read about it, call me. While I don't actually do Financial Planning without a Written Agreement, I am happy to discuss the process at no charge or obligation.

"Unbundled" - No minimums: Some in the industry combine Financial Planning with other work. While I offer other products and services, I do not require a client do anything else with me. Some prefer a Financial Plan independent of any other things.

Comprehensive Plan or Specific Problem-Solving - You chose: Some who have had a plan done in the past might have been concerned that it was a big thick "book" that wasn't entirely on point. Clients' choice. See link below. If you want to address only a specific problem, we do not have to do work for you that you do not need or want.


As a working CFP® -- Certified Financial PlannerTM, maybe it is no surprise that I feel financial planning has value. But not automatically for everyone.  Here are some questions that many people might need to have answered at some point.


Big Picture

  1. Are we "on track" to meet our critical financial goals?
  2. What adjustments might help us?

Retirement Income

  1. Will I run out of money?
  2. Are Employer Plans [e.g. 401-(k)] the "best" place for me?
  3. Should I understand advantages & disadvantages of other choices available to us?
  4. Should part of my nest egg go into guaranteed (joint) lifetime income?
  5. Might there be some tax savings if I do that with part of my Retirement (qualified) Nest Egg?
  6. Will my spouse run out of money after first death when s/he only receives the larger of the two Social Security payments
  7. Should I / we consider –
    (a) Working longer before retiring?
    (b) Going back to work part-time?
    (c) Looking for a “side gig?”
  8. If the spouse with a pension dies, will the surviving spouse manage with a possibly reduced pension (or none?)
  9. Is life insurance a helpful and realistic choice? (to offset loss of Social Security or pension income?)

Health Care

  1. Will my / our Supplemental Health Insurance cover “enough” of what Medicare does not cover?
  2. Did I sign up for Part B right away?
  3. Or should I now if I didn’t?
  4. How will I /we pay for the cost of Long Term Care?


  1. Can we live in our current home? (Financially? Accessibility -e.g. stairs)
  2. Do we need / want to move? Locally? Long Distance?

Retirement "Nest Egg"

  1. Is the amount of risk in my nest egg “no more than necessary” to meet my critical needs?
  2. Are there assumptions – e.g. interest rates – e.g. future market performance – that might no longer be valid or helpful?
  3. If I / we are making periodic withdrawals of principal (as opposed to just receiving interest,) when and how might we make adjustments should values drop?
  4. Keep on taking the same dollar amount?
  5. Reduce the dollar amount pro-rata?


  1. Do you have?
    Health Care Proxy
    Durable Power of Attorney
    C) Living Will
    Will (& maybe) Trust

    That are valid and accurately communicate your wishes?

  2. Does a Loved One have copies?
  3. Do both spouses / partners know where all the documents are?
  4. Might you also provide digital access – for yourself? (eg if you are traveling?) – for Loved Ones?

Beneficiary Designation Forms:

IRAs and other Retirement Plan monies, insurance and annuities “often / typically” pass to beneficiaries by Beneficiary Designation Forms.

Are your Beneficiary Forms

  1. Complete?
  2. Accurately communicate your wishes?
  3. Do you have copies?
  4. Does a Loved One have copies? Paper? Digital?

Estate Planning

  1. If the Next Generation might inherit a “significant” amount of money, are they all financially prepared to handle a Lump Sum?”
  2. Or do you have anything in place to manage / restrict their access for their own lifetime or extended benefit?
  3. Is it possible for your grandchildren to be “inadvertently disinherited?” (Divorce of a child?)

It's Complicated

  1. Are you in a "Blended Family?"
  2. Are there children - grandchildren etc. who have Special Needs?
  3. Do you need to make individual arrangements that are not mathematically equal for all e.g. children?
  4. Per Stirpes or Per Capita: Will one grandchild from one of your children get an amount that e.g. 4 grandchildren from another child have to split?
  5. Etc.!

No charge for an exploratory introductory phone call

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