If you haven’t had a financial planning appointment before, you might be wondering what actually happens once you meet your planner.
Financial planning is about understanding all aspects of your financial life and developing a strategy to help get yourself in a better financial position.
While we can’t speak for all financial planners, we can fill you in on how an appointment with a Vision Super financial planner would pan-out.
Before your first appointment
Map out your current financial situation
It pays to do a bit of homework before your first appointment because it’s difficult to plan for the future if you don’t have a clear picture of your current situation. Your planner will probably ask you to fill out a questionnaire or list information that could help, such as:
- Your income
- Your assets
- Your expenses
- Your insurance cover
- Your will
In Vision Super’s case, we’ll send you a questionnaire that covers this information and ask that you fill in as much as you can before your first appointment. Your planner can then help you complete the rest.
The main thing is that you think about what your financial goals are – such as growing your super, paying off a debt, or building wealth.
Write a list of questions
Preparing a few questions will help you get to know your planner and the financial planning process. There are no silly questions, ask anything you’d like to know. We’ve come up with a few examples to help you get started:
• What’s your background and experience giving financial advice?
• How much will financial advice cost?
• What can I do to improve my current financial situation?
• How can I grow my super before retirement?
• What are the possible risks of different strategies?
• How can I access my super when I retire?
Your first appointment with a Vision Super financial planner will probably take around 1-2 hours, and it’s free of charge. This time can vary depending on where you seek financial advice.
You and your planner will talk about which areas of your finances their advice will cover, and let you know how much the advice will cost. Your planner will also discuss risk with you, and together, you’ll decide on a financial strategy that suits your circumstances and tolerance to risk.
You and your planner will build a clear picture of where you are now, and where you want to be. They’ll avoid the jargon and make sure you understand everything.
It is then up to you to decide if you’d like your planner to go away and create a financial plan (Statement of Advice). By the end of the appointment you should feel confident that your planner has enough knowledge about you to do this, and you know about all the costs associated with this next stage.
After your first appointment
Your planner will use the information you gave them to prepare your Statement of Advice. They will present the plan to you and will the discuss time frames for implementing the different stages of your plan.
You can have your plan reviewed when your circumstances change but there may be additional costs involved.
Should you reconsider you financial planner?
If you walk out of your financial planning appointment even more confused than before, you might like to consider a different planner.
You should never feel pressured to sign any documents or to take up a particular product. You should feel confident that your planner has listened to you, understands your needs, and that your plan works in your best interests.
If you’d like to find out more about Vision Super financial planning, head to www.visionsuper.com.au/advice. Our highly qualified planners never receive commissions or bonuses so we can guarantee their advice will always be in your best interests.