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By Pam Leibfried
Yesterday, I wrote about how I recently decided to get more serious about my financial plan, and I described the process I went through in selecting a financial consultant to advise me about my plans for retirement. But once you’ve selected one (or found several financial planners you want to meet with to “audition”), what’s next? Obviously, you need to make an appointment to see him/her.
Bonus tip: When you make that appointment, be sure to confirm their consultation fees, if any. All of the consultants with whom I met offered free initial consultations, but that isn’t always the case, so ask when you call to ensure that you aren’t in for an expensive surprise when you meet. We’ll talk more about how fees should figure into your decision-making about retirement investments in a future post.
But what do you need to bring to your first meeting? Some consultants will make it easy for you by giving you a financial summary form to fill out in advance of the meeting. But even if the consultant doesn’t ask you to fill out such a form, you should gather some pieces of key information and take them with you when you meet. Having as much information as possible will enable the consultant to develop a plan that is better customized to the specifics of your unique financial circumstances.
Bonus tip: If you use a personal financial management (PFM) app, it’s easy to pull together most of the info you’ll need. For my meetings, I printed out the net worth page from the Alliant Budgeting and Money Management Tool via Online Banking and the summary pages from my 401(k) website and I was all set.
I wish you the best of luck in finding a professional to help you with a financial plan. As I mentioned, I ended up with a Financial Consultant with Alliant Retirement and Investment Services. If you’re interested in meeting with one of Alliant’s consultants, you can find their contact information at alliantcreditunion.com.
Stay tuned for upcoming articles on some of the lessons I learned when reviewing my investments with the consultants with whom I met, including my decisions on my 401(k), my defined-benefit retirement (pension) account, and choosing my new investment vehicles.
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