Financial life planning is about understanding your money mindset by uniting your personal values and your relationship with money to create the best version of your life.
Many financial advisors approach personal finance strictly by the numbers – budgets, insurance, investment returns, taxes, etc. As important as that information is to your financial plan, it is just as important to create a financial life plan defined by you, your family, and your values that will reach beyond your personal investments, saving and spending. Financial life planning asks some additional questions that you may not think about every day, such as:
“What do you value most, right now?”
“What would provide the greatest satisfaction in your life?”
“How do you define success in your working life, family life, and your financial life?”
Financial life planning will help you better focus on your goals, understand what it will take to reach them, and discover how your emotions and past memories with money affect the way you make financial decisions.
One of the main benefits of having a comprehensive financial life plan is to help you balance and prioritize your goals – for example, saving for your children’s college education, might impact another important goal like saving for retirement. As your wealth increases the number of goals you strive to achieve may increase as well (investing, philanthropy, vacation property, etc.) making the need for a comprehensive financial life plan even more important.
A fiduciary is a professional who looks out for your benefit instead of their own. It may come as a surprise that not all financial professionals are obligated to put your needs ahead of theirs. Some may only sell their company’s products, or products with high commissions, while some financial professionals may not even be in the business of providing financial advice, but are instead financial product salesmen.
At Paragon Financial Partners, we hold ourselves to a fiduciary responsibility, ensuring your interests are held above our own. We are independent of any bank, brokerage, or insurance company and are not required to sell any specific company’s product or services.
We can help you see the big picture and make sure the various aspects of your financial life are integrated with your personal life. Whether you need help getting your ducks in a row or you are financially savvy, we can help you identify areas needing further attention. We can help you plan and navigate major life events such as a marriage, the birth of a child, buying/selling a business, or negotiate a large asset purchase.
We can work with you on an ongoing basis to ensure you stay on track towards accomplishing your goals regardless of what surprises come up. We are here to help you navigate changes in your tax status, helping you stay the course during turbulent market conditions, or even an unexpected emergency.
Our service goes beyond a professional relationship, we see ourselves as your friend and your trusted owl.
Typically we manage our clients’ assets on a discretionary basis, meaning we have access to your accounts and the ability to transact in your accounts. In order to maintain a high level of transparency, we use a third party custodian to custody your assets. This allows you online account access, statements, and tax reporting from a trusted source completely separate from us.
Additionally, as financial planning professionals we make recommendations, not decisions. Our advice and recommendations will be based on your needs, goals, and unique circumstances. However, you decide which recommendations to follow. We will never ask you to implement something you disagree with.
During our first meeting you will be able to determine if we are a good fit. This is your opportunity to share your story, your life’s interests, what you value most, and what you want for your future. We will want to learn about your current financial satisfaction to discover what areas of your life bring the most satisfaction and which you are looking to improve. If you have a spouse or partner, we encourage both of you to share so everyone’s concerns are equally addressed.
This is also your time to ask us any questions and to learn what it would be like to have us on your team. At the end of our session you may decide you are ready to proceed or that you need more time to get further acquainted with us. Either way, the first meeting is about you.
Every client’s situation is different and unique in its own way. However we have found these to be great starting points when outlining your financial goals.
- Do you have 6 month’s living expenses saved up?
- How will you fund your retirement?
- Are you philanthropic?
- Are you adequately insured (umbrella policy, personal liability, professional, etc.)?
- Will you be exposed to an estate tax at current levels?
- Are your estate documents in order (a will, durable power of attorney, trust, healthcare directive, etc.)?
- Do you plan to leave an inheritance for loved ones?
- Are you hoping to provide for someone who has special needs?