Avoid the Maze – Do Your Plan in 30 to 45 Minutes
This image does a great job of presenting how middle class people should get their retirement or financial plans done. If you can avoid all of the unnecessary nonsense and sales crap (the maze), it shouldn’t take more than a few moments to get a personal financial or retirement plan prepared and explained. Here is how you do it:
1) Discuss with your advisor what you want to do and how you think about investments. This is no 2 hour meeting. The goals for the middle class are simply not that complicated – retirement, college savings, open your petting zoo, whatever. Also, you don’t need to explain your relationship with your Mother, or how you were treated in middle school, or your deep dark secrets. Your advisor needs to understand your situation, but they are not your shrink.
2) Get your data together. Assets, how much you are contributing to them, stuff you might sell later, social security estimates, pensions, etc… In my experience, this takes people a while and holds up many plans. Don’t let it stop yours – get it done!!!
3) Do the analysis! You give your stuff to your advisor, they produce the report. Once the data input is done, it is ready to go. Then you review the results. At PlanVision, we use Finance Logix and can show our clients the results right off of our computer. We run what if scenarios and change the assumptions to see how that affects the results. If you want the big, giant, bound, story of your life and future PERSONAL FINANCIAL ANALYSIS produced by many advisors, that is up to you. For the most part we think it is a waste of time. We can’t justify those outrageous documents. It’s not that complicated and the steps you need to take are usually straightforward. By the way, many of the reports are designed to impress you and sell you products you don’t need anyway, so watch out!
4) We believe the most important work we do is helping people understand their options and what they need to do – what might actually happen. This is done by presenting the plan, its risks and flaws – how it could get sidetracked, and putting those in terms of how it will affect your life. This simply shouldn’t take that long at all.
That is the whole process – from beginning to end. It is likely you will have some follow-up work to do, but doing the plan, so you know where you are going and what to do is next, is how you get going.