Scheduling your first meeting with a financial advisor is an important step to securing your financial well-being. The journey of working with a professional all begins at the first meeting. This is when an advisor will get to learn about you and your ambitions, so they can begin to lay the groundwork of a great financial plan to accomplish your specific goals. If you want to make the most effective use of your time during that meeting, it’s important to come prepared. Read on to learn the proactive measures you should take when preparing to meet with a financial advisor for the first time.
Bring the necessary financial documents
In order to develop a personalized holistic financial plan, your advisor needs to have a solid understanding of your current financial situation. Gather all the appropriate documents and bring them to the meeting. You may receive a document checklist of everything you need to bring that may include:
Statements of your cash reserve assets (checking, savings, money market, certificates of deposit, etc.)
Credit card account statements that carry large balances
Most recent Federal and State tax return filing
Social Security Administration Statement of Earnings
Most recent pay check
Benefit manual from employer
Insurance policies (life, disability, long term care)
Estate Planning documents (will, power of attorney, advanced healthcare directive, etc.)
Retirement plan statement along with investment options
Your first glance at this long list may have you feeling a bit overwhelmed. You see that it asks for your pension information but you’re not sure if you even have a pension. Or maybe you’re unsure of how to get a social security statement anymore. Remain calm. Don’t cancel your appointment because you weren’t able to collect all the necessary information. Come with what you have readily available so that you can at least begin the conversation with your advisor.
Know your financial goals
Often times when someone meets with a financial advisor for the first time, it’s the first time they’re actually thinking about their goals. If you want to make the most of your time in the meeting, start thinking about both your long-term and short-term goals beforehand. It’s important that these goals be specific. Know what it is that you’re trying to accomplish and your ideal time frame for getting there. For example, retirement planning is a primary goal for most individuals, but this a vague goal that needs further specification. Ask yourself in exactly how many years you would like to retire. What does your dream retirement look like? How much will it cost? When an advisor has this information, they can begin the process of determining the best financial planning strategies that align with your future plans.
Have a conversation with your partner
One of the most important things you can do prior to meeting with an advisor is have a meaningful conversation with your spouse or partner. Discuss your shared goals and objectives.
It can sometimes be difficult for a couple to come to a mutual agreement on major financial decisions, such as how much money should be allocated towards funding a child’s college education. However, when you work out these indifferences before-hand and walk into the meeting on the same page, your advisor can begin strategizing what will meet your shared objectives.
It’s also important to discuss your financial weaknesses and strengths both as a couple and individually. Determining your specific challenges before your first meeting means your advisor can spend less time investigating what your weak spots are, and more time planning how to work through these issues. Don’t have a spouse or partner? Do some soul-searching. You still need to confirm what you want your financial future to look like.
Your first meeting with an advisor at Archstone Financial marks the beginning of an exciting ongoing process designed to provide you with a secure financial foundation. The greater prepared you are, the more productive your meeting will be.
If you’re still unsure about whether a financial advisor is a good fit for you, read our blog about the reasons many individuals make the transition from managing their own finances to working with an experienced professional.
Investment adviser representative and registered representative of, and securities and investment advisory services offered through Voya Financial Advisors, Inc (member SIPC)
Archstone Financial is not a subsidiary of nor controlled by Voya Financial Advisors.