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The 6 steps for a Good Financial Plan

My LGBT friends – let’s not be willy nilly about how we establish financial plans! Let’s be savvy folks who strive to have financial freedom! My goal is to help the LGBT community have a step up when it comes to investing and retirement planning!
The first thing to do when wanting to gain financial freedom is to come up with a financial plan. Here are the six steps:

steps

Credit Hakan Dohlstrom flickr
Establish a Relationship
You’ll want to find a financial advisor. Someone that you get to know, like and trust. Go interview someone. They’ll be interviewing you, too, to see if both you and they are a good match. Find out how long they’ve been in business. What their philosophy is. Check their history on http://brokercheck.finra.org/Search/Search.aspx FINRA is the governing body over investment folks. You can see if your potential advisor has any disclosures (bankruptcies, complaints, etc.) I suggest using someone who is a broker and an investment advisor. They are fully licensed to dispense advice. Also, strongly think about using someone who is independent and doesn’t work at a firm that uses proprietary products. There isn’t a conflict of interest between the client and the firm when it comes to giving unbiased investment advice.
Gather Information
After you find the advisor, you’ll need to gather all of your financial information. Investment accounts, 401k info, pensions, tax return, social security information. Your advisor will need that at your appointment.
At this appointment, the advisor will talk to you about goals and expectation. What do you want to accomplish? When? These will be quantifiable goals. They will also discuss qualitative goals such as your health, do your children get along well, do you have parents you make have to take care of in the future.
Analyze the Data
Next, your advisor will analyze the data. This is where the advisor takes a look at your big picture and sees where you are currently. She will look at your trusts, wills, budget sheets, tax situation, savings, investments and see where your strengths and weaknesses lie.
Presenting the Financial Plan
After the data is analyzed, your advisor will present you with a financial plan. There will be recommendations on where you need to shore up your portfolio, your life documents (wills/trusts), insurance, etc. They will show you where you need to improve your plan , why it will help and how you can resolve the issue.
Implementing the Plan
Once the plan is presented , and both the client and the advisor are in agreement to move forward, the plan gets implemented. A plan is great, but it has to be implemented to work! There may need to be involvement from other parties, such as CPA’s and Estate Attorneys for plan fulfillment.
Monitor the Plan
Ongoing monitoring of the plan is of utmost importance. An annual review is necessary to ensure that any changes in the plan are made if needed. If you have a major life change in between visits (moving, marriage, change of job) make sure to discuss this with your advisor to keep them in the loop!
Do you have a financial plan?
An ADPA (Accredited Domestic Partner Advisor) designated Financial Advisor can assist you with your choices if you need help from professional.
Sharon L. Herman AAMS, ADPA is the CEO of Silver Key Wealth Management, and affiliated with LPL Financial. www.silverkeywealth.com
The opinions expressed in this material do not necessarily reflect the views of LPL Financial.
Securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advice offered through Silver Key Wealth Management, a registered investment advisor and separate entity from LPL financial.
Ms. Herman may only discuss and/or conduct transact securities business with residents of FL, MI, GA, VA, NJ, TX. www.finra.org. www.sipc.org

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