The Right Questions

What is quality financial planning?

Quality financial planning moves you closer to financial independence, and helps you stay financially independent. It does this by helping you find ways to save money through budgeting, and make money through investing. It also helps you preserve and protect your wealth through with tax, legal, and insurance strategies.

The natural order of financial planning is to first reduce your expenses so you'll have money to invest. And then invest your money so it can make you more money. After you have accumulated some wealth, you will need to implement strategies that can preserve, protect, and continue to grow your wealth for the rest of your life.

Like a successful business you'll need processes to control your expenses, and processes to invest your money, and processes to preserve and protect your wealth. Financial planning with a Freedom Point Financial advisor will help you discover and establish the processes that are right for you. 

So if you have ever thought, "I can't afford financial planning!", think again, because the first goal of financial planning is to reduce your expenses. Then you'll have money to plan and invest.

Several of the topics listed under client services have application to all the goals of reducing expenses, investing to make money, and wealth preservation and protection. To help illustrate which consultation topics apply to these goals, consider these classifications.

Expense Reduction Consultation Topics

Wealth Creation Consultation Topics

Wealth Protection and Preservation Consultation Topics

To begin establishing or improving the financial planning processes that govern your life click here to receive a call to set up a time to meet.


Consultation Topic Details

Expense Reduction Consultation Topics

  • In this consultation meeting we'll review your current budget, and compare it to our method for tracking and forecasting expenses. We'll review essential budget and debt standards, and provide you with an excel spreadsheet template that can be customized to help you better manage your unique financial situation. We'll show you how to start entering your numbers into the spreadsheet, and we'll discuss ways to reduce your debts and all your expenses.
  • Once your budget spreadsheet is built, we can also show you how to set up your budget in Quicken. This will take several meetings. We can estimate how many it will take and what it will cost after your spreadsheet budget is done.
  • Tax planning is an extensive topic. Typically, a meeting begins by looking for legal ways to reduce tax liabilities in light of an individual’s current or projected cash flow circumstances. If a financial advisor has already conducted some analysis, and especially if they have created a financial plan for a client, then they are in a unique position to make observations and formulate strategies that are effective at reducing tax liabilities. Many important tax reduction strategies must be implemented before the end of each calendar year, and since many people don’t prepare their taxes until after the calendar year closes, they miss out on learning about and implementing these important tax savings strategies.
  • In this consultation meeting your employer’s benefit package (e.g. reflected in your paycheck income and deductions, retirement plan details, health insurance options, life insurance elections, vacation time allowance, sick leave, etc.), will be analyzed and explained to you in a way that emphasizes how you can get the most value out of it now and in the future.
  • An employer benefits review consultation can also be used to compare your current job and benefits to another employer’s offer. This can help you make sure you're really getting a better employment package with the new employer before you accept their offer. 

Wealth Creation Consultation Topics

  • In this consultation meeting we'll discuss ways to use risk management methods to target higher returns and decrease investment risk. We'll discuss what a suitable investment is, and how you can invest more. We'll discuss ways to decrease investment expenses, and better diversify your investments. We'll discuss why it's important to track investment tax basis, and how to be more consistent in your investing behavior. When you coordinate financial planning advice with investing, you can improve your investment results.
  • Business ownership planning is an extensive topic, and it is difficult to pinpoint in one paragraph all the possible reasons that people may seek advice from their financial advisor. When a financial advisor has a comprehensive understanding of a client’s personal and business financial life they are in a unique position to make observations and propose strategies that could help protect and increase both personal and business wealth. Financial advisors are often the team leaders that coordinate strategy formulation with a client’s accountant, attorney, and other professional advisors since they are already so familiar with the clients personal and business goals. When a client’s professional advisors do not communicate or coordinate with each other, the client is often put in the difficult position of figuring out which advisor’s recommendations are best. In reality, the answer is usually some combination of all their advisors advice. Note that each professional advisor will probably have a different way of charging for their time, but often those expenses are significantly reduced by coordinating communication through the financial advisor.
  • A financial advisor can also help establish a company retirement plan, or other company benefits for employees and/or company owners.
  • In this consultation meeting we'll discuss tax advantaged and non-tax advantaged ways to save for and pay for each family member’s education. We can project college costs and calculate how much needs to be saved and what rate of return needs to be achieved to ensure sufficient money is available for each family member's education.
  • In this consultation meeting we'll discuss the advantages and disadvantages of investing in real estate to grow wealth and generate income in retirement. We can also run calculations to assess whether the expected cash flow or rate of return is worth the management time and expense that is required to make such a venture successful for the client.

Wealth Protection and Preservation Consultation Topics

  • In this consultation meeting we'll use financial planning software to project your estimated retirement income and expense information so we can see if there is any point in the future where your expenses are projected to exceed your income. We'll also look for ways to structure income and expenses to minimize taxes, and assess if any investment changes can better enable the cash flow that is needed.
  • In this consultation meeting we'll assess your current and future life insurance needs to determine which insurance strategies and products will deliver the most value for the premium that is being paid. If needed, insurance quotes can be given, and applications taken. Underwriting is then monitored and advice is given again once an offer comes back from the insurance company.
  • In this consultation meeting we'll discuss what long term care is and analyze your current and future long-term care needs. We'll also discuss available options, and what those options cost. For those interested in long term care insurance we can provide quotes and analysis of all the features that can be added to such an insurance policy.
  • In this consultation meeting we'll discuss what disability insurance is and how this tool is designed to help. We can assess both private and employer sponsored disability coverage. Quotes can be given for private coverage as well as analysis of all the features that can be added to such an insurance policy.
  • In this consultation meeting we'll discuss whatever insurance policy or product you want analyzed. We'll explain the features and benefits of the policy and what they cost, and whether the features, benefits, and costs of the policy are useful in light of what your employer or other financial products are already doing for you.
  • Consultations can also be provided to help you better understand Medicare or Medicare supplemental policies.
  • In this consultation meeting we'll discuss what estate planning is already in place for you and whether any revisions or additions should be considered in light of your current financial planning goals. Estate planning documents such as wills, living wills, trusts, and powers or attorney must be drafted by a licensed attorney. Typically, an estate planning attorney is brought into the discussion once the client is ready to work out the exact document details. Attorney costs are separate from and in addition to a financial advisor’s.
  • In this consultation meeting we'll discuss how charitable giving and planning can accomplish your philanthropic goals and at the same time reduce your tax liabilities. An assessment of impact on current and future cash flow will also be made to determine if a certain gifting strategy may yield more cash flow and tax advantages to you or your family. Inasmuch as many charitable giving strategies have unique legal and accounting components to consider, outside legal and accounting professionals are usually brought in to help develop the plan and its related implementation schedule.