The Basics Of Following A Financial Planning Interview Guide

The age of retirement has been slowly increasing through the years due to the fact that many people simply can’t afford to retire.  They may have lost a substantial amount of money in their financial portfolios or they have simply failed to save their money for retirement.  Fundamental financial planning is recommended for those who are inclined to plan for the future.  More and more people are beginning to see the benefits of financial planning in regards to securing their future.  By using the right financial planning interview guide, you can assure your clients that they will have a comfortable retirement to look forward to.

License: Creative Commons image source
License: Creative Commons image source

Set an outline

When speaking with a client about fundamental financial planning, it helps to follow a set guide of details to cover and questions to ask.  While finances can be a difficult and stressful topic for people to discuss, having an organized financial planning interview guide to follow will often put your clients at ease.  They will see that you have a set outline of objectives to cover, and are more inclined to answer the questions in a more detail-oriented fashion.

Obtain the right information

Having a financial planning interview guide is a great starting point for conducting the discussion.  Although it offers details to discuss with your client, you are not obligated to ask every question on the guide.  Remember, the ultimate goal is to obtain enough information about your client so that you can help outline their future needs, requirements, and financial issues.  Instead of reading the questions straight from the guide, be sure to use them as a conversation starter.  Use your own unique style to make your client feel comfortable during the fundamental financial planning session.

The financial planning interview guide is split into two parts, including an information gathering stage and a debriefing on the gathered analysis.  Before you begin gathering information from the client, develop a rapport and let them know what your goals are during the session.  Help the client to understand that they are a large part of the process.  You as the planner are simply partnering with them in attempts to discover a solution to their financial dilemma.  Now you can ask more specific information about the client’s budget and current finances.  Analyze your data to determine a few possible solutions to the question at hand.  You may need to schedule additional appointments with the client in order to continue your fundamental financial planning session.

Assess investment knowledge

While gathering information, don’t forget to obtain the client’s personal debts and assets, all sources of income, expenses, Social Security, pension information, and investment assets.  As you are discovering these things, you will be able to sense your client’s confidence about the subject, attitude, experience, and their willingness to take risks when it comes to investing.  You’ll also want to get your client’s insurance information to complete the financial picture.

In order to organize your financial sessions, always follow a financial planning interview guide.  It will help you focus your fundamental financial planning with the client, and prevent you from missing vital information during the session.  Using a guide can help you save time and money, allowing you to analyze and ultimately come up with possible solutions in a more timely manner.

About the Author: This is a guest post by Ed Dressel, a financial planning software developer for Ask Trak. He writes on topics related to retirement planning and provides tools for financial advisors to use when helping people plan for retirement.

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