It is important to view your interaction with a lifestyle financial planner as similar to that of a personal trainer or medical practitioner.
Just like you would ask your personal trainer why it is necessary to “go that far”, or tell your medical practitioner about something that you are “not quite sure” is relevant, a similar mind-set is required when meeting a lifestyle financial planner.
The new breed of lifestyle financial planner is not simply interested in selling products, but rather wants to provide specialised financial and lifestyle planning advice. Their goal is to assist you to achieve your life goals by providing lifestyle based financial plans.
A lifestyle financial planner is there to coach you to become financially fit. Therefore, it is imperative that you are honest and disclose as much information as possible to get the most benefit. Just as you would tell your personal trainer about your current diet and activity levels so they can help you reach your fitness goals, you need to be open with your lifestyle financial planner.
A good lifestyle financial planner will be professional, but personal too. While you may use a lifestyle financial planner as they are experts who can help you achieve your financial goals, this does not mean that the focus should only be on your financial aspects. Financial matters are often about much more than the numbers; therefore, it is important to seek out a lifestyle financial planner who will engage with you on a personal level.
Getting personal means that your lifestyle financial planner will make an effort to understand who you are and what you want to achieve. Just as a personal trainer would help you achieve your desired fitness goals, a lifestyle financial planner helps you and your family to reach your long-term financial goals and dreams.
One of the main reasons people do not engage with a lifestyle financial planner is because they feel they can do it themselves or that it is too expensive. Potentially, this could be a big mistake. There are many benefits for using a lifestyle financial planner and many different ‘packages’ ranging from basic, to comprehensive or bespoke solutions to meet your price point.
A lifestyle financial planner will conduct a thorough needs analysis to determine what your risk exposures are and exactly what financial needs you need to address given your current financial situation and your desired goals. Lifestyle financial planners are also able to help you fully understand the terms and conditions of all your financial products, which will ensure a smoother claims process when required. They have the knowledge of multiple products and solutions and can select the best ones that suit your specific needs.
Just as a personal trainer would do regular check-ups to see if you are close to reaching or maintaining your fitness level, lifestyle financial planners will regularly evaluate your financial plan against your pre-determined objectives.
However, just as you would tell your personal trainer if something had changed with your health, for example being diagnosed with diabetes, you also need to take responsibility for seeking advice if the financial plan needs to be revised. A good example of a situation which requires your financial plan to be updated includes having a baby, because you will now have to start thinking about saving for their education.
Considering the importance of your financial wellbeing, it is time to start viewing your lifestyle financial planner as a long-term partner who is there to guide and support you throughout your various life stages and the related financial requirements.