As your doctor will tell you, regular checkups are a chance to look over your medical history, talk about how you’re feeling, and see if there are any health conditions that need to be addressed. Your wealth advisor will also tell you the same principle applies to your finances.
No matter your stage of life, financial checkups allow you to sit down with a wealth advisor, take a look at your financial goals, and evaluate your progress. “Our role is to help you set your target outcome, then create a plan accordingly,” says Manish Kaushal, Associate Vice President of Wealth and Business Solutions at SCU.
Kaushal says you inevitably make assumptions in the planning process that need to be reviewed each year to make sure they’re still relevant and current. For instance, market fluctuations will impact your portfolio over time, as has been the case during the pandemic. You may also need adjust other assumptions such as inflation and changes to taxation. “These changes are just the nature of investing. Everyone needs to check in on their financial health from time to time,” says Kaushal.
So how often should you book an appointment? According to Kaushal, it depends on the person. In the same way that a doctor will schedule checkups based on your physical health, a wealth advisor will help you customize your schedule based on your needs and comfort level. For instance, if you’re going through a significant life event, such as marriage, a major job change, or retirement, it’s a good time to book a meeting. Your wealth advisor’s goal is to get to know you personally and help you find a tailored solution. “This process is all about relationships. You want to find an advisor who will ask questions and understand your habits,” Kaushal says.
If there’s one thing Kaushal can recommend to investors, it’s to write down your plan when you meet with your advisor. Dreaming of renovating your kitchen? Write down the total project cost, and how much you need to set aside per month. Plan to retire by a certain age? Take a look at your budget and figure out how much you’ll need to set aside to maintain your lifestyle once you retire. Although you’ll need to make adjustments as you move along your journey, modifying your plan is better than not having a plan at all.
Of course, checkups with a wealth advisor don’t replace your own financial reviews. It takes regular monitoring to make sure you’re living within your monthly budget, putting enough money into savings, and taking any other steps you wrote down with your wealth advisor.
“At the end of the day, we’re here to help you plan your financial goals and offer advice for you to make better day-to-day decisions,” Kaushal says. “Meeting with a wealth advisor — and having a solid plan — brings peace of mind.”
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