Financial Planning: The Six Steps to Success

A financial plan provides the foundation for making sound financial decisions. As a multi-step process, it provides you with two important things:
1. An in-depth review of your current financial situation.
2. A blueprint that shows you how to achieve your goals and objectives for the future.
At Dillon Financial Planning, our process consists of these six distinct steps:
Step 1: Get Acquainted Meeting
Happening either in person or over the phone, the Get Acquainted Meeting is an opportunity for us to exchange information about your needs and objectives, then discuss what services are right for you. At the conclusion of our meeting, we provide a fee-estimate along with a list of documents needed to begin formulating your financial plan.

One-half of the estimated total fee is due at the time of engagement.

Step 2: Data Gathering and Initial Preparation

In Step Two, you’ll need to gather the documents requested and complete any necessary questionnaires. We have a secure method for file transfers that you can use to upload your documents. Or, feel free to drop them off or mail them, if you prefer.

Once we receive your information, we’ll schedule our Step Three meeting. Then, we’ll begin to review and develop your financial plan. We’ll prepare initial talking points to discuss at our Step Three meeting.

Step 3: Interactive Goal Setting Meeting
Available in person or over the phone, this interactive meeting gives us an opportunity to discuss and clarify the information you have provided thus far. We also continue to refine your financial goals and objectives.
Step 4: Analysis and Plan Formulation

As we move into Step Four, we’ll schedule a meeting or teleconference to occur one or two weeks after our Step Three meeting. The ball is in our court in the interim.

We’ll adjust your plan as needed and run additional scenarios, if applicable. We backtest your retirement plan using historical returns and use stress testing to make sure that it’s strong. Once the retirement plan looks good, we analyze your portfolio and develop investment recommendations. We then conclude our research and analysis, and produce final reports for your personal financial plan. We add our observations and recommendations to the plan.

Step 5: Presentation of Your Financial Plan

In Step Five, we present and review your personal financial plan. We discuss all reports and provide you with a written summary of our observations and specific recommendations.

Congratulations! At this point, you will be holding a personalized blueprint – custom designed to meet your financial goals. Full payment of the balance of fees are due at the conclusion of your plan presentation meeting.

Step 6: Plan Implementation and Follow-up
Proper implementation is crucial to reaching your financial goals. Whether you now implement and monitor the plan yourself, or engage us to provide a portion or all of these services for you, we urge prompt action.

Don’t Forget About Your Financial Checkups!

Once your financial plan is complete, the actual engagement of services may end but the vast majority of our clients choose to have an ongoing relationship with us.

Annual Financial checkups are essential to keep your plan on track and your portfolio balanced. The fee for an annual checkup is typically around 50% of the cost of the initial engagement.

It’s important to remember that financial planning is an ongoing process; not a one-time event.

Begin Step 1
We would love the opportunity to begin creating a blueprint for your financial life.