There are six steps to the Certified Financial Planning™ process:
1. We are required to explain our financial planning services and define each of your responsibilities. Along with compensation, you'll discuss how long the professional relationship can last and how to make decisions.
2. You should gather any necessary documents and talk to us about your current financial situation. Together, we can define your personal and financial goals, including timeframes. You may also want to discuss your comfort level when it comes to taking financial risks.
3. We will consider all aspects of your situation to determine what you need to do to work toward your goals. Depending on what services you've asked for, we may analyze your assets, liabilities and cash flow, current insurance coverage, investments or tax strategies.
4. We will go over our financial recommendations, explaining the rationale so you can make informed decisions. At this stage, share any concerns with us so any recommendations can be revised if necessary.
5. Together we need to agree on how the recommendations will be carried out. We may carry out the recommendations or serve as your coach, coordinating the process with you and other professionals, like attorneys or stockbrokers
6. Working toward your goals, together we will need to decide who monitors your progress so you stay on track. If we are in charge, we will will check in from time to time, reviewing your situation and making any necessary adjustments to our recommendations. Needs may change over time. Life happens and your plan needs to adapt. It’s not a straight line, but rather a continuous loop that builds towards retirement
The graphic above provides a good idea of how the process works