In the simplest terms, financial planning is the process of gathering and analyzing personal and financial data for the purpose of determining whether an individual, couple, family or business is pursuing a path likely to allow achievement of one or more desired outcomes. To properly plan, the analysis must take into consideration a broad range of information, including income and expenses, assets and liabilities, current and historical tax information, and benefits – those employer-provided and those individually-owned. Data analyzed without proper context can be subject to wide levels of misinterpretation, and so personal preference, individual bias and each individual’s experiences with financial planning and financial programs must also be included as input data.
The planning process begins with an initial meeting to discuss individual goals and objectives and review the steps needed to gather information, analyze it, and present the findings. Once it is mutually agreed that there will be benefit derived from proceeding with planning, a second meeting (if needed) is set to gather all relevant financial data – account statements, tax returns, insurance and benefits declarations, and information relating to all current assets and liabilities and income and expense sources. This information is then analyzed in the context of the goals and objectives outlined earlier to determine if there are potential areas of weakness or even significant financial shortfalls. A written analysis and action plan is then prepared and a third meeting is set for the purpose of presenting the information and making recommendations consistent with the findings, the objectives, and the individual’s experiences and personal preferences. Although specific recommendations will be made in the action plan, it is the responsibility of each individual or couple to take the necessary actions outlined – on their own, through an existing advisor, or by engaging one or more of the specialists whose expertise may be appropriate to implement the action plan, including J Edward Group.
The initial analysis and recommendations are provided free of cost and without further obligation. Should more complex analysis be necessary in one or more areas of planning, a cost may be incurred either through J Edward Group or another advisor specializing in legal, tax, insurance or asset management services. All specialized services should be provided by qualified professionals, as J Edward Group engages in general planning services and does not provide specific legal or tax recommendations or asset management services.