FLPI AND FINANCIAL LIFE PLANNING
To be relevant, a financial advisor must start with life as the central focus and then move outward to the services and the products that fit the specific needs of each client. This process, known as Financial Life Planning (FLP), greatly increases the likelihood that the objectives of each financial plan will be met successfully.
Mitch Anthony’s Financial Life Planning Tools are easy-to-use online resources that facilitate the discovery process by helping advisors ask the right questions to engage clients in meaningful conversations about their history, life, principles, and goals. These introspective conversations, known as financial life dialogues, are central to the development of the Institute’s planning tools and training programs. These online tools also enable advisors to identify, store, retrieve, and update qualitative information focused on a client’s unique situation.
Financial advisors who move from being transaction-based financial planners to Financial Life Planners develop clients for life by helping their clients achieve the freedom to pursue their own goals, at their own pace––on their own terms.
FOUR KEY AREAS OF FINANCIAL LIFE PLANNING
From the center of the Financial Life Planning process, come four key areas of focus that lead to the more traditional services offered by financial advisors:
Life History involves how clients arrived at where they are currently, including life-changing events or defining moments up to the present time. Life History should be discussed in the Discovery phase with new clients by gathering background stories in meetings and conversations with those clients. The goal of this dialogue is to have a better understanding of why a client thinks about money the way he or she does.
Life Transitions are the changes clients are currently facing or expecting to face in the near future, and the impact these events will have on their financial planning needs. Life Transitions should be used in new relationships or in annual reviews with existing clients. The goal of this dialogue is to have a better understanding of future client “events” that advisors might not necessarily be aware of (for example, a wedding, college tuition, or elder-care), so that these transitions can be taken into account when putting together a financial life plan.
Life Principles are the guideposts by which clients make important decisions with their lives and money. Life Principles revolve around a client’s financial philosophy and parameters for making decisions. Life Principles should be used in the Discovery phase in new relationships or in an annual review with existing clients. The goal of this dialogue is to have a deeper understanding of why clients make the decisions they do.
Life Goals is the process involved in finding out what clients would like to do, have, and be during their lifetimes, and how to best accomplish each of these goals with the resources at their disposal. Life Goals should be used in the Discovery phase and every 2-3 years thereafter. The goal of this dialogue is to ensure a client’s dreams are integrated into his or her financial life plan.
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