An independent financial advisor or (IFA) helps people or some cases companies use their monetary resources to their best effect. You should have specific financial goals you want to reach in terms of your personal savings and retirement.
Everyone’s financial goals are different – for some people it will be to give up work and retire early, or save a lump sum to achieve a specific life goal(s). Parents or grandparents may want put money aside for school fees or to benefit their younger family members in some other way for example University fees or help with the purchase of their first vehicle.
The first step in financial planning is to set out your short, medium and long terms goals. Your IFA will help you shape your plan and establish what resources you have to achieve them. It may be the case to retire early (assuming you are saving into a pension already) you may need to increase your monthly or yearly pension contributions.
At this stage it may be more the case of a reality check, without enough resources (income) you may not be able to achieve everything you want.
If your main concern or goal is to send your children to private school you will need to save to achieve this and in many cases this could mean sacrificing other medium to long terms goals.
Your IFA will help shape your financial plan, review your current monetary resources to use to achieve your goals and of course help you save in the most tax efficient way.
Overview of what your Independent Financial Advisor should do?
1. Hold several meetings to shape your life goals and help you ‘discover’ what you (and your family) want in the short, medium and long term.
2. Review your monetary resources and correlate them to your life goals.
3. Reality Check! Is the plan achievable?
4. Short Falls! Identity any shortfalls focused on pension planning and saving plans.
5. Shape your financial plan into a written ‘agreed’ form.
6. Implement the changes and select suitable tax efficient products to help achieve the financial plan.
7. Review – Yearly reviews (at least) to ensure the plan is on track and allow for any ‘life changes’ that could affect your goals.
Using an IFA should not be about buying a pension or savings plan or sourcing the cheapest t life insurance – You should be able to do this type of simple planning yourself with the help of online resources.
If you are serious about achieving your life goals speak with an independent financial advisor and start planning your financial future.