Meeting with Your Financial Planner to Not Just Review, But Reflect & Refine

Most folks who have financial advisors tend to sit down with them on an annual basis and review their accounts. And that’s really all they do. That’s part of an annual review meeting for sure, but it’s so much more than just that.

To really benefit from an annual process, it should cause you to reflect more than you would otherwise, and reassess more thoroughly and more completely than you might otherwise, on both your life and your finances. Hopefully, you are working with a financial professional who can help you across a broad array of things that you might need to change, evolve or take to the next level. You can and should use this time to talk through those things and figure out how to get there.

One thing we do in our annual meetings with clients that many of them often tell us they are very appreciative of is make intentional the reassessment of things. What that means is we take a reflective look back at the year behind and a thoughtful look forward at the year ahead.

Asking & Answering Key Questions That May Change Your Financial Course

At our annual meetings, we like to have an in-depth conversation where we ask key questions like:

  • What were some of the high points of the year?
  • What were some of the low points of the year?
  • What things were you really pleased with, in terms of things going as you would have hoped?
  • What things were different than what you planned for, or things you didn’t anticipate?
  • What new things captured your hearts and minds this year?

This is where we find out some really important information. It could be some new expenditures that you hadn’t budgeted for, or a loss or liability of some sort that you hadn’t contemplated. It may be some new heartstrings. Some new things on the proverbial radar that captured your attention—whether it be some new dream or financial objective you’ve been talking about; some new cause or organization you were motivated to give to or get more involved with or something in your community you started to participate in that has you engaged in a new way. Or perhaps a new business opportunity or something on that front has come your way.

All of these things could be incredibly important to your financial future. And they can get so easily overlooked if all you’re doing is checking on the status of your existing accounts. What we’re talking about here is not so much making significant changes just for the sake of change, but taking an opportunity to reassess where you’re at in your life and with your money and what’s working and not working. You use that information to refine the plan moving forward.

Refining Your Financial Plan to Ensure It Fits with Your Evolving Life & Future

We call the annual process we take people through “plan refinement”. Why do we use that term? For us, it embodies the idea of necessary change in a really positive way. It also alludes to the biblical idea of the “refiner’s fire”. There’s a certain temperature gold needs to be heated to, for removal of all impurities. For many of us, this is an idea that we can most relate to at a faith level, as we choose to accept as best we can the different trials that God allows into our lives, as a way of purifying our faith and our character.

Refinement is a positive thing. It’s bringing something to another level; going through some sort of metamorphosis or change to continue to grow, stay on track, and make the impact on the world we want to make.

Why are reassessment and refinement necessary each year? Because things change. Laws change, as evidenced by this new tax law. Family dynamics change. Health, for better or worse, can change. There’s also job changes to consider. The point is—life’s coming at you and changing all the time. If you’re not continually being refined, readjusted and repositioned so that you can go after those things, and respond intelligently and strategically (as opposed to reactively and emotionally), you’re not really preparing for the future.

We’re all changing and evolving in our lives—every day, every month, and every year—and it’s important that your financial plan continues to change and evolve with you.  

Need a team of experienced advisors who can help you have the right conversations and begin the process of self-discovery and strategic planning? Talk to Wealth Impact Partners today.  


The material contained herein is for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual nor does it take into account the particular investment objectives, financial situation or needs of individual investors. Any tax advice contained herein is of a general nature and is not intended for public dissemination. Further, you should seek specific tax advice from your tax professional before pursuing any idea contemplated herein. This advice is being provided solely as an incidental service to our business as insurance professionals and investment advisors.

Neither Wealth Impact Partners, Valmark Securities nor its affiliates and/or its employees/agents/registered representatives offer legal or tax advice. Please seek independent advice, specific to your situation, from a qualified legal/tax professional.

Securities offered through Valmark Securities, Inc. Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advisory services offered through Valmark Advisers, Inc., a SEC Registered Investment Advisor. 130 Springside Drive, Suite 300 Akron, Ohio 44333. (800) 765-5201. Wealth Impact Partners is a separate entity from Valmark Securities, Inc. and Valmark Advisers, Inc. BSW Inner Circle and AES Nation LLC are separate entities from Valmark Securities and Valmark Advisors.

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