Here’s what you should expect a planner to do:
- Help you calculate your family’s net worth — your assets minus your liabilities — so that you know for sure where you stand financially.
- Assist you in drawing up a workable budget to ensure that you aren’t living beyond your means and to free up money for saving and investing.
- Aid you in allocating your assets among different kinds of savings and investments.
- Help you manage your IRAs, 401(k)s and other tax-deferring plans, and confirm that you have a proper strategy for eventually withdrawing funds from them.
- Check that you are adequately insured against sickness, injury, disability and death, and that you are properly protected against lawsuits and damage to your cars and house.
- Devise a strategy to hold down your taxes.
- Draw up a plan that will enable you to meet such long-range goals as sending your children to college and retiring comfortably.
- Review your will and help you prepare an estate plan for passing along your wealth.