Financial Planning

What is a Financial Plan?

A financial plan analyzes an your and your family's situation- using current data and preparing forecasts- alongside your wishes and goals. It examines the feasibility of achieving your goals, identifies the risks that could obstruct their attainment, and offers the requisite solutions. Our financial planning services are designed to help you answer important questions such as:

  • Am I spending too much?
  • Will we have enough saved for college?
  • How should I save for retirement?
  • Do I have the right insurance?
  • How much risk do I need to take in my investments?
  • Should I purchase or lease a new car?
  • Should I pay off my mortgage early?
  • When should I start receiving Social Security?
  • Can I leave a legacy for my children?
  • Can I afford a vacation home or to travel?
  • What estate documents do I need?
  • Are my current estate documents sufficient?

Financial Planning Services

Fee-only Financial Planners are registered investment advisors with a fiduciary responsibility to act in their clients' best interest. As fee-only planners, we do not accept any fees or compensation based on product sales. We believe fee-only planners have fewer inherent conflicts of interest and generally give more comprehensive advice. Our clients best interest is our focus. We do not require asset management as a prerequisite for our financial planning services. Our Financial Planning services include recommendations on areas such as:

  • Cash Flow Management
  • Tax Planning
  • Estate Planning
  • Insurance Coverage Review
  • Investment Management
  • Education Funding
  • Retirement Planning
  • Social Security Claiming Strategies

BFP's Financial Planning Process

Six Steps of Financial Planning

  1. Establishing and defining the client-planner relationship - The first step is to explain all documents and services to be provided and define the responsibility of the planner and client.
  2. Gathering client data and determining financial goals and objectives - The second step, data gathering is very important in the financial planning process. Since correct inputs on a client's present situation and reasonable assumptions are essential for a competent analysis, we devote considerable attention and time to assure ourselves on the integrity of the data.
  3. Analyzing and evaluating client's financial position- Based on the objectives and goals, we analyze the client's information to assess their current situation and determine what must be done to achieve their goals.
  4. Developing the plan- Once all the information has been gathered and the objectives have been determined, we develop an in depth, highly detailed written personal financial plan. We also use probability analysis extensively to evaluate the certainty with which financial security can be attained at different points in the planning horizon.
  5. Presenting the plan- The penultimate step is the presentation, potential implementation strategies and ongoing monitoring of your plan. Financial planning is an ongoing process and we are here to form a lifelong partnership to help you reach your unique vision and goals for the future.
  6. Monitor the plan - the final step remains an ongoing process. Both BFP and our clients will continue to monitor the plan to ensure long-term success. We recommend meeting with us at least every 2 years so we can review and revise the plan as necessary.

Estate Plan Coordination

We have developed a relationship where our office can coordinate information to help provide you with an estate plan (including a revocable trust, will, financial power of attorney, medical power of attorney, and other documents) in a time-efficient and cost-effective manner. Your estate plan is then prepared and reviewed in less than a week by leading industry professionals (estate planners/attorneys) to give you a professional estate plan. BFP DOES NOT PROVIDE ANY LEGAL ADVICE REGARDING YOUR ESTATE PLAN.

If we believe your estate plan requires a more complex approach or you prefer to work with an estate attorney in-person, we can provide a list of estate attorneys to consider. 

Already have an Estate Plan? No problem.

Even if you are in the minority of families that has completed their estate plan, this relationship can review your existing documents and provide a list of follow up questions to see if it is up to date. If you know that a number of things have changed, this system can do brand new documents for you while using your existing trust name and date (this prevents having to re-register assets already in the trust).

Who can use this system?

We estimate that approximately 75% of estate plans are appropriate for this system. If you are disinheriting children, feel like you have heirs that will litigate after your death, or have extremely unusual beneficiary needs, this system will NOT be for you. We can refer you to one of our local estate planning attorneys for these needs.

If you have a young and growing family and want to provide for your children in a responsible manner (spacing out distributions over time), this system is for you.

If you have put off doing your estate plan for YEARS because of cost, logistics in meeting with an attorney, or a simple lack of desire to talk about the inevitable, this system is for you.

The system can also handle situations where you may have a special needs child or a child who is not financially responsible.

The system will need to know the answers to five major questions:

1) Beneficiaries – Who is going to get everything?

2) Method of Distribution – How are the beneficiaries going to get everything (ages, no restrictions, etc.)?

3) Trustee/Executor/Power of Attorney – Who will make financial decisions for you if you cannot?

4) Health Care POA – Who will make health care decisions for you if you cannot?

5) Guardian (if necessary) – Who will have physical custody of minor children?