I spend considerable time and effort in constructing a comprehensive financial plan, but it isn’t meant to be a static document that only collects dust on a shelf. Here’s how I use the full plan as a basis for ongoing client service and business building:
Revise the Plan Annually. When I update a client’s financial plan, a historical summary is included. This summary illustrates how the client’s situation has changed with every plan revision and contains numeric as well as graphical output. Some of the items included in the summary are: total assets, total debt, net worth, taxable financial assets, tax-deferred assets for husband and wife, total financial assets, probability of running out of money, debt ratios, and more. Clients love this report because it’s clear and concise.
Assess Subsequent Fees as Appropriate. Financial planning can involve a great deal of time, especially in the early stages of plan development. After the initial plan has been presented and the fee is paid, capturing subsequent revenue is often limited to plan revisions. Generating an ongoing income stream is completely acceptable if the client receives commensurate value. Moreover, you need to clearly communicate this value to the client and get their buy-in.