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Getting Personal on the First ‘Date’ With Your Financial Planner

7 August 2018

If you’re unsure of what to expect from your first meeting with a new adviser, we’ve listed some of the highlights below.

In short, the first visit should involve a general discussion about your personal circumstances, goals and expectations. The key is to be as open as possible: the more information the financial planner has, the better he or she can advise you. From this discussion you may be able to gauge how the financial planning process will benefit you, if the adviser is a good fit for you and the fees involved.

What are some of the questions to arise in the first meeting?

  1. Do you have any debt? What is the interest rate on your debt and over which term is it payable?
  2. You will also talk about your goals. For example, when do you plan to retire, are you saving for a house or to travel? Or do you plan to emigrate at any point? Where are you going with your career – and would this development translate to further study and study loans?
  3. What does your current financial portfolio look like? What provisions have been made for yourself (and your dependents) should you no longer be able to earn an income? Have you provided for your retirement?
  4. Do you have medical aid and/or gap cover? What’s covered and what are your premiums?
  5. Do you have short-term insurance? What is covered? What are your premiums? Have you claimed in the past?
  6. Are your tax returns up to date? Do you understand the different taxes you pay?
  7. Are you a saver or a spender? Are you risk averse, or bold when it comes to making investment decisions?
  8. How many dependents do you have? Who will look after your dependents if you were to become sick or disabled? Are you planning to start a family soon, or have you started saving for your family yet?
  9. Is your will up-to-date? Do you have a valid will?
  10. Are you a beneficiary to a trust? Who are the trustees? And is there an independent trustee?
  11. Is marriage on the cards for you any time soon? What do you understand about the various marital regimes in terms of the financial implications?
  12. Do you have any business interests, like shareholding and directorships?

Your financial planner may also use this session as an opportunity to gauge your understanding and knowledge of financial planning and services. Don’t feel daunted, this is just a discussion to learn more about you to advise you appropriately. Remember, the better your adviser understands you, the more suitable the recommended solutions will be to your needs.

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Sanlam Life Insurance is a licensed financial service provider.
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