Implementation of your financial plan: a team game

By David Lamb CFP™ MCSI 

In my last blog I explained why cashflow modelling should be at the core of a professionally structured financial plan. On completion of the plan, the next stage is implementation.

At this point in the process you may need to build a good team of experienced professional advisers around you, not just your financial planner.

Most financial plans are likely to include estate planning. I would strongly recommend a specialist solicitor above all others who may write wills, because they are more likely to have the experience to draft the will for complex finances or family structures.

Don’t just give them instructions – a good estate planner should be asking similar questions to your financial planner about your family, relationships, wealth etc and be prepared to work alongside your financial planner.

For those with businesses or complex tax issues, you may need to include an accountant as part of the team of advisers. We often suggest that the business should be seen as a financial asset that can either be sold at retirement or generate extra income that can be invested to provide an income in retirement. The accountant can therefore support this kind of planning.

In some cases, we have brought in business coaches to provide extra support.

An issue we sometimes see with clients who should be decumulating their wealth is how they find it very difficult to change a lifetime habit of accumulating, even though they know they should be spending or gifting their money.

In most cases cashflow modelling will provide this confidence to change, but sometimes a life coach may help to overcome any mental blocks.

When it comes to the financial advice part of the implementation, usually involving pensions and investments, products should already have been built into the plan. However, you need to be aware of the effects of the costs of establishing that product.

What are the initial costs for setting up a new product?

What impact will these have on the growth of the funds?

What of the ongoing fees?

What are the net returns expected after all charges and inflation after the anticipated growth rates? Refer to the adviser’s assumptions document. Do these charges provide value for money?

Once the implementation of the plan is complete, you can sit back and relax for 12 months before your review is due. One of the biggest disservices a financial planner (or adviser) can do for their client is to fail to carry out a review.

More on this in my next blog.