My first visit
to a financial planner
My husband and I were happy with our first financial planning meeting. Not only was George very experienced and professional, he was friendly, understanding and realistic with his general advice.

In the past I never really understood why people see financial planners. What a waste of money and time. I wasn’t even sure my situation warranted a full financial advice relationship. Surely, it’s easy enough to manage your own savings and super? And I could always Google tips on planning for retirement.

But guess what? I was wrong. My husband and I recently met with a financial planner for the first time, and afterwards we both wondered why we’d waited so long.

So why did we see a planner?

The answer is family and growing responsibilities. Being in our early 40s with a mortgage and two young boys, we wanted to be financially set up for the future. My husband and I needed a professional plan and strategies to build our wealth, to not only share with our children, but to comfortably retire and continue enjoying the good things in life.

What happened next?

A friend recommended we meet with a financial planner. He’d had a really good experience, so we took his advice, and now we have a financial planner called George. Because of Covid-19, we couldn’t meet face-to-face, so we were happy to have a Microsoft Teams call.

George recommended we allow around an hour for the meeting so he could get a clear picture of our current financial situation and our priorities for the future. He also advised us that there would be no charge for the initial appointment, which was a bonus! (This isn’t necessarily the case with all planners). Of course, there would be fees for any personal advice and ongoing service, but this would be based on the type and complexity of the information we needed.

Preparing for the meeting

Before the meeting, George gave us some ‘homework’. We had to consider and discuss the following, which would be the cornerstone for our discussion:

  • Why did we want to see a financial planner?
    We wanted to get our finances in order and plan for our retirement. It was important to understand what age we could retire, how much money we’d need, what assets we could own, and we wanted to lock-in our beneficiaries.
  • What were our short and long-term goals?
    We agreed our goals were to retire at age 65, own our home and have a comfortable retirement fund so we could travel twice a year. We also wanted to understand what types of insurances we needed, and how we coordinated our Estate Planning and nominated a power of attorney.

George also asked us to email the following information before our meeting:

  • Details of income
  • Our assets and their current value e.g. property, car, furniture, shares, cash, investment property
  • Our expenses and the amounts outstanding e.g. mortgage, credit cards, school fees
  • Superannuation annual statements
  • Most recent tax returns
  • Monthly budget
  • Types of existing insurance cover e.g. Home and Contents, Health, Life, Income Protection.

The meeting

Once we logged into the Microsoft Teams call, George started by getting to know us. He wanted to understand who we were, what our dreams and goals were personally, as well as professionally. He also shared some information about himself and his financial planning experience.

The next step was to review our short and long-term financial objectives, and we discussed the different strategies and options we could leverage to meet these goals. Using the information we’d emailed before the meeting (i.e. our assets, liabilities, income and expenses etc.) we then reviewed our current financial position and discussed where we’d like to be in the next 5, 10 and 20 years.

We also looked at the pros and cons of additional insurances i.e. Life, Income Protection, Trauma Cover, Total and Permanent Disablement (TPD) and Accidental Injury/Death, and the importance of estate planning and nominating a power of attorney, which we were interested in doing.

George explained the areas his advice covered and the option to proceed to a comprehensive financial plan (also known as a Statement of Advice), and if we did there would be a fee based on the nature and complexity of the plan. He also mentioned that unlike some other financial planners, he was a ‘salaried’ planner and doesn’t receive any bonuses or commissions for the advice he gives us which we really liked because we’d heard stories about planners just putting you in products they make money off.

George concluded the meeting by asking if we had any further questions or if we’d like anything clarified. We confirmed we had a clear understanding of everything, our options and the next steps, and that we’d be in touch soon.

After our meeting

My husband and I were happy with our first financial planning meeting. Not only was George very experienced and professional, he was friendly, understanding and realistic with his general advice. We felt confident we could trust his ability to guide us through our financial journey, so we agreed to a full financial plan and signed a Letter of Engagement, which detailed the scope of the advice to be provided. The plan would be presented in our next meeting with George, where he would explain everything in detail, ensuring we fully understood the recommendations, including the benefits and what paperwork we needed to sign and return.

Because we recognised financial planning is an ongoing process, we also signed up for an ongoing service program so we could have a continued relationship with our adviser. The service includes priority access to the financial planning and administration team, plus regular and annual meetings to see how we’re tracking against our financial goals. The annual fee for this service varies and is dependent on a person or couples’ circumstances and the type of advice they require. Also in most cases, the fee can be deducted from your super account.

Being a priority customer, we also know we can call George any time our situation changes e.g. change of job or salary, an inheritance or purchase/sale of a property. This definitely gives us peace of mind knowing someone’s ‘got our back’ from a financial planning perspective!

Take your first step – book an appointment today

If you’re looking for a game plan to meet your financial goals, contact an EISS Super Financial Planner on 1300 369 901 (select option 2) or visit eisuper.com.au/appointment.


*Please note: The above article was provided by an employee of EISS Super and is based on her actual experience with a financial planner.