Now that you’ve chosen a financial planner, you’ll want to know what’s involved in creating a plan and putting it into action. To help explain the process, I’m joined by Tim Raposo, a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® professional from TD Wealth Financial Planning.

What goes into creating a plan?

The first step in creating any good plan is to have a clear understanding of what the goals and objectives are. For many people, the financial planning process is their first “go through” in terms of writing down their financial objectives. They may have some vague ideas and concepts, but they don’t really know how those are achievable or if they’re realistic. The financial plan aims to formalize that process and gives them some guidance in making those dreams become a reality.

So you have the plan. Whose responsibility is it to implement it―not just now, but also in the future?

The mutual responsibility of who does what should be clearly discussed at the very beginning of the planning relationship. Work with your planner to try and understand what they can manage for you themselves, and what services you may need to seek out with another financial professional. For example, your planner may not be able to provide tax advice, in which case it’s important that we introduce an accountant or another financial professional into that relationship.

I’m guessing that you don’t do all this work with your planner and then just throw your plan into a drawer to be revisited ten years later.

Not at all. Life changes, and your plan should change with it. I recommend that you review your plan regularly, especially if there’s a major life change―for example, if you go through something special like getting married or expanding your family, or if you go through a painful event, like a divorce or a death in the family. All of these are key trigger points for you to revisit the financial plan with your advisor.

For help in getting started with financial planning, find a CFP® professional in your area with our Find Your Planner tool.

For more on financial planning and how to get started, watch What is a financial planner?, What is a financial plan? and Your million dollar plan