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Getting Started is the beginning of your client journey.

During this 30 to 60 minute meeting, you will:

  • Review and sign contracts
  • Discuss the expectations of our relationship

  • Review account statements

  • Outline next steps for establishing management

  • Preview the Custom Financial Blueprint® process

Prior to this meeting you will:

Soon after this meeting you will need to:

*When providing statements, please send all pages.

How does the billing process work?

Our investment management and financial planning advisory services are offered for an annual fee based upon assets under management and outlined in your Investment Management Agreement (IMA). Fees are prorated and charged quarterly, in arrears, and deducted from your investment and retirement accounts with procedures for tax efficiency. A billing summary page is included in each quarterly report from Halter Ferguson Financial.

What are you looking for with the cash flow worksheet?

Your Custom Financial Blueprint is not a budget or a crystal ball. To plan for your future, we need to look at all aspects of your finances. A big part of that is spending. We need to take an educated guess at what you might spend on everything from new cars to groceries to vacations in the years and decades ahead. Because we can’t see the future, the best predictor is a combination of the cashflow worksheet and our planners’ experience. We are not asking for your spending to criticize or “fix” your spending habits. The cashflow is a judgment free zone. It does not need to be perfect! This worksheet is a starting point to a larger conversation. It is divided into smaller, bite-sized sections which will likely cover all aspects of possible spending. There are tips and other helpful information found on the form itself. We will review this with you in depth in the Design Meeting.

Do I need to provide all of these documents?

The short answer is yes. To provide you with the most complete picture of your financial future, and plan for all of life’s expected and unexpected moments, we need to gather as much comprehensive data as possible. While we could complete a plan without all this data, it will be less detailed and specific. If you are having difficulty obtaining a document, please let us know. We are here to help.

How are you able to manage my active employer retirement account?

Although the assets cannot be transferred to our custodian, Charles Schwab, while you are employed and contributing, we are able to manage assets in the account to balance your entire portfolio.

What does it mean when you say you're a fiduciary?

As a fiduciary, defined under Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”), Halter Ferguson Financial is legally obligated to put client’s best interests first, with a duty to preserve good faith and trust. We do not work for commissions.

What if I miss something important?

This is a common fear and a big reason to choose an experienced financial planner. Our planning team has completed hundreds of plans. We've seen a vast assortment of situations. This makes it unlikely for anything to be missed. What is more likely to happen is new information becomes available that wasn’t present when your plan was completed. In these situations, our team can add the information into your plan. In the unlikely event these changes have far reaching consequences, additional planning and meeting time may be required.

Does my spouse/partner need to be involved in the meetings?

Your spouse or partner may not be actively involved in managing your finances. Or maybe they don’t have an interest in the topic. Regardless, having them involved in the planning process is vital to its success. The better you both understand the plan the more secure you will feel and the easier it will be to stick to the path you choose. The only exception to this would be if you and your significant other have your finances completely separate.

I don’t have a pension statement, just the 1099-R I received to file my taxes?

The 1099-R you received to file your taxes is a great starting point when talking about your pension, but it doesn’t tell the whole story. To provide the most detailed and complete plan possible, we need to know beneficiary information, survivorship, and cost of living adjustments (COLA). If you are not able to provide more plan documents/information to fill in these pieces that are not included in tax documentation, we may require additional years of tax returns.

Are my files secure when I send them through your ShareFile link?

Yes, when you use a ShareFile link from one of our team members your file(s) will be encrypted and available for secure download by only that team member. We also use this method for uploading secure files (such as Quarterly Reports and Financial Plans) back to our clients. When sending documents to you, the download link expires for an additional layer of security.

Why do you need full statements for accounts, debts, and insurance?

While it may be easier to send the details or a screen shot of a bank account, credit card statement, mortgage or auto loan, or life insurance policy, the balance is not the only piece of information we need. A full statement will give us vital pieces of your financial picture. For instance, the interest rate and escrow amount on a mortgage. Statement copies are preferred over verbal or handwritten information as there might be information included in a statement that we may not know to ask about. If you are unable to obtain a statement, please contact us and we can work together to piece together the required information.

Why do I need to provide my entire tax return?

We request your most recent, complete tax return both federal and state, for several reasons. It may help us to identify any items we may require that have not been provided, like a pension, an income source, or 529 plan. It also allows us to do the most thorough tax analysis. This helps us ensure nothing was missed when preparing and filing your taxes as well as verifying that you are taking the most efficient deductions for your situation.

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