Do you know all of your puzzle pieces?
I recently had a situation where a fella asked me to provide my third-party advice on his already drafted up retirement plan from his financial institution. This was a super fun plan for me, I really enjoyed seeing another institutions perspective and advice. However, there was a glaring error in his plan....... it was missing information! You see, what this institution did was provide a retirement cash flow strategy based on the assets this client held with them and zero other considerations. What was the big missing piece? Or missing pieces I should say, so many assets! It was missing the value of the home, value of rental property, rental income, rental expenses, expected taxable gains on the rental property and a couple of other investment assets held at another institution.
You may be thinking that maybe this client is super private and didn't want to share this information with his institution, we see this a lot! BUT, that is doing him a huge injustice as his existing plan provides tax advice, which could be completely out to lunch without considering all of the other assets. He could be set up for a whole host of tax issues without the big picture. My recommendations were for him to go back to his institution and request a more holistic plan based on all of these other considerations. And of course, if they won't do it, I am happy to help out.
The message I really want to get across here is that financial planning is about all of your financial puzzle pieces, it is both my job to collect all of the information and yours to provide it. Your plan is only as good as the information provided, so the more we know, the better off financially you will be.