A Six Step Process for Creating Your Dream Life After-Work
At True North Retirement Counsel we’ve created a unique planning process to help our clients achieve their retirement dreams. Our Fearless Retirement Blueprint™ system was designed to help you make the most successful transition possible from work to retirement. We think of it like graduation with honours. While most financial advisors and retirement programs focus on the financial aspects of retirement and product sales, our Fearless Retirement Blueprint™ is much more than that.
Money is certainly an important aspect, but starting the discussion about the financial part of the equation is like putting the cart before the horse. We just don’t think that makes much sense. It may seem strange, but your money is one of the last things we want to discuss.
Meeting the Right Retirement Planner – “The Coffee Meeting”
Our process has 6 distinct steps and begins with selecting the right kind of planner for your specific needs. When it comes to retirement it’s essential that you work with someone who is amply qualified and trained specifically in creating retirement income plans. The ability to generate a lifelong and sustainable income from your assets requires a much different skill set than helping you save for retirement.
Just as important, you need to feel comfortable working with this person, as it’s likely to be a long term relationship. At this stage of our process you get to decide whether or not you think we’re right for you and if there’s a fit. To help with this, our discussions are always completely open and transparent, so feel free to ask us anything you wish. How we work? What type of clients we work with? How we get compensated? And why we think we’re best suited to work for you?
If for any reason you don’t think there’s a fit, simply walk away. At the same time, if we feel we can’t bring considerable value to you situation we’ll let you know that too. If we decide to part ways, the only cost for each of us will be the time shared over a cup of tea or coffee.
Discovering Your Retirement Lifestyle and Financial DNATM
After you’ve chosen us as your planner, the unique part of our process really begins. This is where we focus on helping you understand more about yourself and what you’re going to need to truly enjoy this next phase of life. When you no longer have a “job” that defines who you are (to one degree or another) or what your purpose is, you need to redefine this for your future self. By understanding what motivates you to make the choices you make in life, you can begin to create your new life’s purpose. Without knowing what you’ll be doing in retirement, how will you know how much money you’ll need?
To help with this, we created the Retirement Lifestyle Discovery™ which is based on an assessment tool called Retirement Dimensions™ developed by Career/LifeSkills Resources Inc. This simple, focused questionnaire takes you step by step to help determine your “values, personal strengths, concerns, interests, relationship preferences and philosophical view of retirement”. Once completed you will have a blend of “4 personality temperaments”, which help define your preferences. This information becomes a useful guide to help map out the things that you’ll most likely want to do in retirement, and with whom.
Up next is our Financial DNA Discovery™. Its purpose is to take stock of your financial reality. We need to assess your financial starting point. Where you are today financially? What do you own, what do you owe, what do you earn and what do you spend? And more importantly, when you no longer have a paycheck where will your income come from, how much do you expect to receive and will it be enough?
The Financial Diagnosis™
The Financial Diagnosis™ comes next. This is the part of the process where we take charge to compare your hopes, dreams and fears for the future with your current reality. We want to determine if there will be any financial challenges or “gaps” that need to be addressed. And if so do you have the available financial resources that can be tapped to fill the gaps. We accomplish this through the use of sophisticated financial planning software that takes your current financial position and projects it out over your lifetime. This way we’re able to identify your unique challenges and opportunities that need to be addressed to keep you on track.
This leads into the Financial Prescription™ (or financial plan as some call it). Based on your vision for the future, our written prescription will outline any challenges we determined and provide various options as solutions for you to make your dreams a reality. With our assistance it is now your job to assess the presented options and gain a full understanding of each in order to make a fully informed financial decision that you will be comfortable with in the long run.
Filling the Financial Prescription™
Filling the Financial Prescription™ is the next step. Like your mother used to say – “taking your medication is the only way to get better”! A plan is only as good as the actions you take to put it into place. Agreed upon solutions and steps outlined in The Financial Prescription™ need to be followed and put in place in a systematic way in order for them to be effective and make a difference in your life. Depending on how you’ve chosen to engage our services, we may assist you with the product implementation or you’ll do that elsewhere.
Your Regular Financial Fitness Review™
Your Regular Financial Fitness Review™ is the final step. Retirement planning is a process not an event. Change happens! As your life situation changes and you move through stages of your life, you need to periodically review the plan and make adjustments as needed. Regular reviews are essential to ensuring that you stay on track to maintain your new retirement lifestyle. This is a core part of what we do to ensure your continued success.