In my 33 years with Northwestern Mutual, I've seen time and again that at every phase of our financial life, we crave clarity and peace of mind. Unless there are a handful of puzzle pieces in place, however, this security is difficult to achieve.

My role, as an advisor, is to initiate dialogue that will help you articulate what is important to you, both personally and from a business planning perspective, and clarify where there may be missing pieces. We'll talk through your answers to questions like these:

  • At the end of your life, what circumstances need to be in place for you to look back and be satisfied with the way things unfolded financially?
  • What resources do you currently have in place to help you work toward this end? Do you have a confident understanding of how these resources work?
  • Do you have a trusted advisor or advisors in place to coach you?
  • What does financial security and peace of mind look like for you and your family in the next 5 years? 10 years? During retirement?
  • If you're a business owner, what is your succession plan? Are you on track to leave your family and key people in a position of strength when you walk away?
  • When you think of your current financial situation, is it defined by clarity and peace of mind? If not, what would it take to get you there?

As we go through the planning process, we'll look for the gaps in your current plan and work to customize solutions that make sense.

At the end of the day, I want to help you connect what's in your heart to what's on your balance sheet and see you walk away with greater peace of mind.

Four-Step Planning Process

I use a unique and disciplined values-based approach to help you make wise choices and to help ensure that your plan is focusing on what you value.

I break the planning process into four quadrants or phases, each one representing one planning cycle: Discovery, Creative Solutions, Strategy Deployment, and Results Management.

Planning Horizon graphic
  • Discovery: Identify and think about the problem
    The first phase begins by thinking clearly about the problem. This is called the Discovery phase and this is where clarity is achieved around your goals and planning gaps are identified.
  • Creative Solutions: Think about the solution
    The second phase is the Creative Solutions phase where you think clearly about the solutions and make decisions regarding closing the planning gaps.
  • Strategy Deployment: Implement the solution
    The third phase is the Strategy Deployment phase where you implement the solution and help achieve your desired results.
  • Results Management: Manage the results
    The final phase is the Results Management phase where we establish a plan to manage and implement the results. This assures you have confidence your plan will work over time.

Copyright 2016 The Legacy Companies, LLC. Concepts used in these materials used with permission from The Legacy Companies, LLC. Legacy Materials and Concepts are only made available to advisors in the Fee-Based Financial Planning program at Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Company.

Click here to read additional articles published by Northwestern Mutual on a variety of topics.

Bob Skaggs, CLU®, ChFC®, CFP®

Wealth Management Advisor

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