Central Trust Company recently announced the hiring of John Sastry, J.D., CFP® as Vice President & Financial Planning Officer. John joins Central Trust Company with extensive experience as an estate planning attorney and as a financial planner. He is responsible for leading the company’s financial planning services including meeting with clients regarding their financial planning goals, as well as working with our staff in assisting with financial plans. We recently sat down with John to learn more about these services and how they may be of benefit to you.

What exactly is financial planning?
Financial planning describes the ongoing collaborative and systematic method of analyzing whether a person can achieve their specific financial goals. It involves data gathering, goal establishment, analysis, implementation and ongoing review. Financial planning requires ongoing engagement and analysis to ensure clients remain on the right track as the years progress.

Who can benefit from financial planning?
Any prospect or client with needs in one or more of the following areas: Estate Planning, Retirement Planning, Life Insurance Needs Analysis, Education Planning, or Asset Allocation. Typically, clients will have needs in at least two of these areas.The most universal analysis is the Retirement Analysis, which answers the fundamental question,“Will I have enough money to retire?”

I have an estate plan, do I need financial planning also?
In order to ensure an effective estate plan, there is typically an integration of financial planning with your legal and accounting professionals.The integrative approach is necessary to ensure that no stone is left unturned in creating the estate plan, which is the most detailed analysis performed. Financial planning is essential to an estate plan as financial projections must be synchronized to any estate planning documents.

How much information is needed to prepare for a financial plan?
That generally depends on the type of plan produced.Typically, base information will include existing financial statements, income and expenses; and liabilities. However, the information required to create a plan varies greatly, depending which modular component is required. If I had to rank the least data-intensive modules to most data-intensive modules it would be: Education, Life Insurance Needs Analysis, Asset Allocation, Retirement and Estate Planning.

What can I expect to find out from the financial planning process?
You can expect to receive a fully customized financial plan, exploring their own unique situation and needs. Your financial plan will be a customized set of calculations determining whether and how you can meet your specific financial goals. To achieve a completed plan, expect the following steps: Establishment of Goals, Data Gathering, Data Analyzing, Plan Creation, Implementation of Recommendations, and Review.

The review component is important as financial plans will not be static or a one-time calculation. Financial plans will be updated annually, to evaluate progress towards goals and take into account any changing circumstances.The plans will ultimately allow you to develop a real-time, interactive road map to ensure you reach your goals.

Finally, financial plans will become a valued document for clients because of the data contained therein and analyzed. Plans should be kept in a safe place and may be shared with your CPA or attorney with your consent. Such collaboration makes everyone’s job more efficient and goal-oriented.