The Planning Process at Open World

The Planning Process at Open World: Ian walks through the six steps in the Open World Financial Life Planning process.


What’s up, Internet? My name’s Ian Bloom. Welcome to Nerd Finance. I’m your resident financial life planner and huge nerd. In today’s episode, we are going to be talking about our process here at Open World Financial Life Planning. The important part about this is that I wanted to get something together so that you could see what it looks like to work with us. I’ve already made a video, which you can find over here, about what it’s like to schedule a meeting.

But what happens when you decide you want to move forward? The first part of our process is called Discovery. And Discovery is focused entirely on learning more about you and what your main and side quests are. It’s going to be a conversation about where you are today and where you’d like to be in the future, and exactly what paths are important to you to take to get there.

The next part of the process is called Input. And Input is all about gathering the data. It’s all the nerdy finance stuff that I have to do in order to give you good recommendations, like gather bank statements, and get tax returns so that I can get the exact numbers that are important for your financial plan. If you become a client, I’m your fiduciary, so I have to make recommendations that are in your best interest. And as a result, it’s really important for me to get accurate data during input.

The next part of the process is Design. Design is putting together your financial plan draft together. It’s collaborative. The goal is to compare the different paths from where you are today to where you want to be in the future and decide which one of those paths is the exact one that you want to take.

The next part is Delivery. Once we’ve finalized a financial plan, I’ll sit down and review it with you. There’s going to be about 20 to 30 pages of analysis accompanying a one-page checklist that’s going to have all the things in it that you need to do, in order to make your financial plan a reality.

The next part is Implementation. Implementation is important because it’s us actually doing the actions that are important to your financial plan. We will do them together. We won’t move forward with any step without you understanding exactly what we’re doing and why we’re doing it, because again, this is your financial life. We want you to have exactly what you want and we want it to be actionable. We don’t want it to be some sort of academic exercise. So we’ll work through it together and find the implementation that works best for you.

Finally, at the end of the year, we’ll do a Review process. We’ll sit down in a meeting and talk about what we’ve gotten done over the past period of time, usually a year, and where we want to go from here. For some clients, working with us for a year is exactly what it takes to get them set up to move forward on their own. For other clients, they enjoy having us in their life on an ongoing basis because, frankly, having a partner and somebody to keep you accountable to the things you said you want is often nice for folks. But either way, that’s kind of the end of our one year process.

You’ll notice that this process is designed as a circle, and that’s because for those clients that want us in their life on an ongoing basis, we don’t really start over from square one, but we do revisit all six steps of the process every year, because the goal is to make sure that you are making the financial progress that you want. And we think these six steps are a really good way to do that.

Thanks so much for watching. I hope this video was interesting to you. If you have any questions about this video, make sure to go to our website and look over more details about our process. There’s a nice graphic that was broken up into chunks for this video there. If you’re interested in hiring a financial life planner, we would love the opportunity to sit down with you to get to know you better and potentially work with you in the future. Thanks so much. Have a wonderful day.

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