Plan Review Checklist

Snap Projections allows you to create quick and efficient financial plans to help answer your client's questions. In some cases, you may want to expand on the basic settings and assumptions in Snap Projections to further refine your plan. The following checklist was developed through our Paraplanning Service to help you review your plans and to provide optional prompts for consideration.

The checklist is structured in three parts:

  1. Plan Construction - This section covers the base plan itself to confirm if data has been entered into Snap correctly and that the underlying assumptions are in line with the client's situation.
  2. Scenario Analysis - This section covers the insights generated from the plan to help determine if they're appropriate and comprehensive.
  3. Financial Planning Areas - This section serves as a prompt to explore other areas of the client's finances within the plan or through further discussions with them.

This list isn't all-encompassing. It's regularly expanded and refined as more plans are created. Please feel free to consider these questions at the end of your plan creation process and add more to your own list as you see fit.

1

Plan Construction

Assumptions
Assets & Liabilities
Cash Flow
  • Are there years with negative After-Tax Spending (ATS)?
  • Has the ATS entered been adjusted to remove debt payments, savings contributions, insurance premiums, and charitable donations (that have already been entered in Snap Projections)?
  • Is the ATS reasonably consistent throughout the plan (e.g., does it jump up when a real asset is sold)?
  • Are there surpluses/shortfalls?
  • Are values entered as annual amounts unless indicated otherwise?
  • If there's a Defined Benefit Pension Plan (DBPP), have their contributions been accounted for while working, and has the pension adjustment been entered? 
Retirement
  • Are CFM Start Age, retirement age, and employment income coordinated?
  • Are activities around retirement reasonable (e.g., contributions stop, pensions start)?
  • Have you confirmed the client's CPP and OAS benefits (if desired) (e.g., Snap Projections assumes full OAS and the national average for CPP benefits)?
Special Scenarios & Workarounds
  • Have transactions been modelled to correctly reflect the cash flow and tax impacts (e.g., when selling an investment property the rental income also needs to stop)?
  • Do short-term/temporary cash flows (e.g., spousal support, inheritance) start and end in the correct year?
2

Scenario Analysis

Tax Analysis
  • Is there OAS clawback?
  • Does the marginal tax rate vary substantially throughout the plan?
  • Are there significant unrealized capital gains in non-reg accounts?
  • Is there money in a non-reg and room in registered accounts (e.g., TFSA (personal or spouse))?
Drawdown Analysis
3

Financial Planning Areas

Have you considered all of the relevant financial planning areas for your practice and client engagement?

1. Financial Management

Is the calculated After-tax Spending in line with the client's budget and expected spending?

2. Insurance & Risk Management

Is sufficient insurance in place?

3. Investment Planning

Are the client's investment allocations appropriate?

4. Retirement Planning

Is the target After-Tax Spending reasonable?

5. Tax Planning

Are the client's contributions (e.g., TFSA, RRSP) efficient for their income and future goals?

6. Estate Planning & Legal Aspects

Is the projection length appropriate?

As we mentioned at the start of this article. This list isn't all-encompassing. It's regularly expanded and refined as more plans are created. Please feel free to consider these questions at the end of your plan creation process and add to the list as you see fit.

For additional tools to help you with your planning process, please check out our Snap Projections Toolkit that includes client questionnaires, checklists and sample reports.

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