facebook twitter instagram linkedin google youtube vimeo tumblr yelp rss email podcast phone blog search brokercheck brokercheck Play Pause
A Simple Checklist Saves Lives...and Improves Financial Planning Outcomes Thumbnail

A Simple Checklist Saves Lives...and Improves Financial Planning Outcomes

Financial planning can be complex and overwhelming and that's why we look for ways to keep the process organized and on track.

Wealth management has many moving parts and markets are in a continual state of change. As a result, creating a sound financial plan takes both discipline and structure. At Keen Wealth Advisors, we’ve found there is no better tool than the simple checklist for making sure your important needs get taken care of.

A History of Checklists

Checklists, although simple, have a long history of improving the outcomes of complex events. In medicine, procedural checklists are used for surgeries, patient care, and to decrease infection rates in hospitals. In fact, the National Institutes of Health found the use of process checklists decreased the number of healthcare associated infections by 40% in one study. Even highly experienced doctors were shown to miss important steps in a process they were familiar with over 25% of the time without a checklist.

The use of checklists is also critical for aviation. In the second demonstration flight of the Boeing B-17 bomber prototype during World War II, the plane crashed after the crew forgot to disengage the plane’s gust locks before takeoff. After the accident, the U.S. Army began implementing checklist procedures before takeoff. Today's pilots rely on checklists to ensure the safety of their passengers and crew.

And as a pilot myself, I'm fanatical about the use of checklists.

Checklists for Financial Planning

Over our firm’s history, we have found that the use of checklists raises the effectiveness of our financial planning process and reduces the likelihood of errors. More importantly, our process-driven approach allows us to deliver the same rigorous process and outstanding quality to each of our clients.

Without a structured approach, important tasks may not be addressed and financial opportunities may fall through the cracks. By using a standard of practice that has been successful in the past, we improve the efficiency and service we provide clients. The checklists and processes we have developed offer various benefits including:

  • Organization. Checklists help us stay organized and avoid skipping steps in a complex process. Working together with our clients with a checklist allows us to address all areas of a financial plan including retirement planning, risk management, tax planning, and more.
  • Communication. Using checklists allows both our team and our clients to clearly understand what has been done, what needs to be done, and who is accountable to take action.
  • Motivation. Checklists can help motivate our clients to complete tasks and finish important steps in a timely manner. By understanding which step comes next, we can stay on track and on schedule.
  • Structure. Checklists are more than lists, they are a way of operating. By communicating our process using a checklist, clients understand our approach and know what to expect.
  • Collaboration. The best checklists are clear, concise, and collaborative. We have developed our checklists to facilitate discussions, education, and understanding.

Using checklists can help create a more efficient and enjoyable financial planning process. However, it’s important to keep each checklist up-to-date. Be sure to meet with your advisor at least once per year to review important information that may affect your financial strategy including changing markets, changing contribution and gifting limits, as well as new goals or family circumstances.

At Keen Wealth Advisors, we are process-driven and pay attention to the details. By using checklists, we are able to reduce the likelihood of errors, communicate more clearly, and address all areas of a financial plan. We find this structure helps our clients enjoy the financial planning process and be more confident in their financial future.

About Bill

Bill Keen is a CHARTERED RETIREMENT PLANNING COUNSELOR℠ and independent financial advisor with more than 25 years of industry experience. As the founder and CEO of Keen Wealth Advisors, a registered investment advisory firm, he specializes in providing personalized retirement planning designed to help people thrive before and during their retirement years. With a passion for educating others, Bill regularly blogs about retirement planning, hosts the podcast Keen on Retirement, and has contributed to U.S. News and World Report, Reuters, Wall Street Journal’s Market Watch, Yahoo Finance, and other publications. Based in Overland Park, Kansas, Bill and his team work with clients throughout the greater Kansas City area and across the nation. To learn more, connect with him on LinkedIn or visit www.keenwealthadvisors.com.

KWMG, LLC’s dba Keen Wealth Advisors (“company”) is an SEC Registered Investment Advisor located in Overland Park, KS. The company and its representatives may only conduct business in those states where registered or where excluded/exempt or from licensure. For registration information please contact the SEC or the state securities regulators for the states where the company is notice filed. A copy of the company ADV is available upon request. Advisory services are only offered to clients or prospective clients where the company and its representatives are properly licensed or exempt from licensure. No advice may be rendered by the company unless a client service agreement is in place. This information is not intended to be investment advice or construed as a recommendation or endorsement of any particular investment or investment strategy and is for illustrative purposes only. Clients and prospective clients must consider all relevant risk factors involved with each strategy, including costs or fees, and their own personal financial situations before trading.

The views outlined in the book, Keen on Retirement Engineering the Second Half of Your Life, are those of the author and should not be construed as individualized or personalized investment advice. Any economic and/or performance information cited is historical and not indicative of future results. Economic forecasts set forth may not develop as predicted.

The Amazon Best Seller ranking listed on marketing materials is specifically referring to Best Seller rankings for the Kindle Top 100 Paid Lists under the subcategories of: Budgeting and Financial Risk Management, based on data as of September 5, 2019. Amazon rankings although relevant on how a product is selling overall doesn’t necessarily indicate how well an item is selling among other similar items or similar item categories. Amazon may choose the most popular categories or subcategories within which an item has a high ranking to determine its best seller rankings. These rankings are updated hourly and as a result, should be expected to fluctuate as such. Keen Wealth Advisors and Amazon are not affiliated entities. For further details on Amazon rankings please visit https://www.keenwealthadvisors.com/important-disclosures.

Schedule a Complimentary 15 Minute Strategy Call

Schedule a Time