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What is Holistic Financial Planning?

Updated: Apr 23

The CFP® Board, the non-profit that sets and upholds CFP® certification standards, maintains a step-by-step holistic financial planning process standard to ensure due diligence and optimal value are provided to clients.

Here is their determined financial planning process that we will cover over the course of our collaborative meetings:

  1. Understand client situation

    1. Qualitative factors e.g. client health, life expectancy, family circumstances, values, attitudes, expectations, earning potential, risk tolerance, goals, needs, priorities, and current course of action and trajectory.

    2. Quantitative factors e.g. client age, dependents, other professional advisors, income, expenses, cash flow, savings, assets, liabilities, available resources, liquidity, taxes, employee benefits, government benefits, insurance coverage, estate plans, education and retirement accounts and benefits, and risk capacity.

  2. Identify and select goals

    1. Short-term goals

    2. Long-term goals

    3. Objectives and priorities along the way

    4. Extenuating circumstances impacting goal planning, e.g. divorce, caring for family members, experiencing hardship, death in the family, etc.

  3. Analyze current actions and potential alternative course of action

  4. Determine financial planning recommendations

  5. Present the financial planning recommendation

    1. Client and CFP® practitioner meet to discuss, ensure understanding, and plan next steps

  6. Implement the financial planning recommendations

    1. Who is responsible for implementing what?

      1. Client vs CFP® practitioner vs outside advisor/resource (CPA, attorney, etc.)

  7. Monitor progress and update

    1. Ongoing review meetings are typically recommended to be held at least annually, more frequently (such as quarterly or semi-annually) when implementing the initial plan and/or when implementing behavior change.


📌 Sage Financial Planning LLC helps young and mid-career professionals know and do better with their finances and work towards financial freedom. For more information on our holistic financial planning offerings, please visit our Services page.

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