How We Work

PlanningSolo is all about providing independent financial planning and advice to uncertain people facing life’s big transitions.

We appreciate the unique challenges you’re facing as you head down this corridor of uncertainty, and the many worries that are on your mind. Our approach is to help you identify and prioritise what’s important to you, right now – and then put a plan in place to help you clear your worries, and take back control of your future. With confidence and purpose.

Reaching out

If you haven’t ever met with a financial adviser, making the call to meet with us might be a little intimidating. Well, even if you have worked with one in the past, it might still be an uncomfortable call to make.

It can be discomforting for a few reasons:

– acknowledging that you need help with your money can be confronting
– the well-publicised issues with conduct in financial advice
– a fear of being ripped off, taken advantage of or patronised
– talking about money can make you feel particularly vulnerable.

With that in mind, here is a summary of the steps we follow when we’re providing independent financial advice.

It doesn’t include every single step we take, and we don’t stick to it slavishly – every situation is unique, so there is some flexibility built in how we work together – but hopefully seeing this detail makes it a bit clearer. And helps you feel more comfortable when you decide to get in touch.

Initial Meeting

When you’re ready, book in a time for us to have an initial chat over the phone. This call is all about working out if we’re a good fit for each other. Can you see yourself asking us to help with your big financial questions? And do we think we’re the best group to help you through life’s big transition?

We’ll talk about what you’re looking for from an adviser, any ‘burning questions’ you might have and how we can help.


If we both feel that we’re a good fit, we’ll send you a link to book in your Exploration Meeting. This is an important meeting, because this is where we get a much clearer idea about you, where you are now - and where you want to go. We’ll talk about your current circumstances and the fundamental needs your finances need to support. Then we’ll explore your goals and aspirations - start painting a picture of the future you want to build. We’ll also discuss the speedbumps and roadblocks that might get in your way along that journey, before exploring the significant for you of building your ideal future life.

We’ll talk about what you’re looking for from an adviser, any ‘burning questions’ you might have and how we can help.


After our Exploration Meeting, we’ll prepare a detailed proposal for your consideration.

We spend some time on these proposals because we want them to accurately capture our understanding of your circumstances, needs and requirements. It also includes a summary of the services we believe would be of most value for you, as well as a list of what we believe should be the priorities during the period of our engagement. As we’ve outlined elsewhere, we work to fixed term engagements. These are normally less than 12 months and are sharply focused on delivering the advice, services and value that would serve your best interests right away.


Once you’ve engaged our services, we move to our Discovery phase.

It’s absolutely vital that our advice is built upon a foundation of factual, accurate information. So we are diligent in collecting and collating the data we need to provide you with valuable, personalised financial advice.

We’ll send you a link to your own, secure, portal to help us collectthe personal information we need (dates of birth, addresses, family details, etc).We also also provide you with a secure folder to upload other important information (account statements, super fund details, photo identification).


Taking what we’ve learnt about you - our crystal clear picture of where you are now, our deep understanding of where you want to go and the complexities that might challenge you - we deliver the advice and services we’ve been engaged to do.

And this is where our flexible approach to helping our clients really comes through. Because the range of services and advice we can provide here is incredibly broad - and tailored to what you need.


And, with that, our engagement will be complete. Any recommended changes will have been implemented, and any required modifications made. We’ll have provided you with a summary of what’s been done and we will have discussed what we believe your next steps should be. This might be moving on to another engagement, where we focus on other parts of your financial picture. Or it might be leaving things as they are for now, and staying in touch over time in case there’s anything we can help with later.

How We Can Help

Divorce & Separation

After years of helping people complete their financial disclosure, work out their future financial needs, draft their balance sheets and prepare for their settlement negotiations, we can see the clear benefits of independent financial advice through the process.

It all boils down to one simple idea – we help you feel more confident, and more in control, during your divorce and separation.


The other big transition we help people with is the path from ‘working’ to ‘retired’.

Like all transitions, this step comes with some really big and complicated questions – like what to do with your superannuation, your investments and your arrangements as you stop working?

It can also be a little scary, looking at this big, unknown future without the certainty of going to work every day. Yet with clear planning, we can help reduce those worries and turn them into confidence (and even excitement!).


A surprising, but natural progression, of our practice has been expanding our work from divorce and separation, to helping people rebuild after the loss of their partner.

The circumstances are, obviously, different – but there is some common ground.

Your future has completely changed, and you’re having to make big, consequential decisions about your money – when you may not have much experience in finances.