FAQ

Do you have questions? Check our FAQ for answers to most commonly asked questions.
About Plan&Act and financial wellness
What is financial wellness?
About my Plan
What kind of advice will I receive in my Plan?
About Services
What does it mean to subscribe as an individual?
About my Profile
How long will this take?
About my Account
How long does my subscription last?

About Plan&Act and financial wellness

What is the difference between advice from financial planners and advice from investment advisers?
Many of us have been told by advertisements that we need an investment adviser (and this may be true for some), but many of us need something more holistic – something that looks at our whole picture, not just at the investments that we may or may not have. This is what financial planners offer. Some financial planners also offer investment advice.

Investment advice, on the other hand, is very different from financial planning. An investment advisor will tell you:
  • What to invest in
  • Whether to buy stocks or mutual funds
  • If you should use index funds or active fund managers
  • Which investments to use inside of your retirement accounts
  • What risks are associated with each investment
  • What expected rate of return you might receive from your portfolio
  • Which investments you should own in non-retirement accounts
  • What types of taxable income your investments will generate
  • How you can rearrange investments to reduce taxable income
  • What taxes you will incur when you buy or sell investments
To further clarify, Plan&Act is a financial planning service. Because we are not investment advisors. we cannot and do not offer specific investment advice or recommendations to individuals, and at no time should clients infer that specific investment advice is being given.
When you say Plan&Act provides “expert” advice, what do you mean? What is the basis of your expertise?
The advice we give is based on The Cambridge System™ approach to financial planning, which takes a holistic approach and emphasizes the personal circumstances of individual clients when crafting financial advice. The Cambridge System™ uses innovative tools and decision-making rules that are very different from the standard process taught in the Certified Financial Planning (CFP©) training programs. In its investment advice, the Cambridge System ™ emphasizes functional asset allocation (a more realistic portfolio for most people) over modern portfolio theory (developed primarily for institutional investors). The Cambridge System™ methodology is predicated on providing fiduciary advice on a fee-only basis and is practiced by 160 CFPs across the US, with thousands of clients, in one-on-one, interactive relationships.

Fee-only advisers conduct their business under a “fiduciary duty,” which means, by law, they must have their clients’ best interests at heart. Fee-only advisers have no inherent conflicts of interest because they don’t accept fees or compensation based on product sales. Many also carry professional designations that hold them to strict codes of professional and ethical conduct.
How do I know I can trust Plan&Act's advice?
Your Plan&Act Plan is based on the expertise of a select group of financial advisers we hand-picked from the Alliance of Comprehensive Planners (formally Alliance of Cambridge Advisers) – known for having the highest professional standards in the country. They are Certified Financial Planners (CFP©) or the equivalent, with strong tax backgrounds, and full members of the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA). They are employed by FinancialIndependence4Me (FI4Me) and are contracted to support Plan&Act’s financial planning services.

Your Plan&Act Plan is designed to stand alone, but if you ever need additional financial planning advice from an unbiased financial expert, help is just a mouse click away. Plan&Act provides access to selected FI4Me financial advisers for additional consultation. Like your Plan&Act plan, FI4Me financial advisers consider your whole picture -- your savings, debt, house, and other assets, so you have a complete understanding of your financial picture as you move towards your goals.

While most financial firms want to manage your money or sell you something, we don’t and neither do the FI4Me financial advisers. The only thing we sell is financial planning advice.
Does Plan&Act receive payments from any entities as a result of the advice provided in the plans it produces for its clients?
No. We and our partners, FinancialAdvice4Me and FinancialIndependence4Me, and its FI4Me advisers, are independent, objective, and act as a fiduciary on your behalf in the creation of your Plan. Collectively, we only get paid by you for the advice we give you, and never take payments from third parties in exchange for recommending their products or services, and therefore have no conflicts of any kind.

To clarify roles between Plan&Act and FinancialAdvice4Me, Plan&Act has selected FA4Me as its partner in delivering financial planning services to its clients, which has an expertise in providing online financial planning software and the automatic generation of personalized financial plans and email support. After receiving their Plan&Act Plan online, clients may elect to have one or more consultations on their Plan with FI4Me financial advisers. Through its software, FA4Me collects the Plan&Act subscription and additional consultation fees, and pays Plan&Act a 50% share of those fees, net of direct costs.
Why do you need personal and financial data about me?
After you subscribe to Plan&Act, we ask you to complete a detailed profile about your finances. We use this data to create projections that show how you can accomplish your financial goals. The more accurate and complete the data, the more focused your plan can be.
How do I know my personal and financial information will be kept secure?
Plan&Act uses bank-level security to protect your information. Transmission of your personal and financial information while you complete your profile is encrypted, and areas of the Plan&Act site where your information are stored (for example, the My Plans and My Account pages) are password protected. You will always know when you are in a private and secure session because this will be clearly indicated in the upper right corner of the page.
What is financial wellness?
Financial wellness is what has traditionally been known as financial planning. It is the process of understanding your financial goals, learning when you will need to use your money and what you will be using it for, and then laying out a plan of action with specific steps you need to take to achieve those goals.
What if Im not sure about my financial goals, either now or in the long term?
Our questions and recommended Next Steps will help assess where you are right now and help you begin to lay the groundwork for determining your financial goals. You can always ask your financial adviser to help you identify the right goals for you.
I am doing Kickstart on the mobile app and applying the lessons to how I deal with my money. I even have a Budget and watch Plan&Act's video Tips. Do I also need a personalized Plan&Act Plan?
You can make a lot of progress by doing Kickstart, starting a Budget, and exploring Tips on mobile. Depending on your situation, this may be enough for now.

Eventually, you may feel ready for more. A Plan&Act Plan will give you personalized, actionable advice focused on the most important Next Steps for your unique situation. You’ll also have access to coaching from our financial advisers.

About Services

What does it mean to subscribe as an individual?
Plan&Act is available both to individuals and to employees whose employers contract with us to provide financial wellness services as a company benefit. If your employer does not provide Plan&Act to you as a benefit, you may sign up for Plan&Act as an individual. The same services will be available to you, at the rates shown on this page.
How is an individual membership different from an employee subscription?
The main difference is that an employee subscription is employer-sponsored, while an individual pays for his or her own subscription. Employers decide the exact services to include in their Plan&Act company benefit, while individuals may choose the Plan&Act services they want for themselves.
What does it mean to subscribe as an individual?
Plan&Act is available both to individuals and to employees whose employers contract with us to provide financial wellness services as a company benefit. If your employer does not provide Plan&Act to you as a benefit, you may sign up for Plan&Act as an individual. The same services will be available to you, at the rates shown on this page.
Plan&Act help vs. consultation with a financial adviser– which do I need?

Plan&Act customer service representatives can help you get started, help you complete your profile, and help you get your Plan&Act Plan. We’re here to help you get the most out of Plan&Act.

A Plan&Act financial adviser, on the other hand, gives you customized financial planning advice, can answer questions about your Next Steps or other questions you have, and based on the details of your situation, can go into more depth than your Plan&Act Plan. Just like your primary care physician, your Plan&Act financial adviser will study the details of your situation and give you advice that's customized for only you.

Because we are not investment advisors, we cannot offer specific investment advice or recommendations to individuals, and at no time should you infer that specific investment advice is being given.

Still not sure which kind of help you need?  Contact us – we’ll help you figure it out.

Okay, I bought consultation time with my adviser. How do I
schedule my consultation?

Consultation with a Plan&Act financial adviser is available to subscribers who have completed a Plan.

After you purchase consultation time, that time will be available for you to use any time throughout the year. To schedule a consultation on Plan&Act.com, log in to your account and select “Consult an adviser” under “Learn” in the Dashboard menu. Follow the onscreen prompts to select an available appointment that’s convenience for you. To schedule a consultation on mobile, log in to the Plan&Act app, then select “Schedule adviser session” and follow the prompts.

What happens to my consultation time if I don’t use it up in one session?
Your consultation time balance appears on your Account page. As you use your time or purchase additional time, the balance will automatically update.

About my Plan

What kind of financial issues will my Plan&Act Plan address?
These Sample Plans will provide you a good sense of what kind of financial issues a Plan&Act Plan will address. Such issues include, but are not limited to:
  • How much you need to save, including your emergency fund
  • What types of retirement accounts to use (IRA, ROTH, 401(k), etc.) and how much to be saving in your retirement accounts
  • What type of mortgage you should have
  • Whether it makes sense for you to pay off your house
  • What type and how much insurance you need (life insurance, long term care insurance, disability, and even property and casualty and health insurance)
  • What changes might improve your tax situation
  • How to pay off debt and improve your credit report and credit score
Because we are not investment advisors, however, we do not offer specific investment advice or recommendations to individuals, and at no time should you infer that specific investment advice is being given. The information we give you will help you work with bankers, insurance agents, accountants, and even your own investment advisers.
How can Plan&Act generate my Next Steps and Plan&Act Plan so quickly? Can advice that is automatically generated really be right for my unique personal situation and goals?
This is an excellent question and one we are proud to answer. The artificial intelligence that generates your Plan&Act plan is firmly grounded in The Cambridge System™ approach to financial planning. Our proprietary system was developed by a team of top financial and technology experts over a period of 6 years and has been thoroughly tested to ensure that the advice you receive aligns with what you would receive from an expert financial adviser in person. Nothing else like it exists online today.
What if I have questions about my three Next Steps?
You may never need the additional help, but if you do, FI4Me financial advisers are available to answer your questions. Your FI4Me adviser will have access to your full Plan so that she can familiarize herself with your situation and goals before your consultation. To request a consultation, log in to your account and select Consult in the Dashboard menu. Follow the on-screen prompts from there.
What kind of advice will I receive in my Plan?
For a glimpse inside a Plan&Act Plan download some Sample Plans here.
Why does my Plan&Act Plan only contain three steps?
Once you complete your profile, you’ll have access to a Plan that includes your balance sheet and income/expense statement. However, the key to your success with Plan&Act is to focus on just your three Next Steps at any given time. So, we identify those three Next Steps and give you the information and support you need to get them done. This uniquely streamlined approach is central to our philosophy at Plan&Act. We could identify many more future steps for you, but we truly believe that by focusing on just your three Next Steps, you will accomplish more, faster, and feel more confident immediately. Read more about “Why three steps?
What happens after I complete my three Next Steps?
After you complete your Next Steps, you may return to Plan&Act.com and complete a new profile. Your Next Steps will update automatically. A great feature about your Plan&Act subscription is that you are allowed you to update your Plan as many times as you wish throughout the year. So, when you complete one or more of your Next Steps, or if your circumstances change, simply log back in and update your Plan. With Plan&Act, you have a Plan that evolves and grows with you over time. It all adds up!

About my Profile

How long will this take?
It depends on your situation. Many clients say completing their profile takes about 30-45 minutes. We promise, it will be worth it!
What information and documents will I need to gather before I start completing my profile?
Your completing my profile will go much more quickly if you gather certain documents ahead of time. Click to see a list of the documents you need.
I’m sharing a lot of sensitive, personal information. Is my data safe?
Absolutely. Plan&Act uses bank-level security to protect the information you enter and the documents you upload while completing your profile. For more about how Plan&Act protects your information,click here. It is always a good idea to mark out any personally identifying information on documents, such as account numbers or Social Security numbers.
What documents will I need to upload?
You will need to upload statements from your financial institutions that describe any securities you own, so that we can load these details into Plan&Act for you. After you send us the statements, we will confirm via email that we have received your data, and then email you again when your Plan is ready.
Can I estimate?
Yes. You can estimate income, expenses, or other info to get an idea of your financial picture and your most important Next Steps, so you can take action right away. Most people, however, then take the time to gather and enter their information in detail, for a fine-tuned Plan.
I’m not sure I understand a financial term.
Click the ? button next to a particular question to learn more about it.
Can I pause to find a statement, or just to take a break?
No problem. Click save and exit – your profile will be ready for you to complete when you log back in.
I didn't find my answer in FAQ!
Click Help and submit your question. We'll respond the next business day. During business hours (9 – 5 pm ET), please feel free to chat with us using the blue Support Online link at the right side of your screen.

About my Account

How can I reach Plan&Act for assistance?
Click Help and submit your question. We'll respond the next business day. During business hours (9 – 5 pm ET), please feel free to chat with us using the blue Support Online link at the right side of your screen.
How do I log into my account?
Use the login prompt at the top right of the screen to login.
How do I get a copy of my Plan?
Log in, and go to My Data. You can view, download, or print your Plan at any time.
How long does my subscription last?
For one year after paying your subscription fee, you will be able to access your account, view your Plans, and run new Plans. Your subscription’s expiration date is indicated in the upper left of your Dashboard.