We had the foresight a number of years ago - about 25 actually - to make an appointment with a certified financial planner and begin to arrange our finances. We were married only a few years, with two children at the time. Our first priority was to put enough money aside to pay for our children's college. I have since discovered that this may not have been the best use of our available investment dollars - only because a lot of authorities now say that it might be a better idea to let your children take out loans to finance their college rather than putting potential retirement dollars into their college funds. Meh.
I can't say we'd have done it differently, only want to mention this and acknowledge that there are at least two schools of thought when it comes to prioritizing your goals.
Our second goal was to have enough set aside to be able to retire in about 20 years. I would like to add that the financial collapse that occurred within the last couple of years pushed that date back, but only by maybe two years because of the conservative and diverse investment options in our portfolio.
A little bit about Karl, our planner. Our relationship with Karl has been built on a foundation of trust with a healthy dose of guilt. :) Before any large expenditure, we joke with each other and ask "WWKS"..."what would Karl say..." During our yearly reviews, our situation is assessed and a report is created that shows what has happened over the last year with our investments. Recommendations are made and questions are asked and answered. We've moved three times since starting our journey with Karl, sometimes out of state, and sometimes hundreds of miles away. Never have we considered changing planners - our faith and trust in the process and in Karl have kept us loyal. Some years our annual meeting has been via internet and/or phone, but we always feel that he is accessible no matter where we are living at the time.