Many of us like to think that we can handle our finances on our own. In most cases, this is probably true. You probably can take of the basics of budgeting, setting aside money for retirement, and all of the other tasks included in financial planning on your own.
But what if you need help? Even if you do most of the planning on your own, it doesn’t hurt to get help sometimes. There are times when having the help of a financial professional, or a financial life coach, can be a benefit.
Before you dismiss the idea, think about whether or not you could use a little help putting together your financial plan:
Sometimes, finances can be overwhelming. This is especially true if you haven’t started retirement planning — and have no idea where to start. What about if you are drowning in debt and haven’t a clue as to how to create a workable plan to get out of debt?
If you feel overwhelmed by your current financial situation, a little help can be a good thing. My parents, concerned about their situation and a little overwhelmed about what they should do next as they prepare for retirement within the next few years, decided to see a financial planner.
They went in with questions, and came out with a plan of action for their finances, and for transitioning from work to retirement. If you aren’t sure where to begin, financial planning help can put on the right track. Even if you don’t have your assets actively managed by a financial professional, you can have a plan created, including actions you can take to reach your goals.
Many financial professionals offer fee-based services, either charging by the hour, or even charging a flat fee for specific planning services. If you have questions about where to start, and if you want to take specific steps to improve your situation, a professional can provide you with what you need.
One of the things I decided as my financial situation began getting more complex is that I needed to hire an accountant to do my taxes. With my home business, investments, and other financial situations, I decided that a little help with my taxes would be desirable. My taxes get done much faster and more accurately now that I have the help.
The same can be true of long-term financial planning. If you have complex finances, whether you are trying to decide how much money is needed to retire, or how to best protect your estate for your heirs, a financial professional might be able to help you.
When you have a number of investments, trusts, and are interested in other financial strategies to make the best use of your assets, it makes sense to get help from someone who specializes in these issues. Your complex situation can be made much easier if you get some direction from a financial planning professional.
Many consumers simply want help from a knowledgeable professional as they work out a plan. I only see the accountant once a year. He does my taxes, and we talk about strategies I can employ in the coming year to reduce my tax liability. Armed with this information, I make better decisions throughout the year.
With a basic plan of action, you can work toward retirement, pay down debt, or choose better investments for your risk tolerance level. But what if you want help actually managing your financial resources?
There are many financial professionals who can help you manage your resources by doing most of the legwork. You may have to pay for the services (often a retainer, or a percentage of assets under management), but it can be worth it if you hire someone who does a superior job of putting your assets to work on your behalf.
Consider your financial situation, and honestly evaluate how you are doing on your own. If you can’t say that you are making real progress, it might be time to seek financial planning help. If you have questions, or if you want to improve the situation, consider getting professional advice.
Photo by freddyfromutah.
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I'm just an average mom, trying to live a frugal life and get out of debt. I write about things that have (and haven't) worked to improve my family's financial situation. What works for me may or may not work for you, and you should always consult a financial advisor before making important financial decisions.
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