Most of us go to see professionals when we’re in trouble or during times of crisis. Think about it. We go to the doctor when we’re sick. We go see a lawyer when we have a pending legal matter. We go see a counselor when we’re feeling depressed.
As a Financial Advisor, unfortunately, I often hear from prospects after something has happened – and sometimes I am limited in how I can help. Sure, I can often make a situation better, but if I knew about what my clients were facing sooner, I can usually help them avoid lots of heartaches and often save money in the process.
As such, I put together a list of times when you should consider seeking professional financial advice. Let’s discuss:
1. Changing Jobs
There is a lot a Financial Advisor can help you when you are changing jobs, besides just whether or not to roll-over your 401k. For example, he or she can help you budget during your transition and when you start your new job. Your Advisor can also help you evaluate whether a new job offer fits your overall long-term goals. Lastly, he or she can help you evaluate your new company’s benefit plans and identify where you might see gaps in coverage.
2. Getting Married
Most couples know that money is the #1 source of arguments in marriages. And while Financial Advisors do not provide marriage therapy, they can help you identify your joint financial goals and walk you both through the financial planning process. Yes, it is true – their advice may not eliminate all your money arguments, but I do think it might help stop some arguments from happening altogether.
3. Buying a Home
I tell my clients all the time: your house is likely to be your largest investment and greatest asset for quite some time. And like any other investment, there are risks to consider. Is this your first home? Or is it an investment property or vacation home? Depending on your circumstances, there are lots of headaches a Financial Advisor can help you avoid in the future.
4. Having a Baby
Interestingly, I met many new parents spending hours agonizing over the color of the new nursery while spending very little time on financial planning matters that a baby introduces to their life. But, that’s where your Financial Advisor can help make a list of things to think about: 529 plans – for your child’s College Education, tax implications, wills, new expenses, etc.
5. Starting a Business
Have the entrepreneurial bug? Well, as great as starting a business can be, it can also come with a lot of challenges – and most of them have nothing to do with money. Your Financial Advisor can help review your business plan, think through health insurance options, and determine whether you should consult or form an LLC. He or she can also help review your projected P&L and perhaps, identify what type of Retirement Plan – i.e., SIMPLE IRA, SEP IRA or solo 401K – is most beneficial for your situation.
6. Getting Divorced
It’s an unfortunate statistic that everyone knows – more than 50% of marriages are ending in divorce these days. And while every divorce is unique in its own way, the reality is that there is usually one common theme in all divorces – it destroys Financial Plans. And while every divorced person feels the financial impact, baby boomers suffer more – and the impact among women baby boomers is among the worse. Times like this – a Financial Advisor can help you navigate the financial complexities of a divorce.
7. Planning for Aging Parents
Are you are considering a senior living center for your parent? Or maybe transitional housing with full-time care? Or visiting nurses? A few people I know – often entering retirement themselves – are finding themselves in a position of helping elderly parents or relatives to manage their finances and living arrangements. There are so many things to think about, including irrevocable trusts, durable power of attorney, health care directives, as well as options for the next chapters of your parent’s life. While Financial Advisors are not experts in all the nuances, they can help you sort through the issues and develop a plan for your unique situation.
8. Family Stuff
Has your brother or sister approached you about investing in their new business? Or maybe you are considering buying a new car for your son? Or maybe your favorite cousin needs a loan? All of these are emotional decisions as much as they are financial ones. Your Advisor can help you determine what your options are financially speaking. It could be that you simply can’t afford to invest in your brother’s new business. Perhaps, knowing that can save you a lot of emotional heartaches.
So, what do you think? Perhaps, a Financial Advisor can help you more than you think in sorting through many of your major life decisions. If you have one of these situations and are convinced you could benefit from professional advice, please give me a call – I am eager to help. Best of luck!
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