Whether young or not-so-young, we all have had dreams of what we might want to do if we had no financial concerns. But, did you know that only 8% of us achieve our financial dreams?
You can increase that probability with a financial plan. When we ask a diverse group of people what a financial plan is, they often have many ideas. A plan for their bills to fit their budget. A way to grow their money and reduce their debt. A method to protect their loved ones. A target to purposefully direct their money to their goals.
A financial plan should cover that and so much more. To get started, I have identified three ways you can get to your dreams. The first one is to do it alone if you happen to be a financial wiz and super disciplined. The second way is to ask a financially knowledgeable friend for help and wait for their availability. And the final way is to hire a financial planner and take advantage of their experience and training in building financial plans.
As a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional who has worked with thousands of families in the past 20 years, I want to share the top 5 reasons you should work with a financial planner.
- A financial planner begins with an end in mind (your dream). A professional already knows the path you will need to travel to get to your goal and will help you get there faster and smarter. They have the experience of working with clients like you. Let’s face it—the majority of humans want to make more money and have more free time. CFP® professionals know this and have alternatives for you to evaluate.
- A financial planner is trained to hold you accountable. Studies show that people need a knowledgeable support system to achieve their goals. Remember, when you learned to play the guitar, you hired a professional. Similarly, a financial planner is trained to build you an actionable plan for your money and have regular meetings to check on your progress.
- A financial planner knows how to break down your big goals. A planner works with you to break your big, audacious goals into pieces, timelines and smaller goals so you can increase the probability of achieving them. For example, if financial independence is your goal, it will be best to identify in how many years, with how much money and where you want to be. Visualizing your goals and adding the best financial strategies will accelerate your progress.
- A financial planner wants to save you money. Your financial planner knows how to advise efficient products for different types of accounts and match them to your purpose—for instance, retirement and education. There is a difference between putting the money in the right account to minimize taxes and maximize protection and growing your money in efficient taxable products. Remember, a CFP® professional has made a commitment to CFP Board, as part of their certification, to act in your best interest.
- A financial planner can help you evaluate hard, emotional decisions. A neutral party can provide emotional clarity when dealing with saving, investing, spending, lending and protecting your money. For example, extra financial planning is required for such life changes as expanding your family, aging parent care, loss of a spouse or changing professions.
It is important to note that as part of our certification, CFP® professionals have made a commitment to CFP Board to act as a fiduciary, which means to put your best interests ahead of their own at all times when providing financial advice. CFP Board doesn’t guarantee a CFP® professional’s services, but CFP Board may sanction a CFP® professional who does not abide by this commitment to CFP Board.
Ready to be part of the 8% of those who make their dreams come true? Consider hiring a financial planner to be your “smart buddy” to guide you, protect you and put your interest first when presenting alternatives for your financial plan.