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When Is the Right Time to Find a Financial Planner?

"Money skills are 21st century survival skills."

— Dick Wagner, CFP® Professional

Financial planning should be considered a 21st century survival skill. Money impacts many aspects of modern life at all ages—from paying for day care and college, to managing mortgage payments, to retirement income planning and long-term care. Parents are likely managing more than one of these situations at the same time for themselves and their children.

Working with a CFP® professional can help you gain the confidence to feel more financially secure as you navigate your life. A financial planner’s advice can be especially impactful in the event of three significant changes: when your finances change, when your life is changing, or when things aren't changing fast enough.

When Your Finances Change

When your finances change, it's a good time to revisit your goals, values and relationships. Financial planners work with their clients through all sorts of changes and help them prioritize and simplify their expenses, assets and income.

Common significant financial changes include:

  • Receiving an inheritance.
  • Incurring unexpected medical, car or other expenses.
  • Borrowing student loans.
  • Getting a mortgage.
  • Managing insurance costs and benefits.

Money is a topic that is largely taboo in our society. Being able to consult with a trained professional while your financial situation is changing is a great way to gain confidence in your finances.

As an example, if you've inherited money, you may be able to realize goals that previously seemed unrealistic. A financial planner can help you spend—and save—the inheritance wisely so that it aligns with your financial goals.

Without a planner, it may be tempting to allow a financial windfall to reshape your goals, be spent and disappear. Perhaps, you wanted a new car and considered purchasing a Honda before the inheritance. However, now that you have the additional money, you're tempted to buy a Tesla instead at significantly higher price. It is important to consider the true cost of the purchase. How does spending the money on the more expensive car impact meeting your other financial goals, such as a secure retirement? A CFP® professional has the tools and experience to help you make the right decision to match your financial situation today, as well as to support your goals for the future.

When Things Are Changing in Your Life

Money affects every aspect of our lives. Similarly, our lives affect our finances. When you’ve had a major life change, it’s a good time to work with a financial planner.

As an example, CFP® professionals frequently help clients navigate job changes. The average American will have 12 or more jobs during their lifetime, according to a survey by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Each change in employment brings a different financial situation. Specifically, retirement plan accounts with a former employer and the new employer may cause confusion, resulting in the following questions:

  • What should I do with the old account?
  • Where should I invest in the new employer’s account?
  • How much should I contribute?
  • Should I consider a Roth 401(k)?

A CFP® professional can also help in the event of the loss of a job without a new one planned. In this case, a financial planner can help you calculate how long your severance will last; reevaluate an existing budget or create a new budget; and put together a savings plan for retirement and emergency accounts.

When Things Aren’t Changing Fast Enough

If you feel that you are working hard and earning money but want to more efficiently pay off debt or build savings, a CFP® professional can help. CFP® professionals can help you strengthen your spending and savings strategies to:

  • Manage and pay student loans or credit card debt.
  • Reevaluate high expenses.
  • Build emergency savings that last.
  • Budget discretionary income to allow for “fun purchases.”

CFP® professionals have extensive experience working with clients in situations like these. When you're looking for help navigating change in your financial situation or life, finding a CFP® professional in your area is a great place to start.

Investment advisory services offered through A & I Financial Services LLC, registered investment advisor. Securities provided through Geneos Wealth Management Inc., member FINRA, SIPC.

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