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Financial Planning and Retirement

Do I Need a Financial Advisor? The Answer May Surprise You

Do I Need a Financial Advisor? The Answer May Surprise You

Author: Kristi Krepel, Senior Advisor, Private Client Services

According to the CNBC Invest in You survey, the majority of Americans are making financial decisions about their future without the experienced guidance of a professional. For some, their approach to financial management may be based on a misunderstanding about the services that a financial advisor can provide.

 “They think it’s specifically about managing money and not about receiving financial advice and financial planning,” said Douglas Boneparth, author of the book “The Millennial Money Fix” in a statement to CNBC.

In reality, financial advisors are trained to take a holistic look at your financial situation. That means they consider where you are today, where you want to be in the future and your current finances to create a plan or approach designed to help you meet your goals. Your financial advisor can even help hold you accountable, ensuring you remain on track regarding budget, savings, purchases and investment decisions.

To help you make the most of your money now and into the future, your financial advisor may be able to guide and assist you in many areas related to financial management, not just retirement or investing. This may include:

  • Cash flow analysis:

    There are many factors that could change the amount of money you have at your disposal. A financial advisor may be able to help you envision and plan for your future, so you have the funds to meet your needs.

  • Budgeting:

    Do you understand how your financial outlook will change throughout your life? How you will afford to buy a new house or make other lifestyle changes? A financial advisor may help you answer these questions, as well as many others, and even help you set up a budget to meet future goals.

  • Education planning:

    Your financial advisor may be able to help with investment and savings options related to education in order to help make the right choices when it comes to college savings plans for your children or grandchildren.

  • Special event planning:

    At some point, we all face situations that require large expenditures. Whether it’s a child getting married, affording home repairs or providing for elder care, a financial advisor may be able to help plan for life events like these.

  • Social Security planning:

    The National Institute on Retirement Security indicates that 40 percent of Americans rely on social security to fund their retirement, so making an educated decision on when to begin taking benefits is vital for a sound economic future. A financial advisor can look at your entire fiscal plan and help determine the best time to start drawing these funds.

  • Debt management:

    When debt has you strapped for cash, your financial advisor can analyze the terms of your obligations and whether the interest is tax deductible to determine what should be paid off first. A financial advisor may also look at your current budget and expenses to identify changes that could help you pay down debt faster, like possibly consolidating your debt

  • Long-term care planning:

    While it is difficult to predict how much or what type of long-term care a person might need, your financial advisor may be able to help you make an informed decision by considering your age, lifestyle, family situation and family history to identify risk factors that may influence your outcomes, in order to help you prepare for such an eventuality.

  • Estate planning:

    Everyone should have at least the basic estate planning documents at hand, including a will, financial power of attorney and healthcare power of attorney. Your estate plan, however, should be established when you are young and evolve throughout your lifetime. A financial advisor can review your family and financial situation to determine other estate planning tools that may be necessary to help you reach your goals or plan for your legacy.

  • Life insurance planning:

    When purchasing a life insurance policy, a financial advisor can help you make an educated decision based on factors such as your age, financial goals, current savings and current debt loads.

In the end, whether you are just starting out in life or have already built a sizable legacy, a financial advisor has the tools, training and experience to help you make the most of your funds today, while planning for a secure future.

Selecting a Financial Advisor

When it comes to selecting a financial advisor, the number one criteria for most, according to a survey conducted by Qualtrics, is trust. However, people also look for an advisor with a good investment track record and one who offers personalized customer service.

Before you decide on a financial advisor, be sure you’ve chosen someone who understands your future goals. You should also be comfortable discussing personal matters. Ideally, your financial advisor should be with you for the long haul, so it’s important to find someone who is compatible, knowledgeable and skilled in all aspects of financial planning.

About the Author:

Kristi is a Senior Advisor in Private Client Services at FNBO Wealth Management. She strives to build lasting relationships with her clients so they feel comfortable trusting us to help them reach their financial goals no matter what stage of life they’re in. Kristi focuses on financial and estate planning as well as administration of Trusts, IRAs, investment management accounts, agencies, foundations and endowments.

This material is provided for informational purposes only.  It does not constitute legal, tax, accounting, investment, insurance or other professional advice.  All expressions of opinion are subject to change without notice in reaction to changing market, economic or political conditions.  Information contained herein from third parties is obtained from what are considered reliable sources.  However, although it is intended to be accurate, its accuracy, completeness or reliability cannot be guaranteed.  Linking to any third-party materials in no way implies an endorsement or affiliation of any kind with any third party.  This material was created as of the date indicated and reflects the author’s views as of that date.  Neither the publisher nor any other party assumes any liability for loss or damage due to reliance on this material.

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