By Kelly Hodges
The decision of whether or not to use a financial planner is a big one, and not to be taken lightly. There’s no doubt that there are tremendous advantages to employing one, but they come at a cost. There are also many different types of financial planners out there, and you want to make sure you choose the one that you are most comfortable with, and the one who has your best interests (and not her bottom line) in mind.
My husband and I have been seeing a financial planner for the past two years, and our experience has been a good one. It is interesting though that whenever the topic comes up in conversation with friends, there seem to be two polarizing viewpoints. Those who utilize a financial planner rave about how their financial situations have improved since employing one. Those who don’t insist that they are able to plan their finances adequately by themselves and don’t need to pay someone else to do it.
For years we were in the latter camp, with our excuse mainly being “we have a lot in student loans and don’t have a significant amount of money saved, so why do we need a financial planner?” Furthermore, we thought of it more as a resource for the rich to figure out what to do with this brokerage account or that retirement fund, and not for everyday non-bazillionaires like ourselves.
But then we thought about it some more. Our finances were a bit disorganized, and neither of us had the time (big factor) nor nifty tools to lay everything out nicely and create a pathway for success. We thought, “So, why shouldn’t we engage someone within this specialized field to help us get to the next level?” After all, if I needed a mole removed I’d go to a dermatologist and not try to remove it myself. If I needed a new muffler I wouldn’t hesitate to go to the auto mechanic. So what was the difference with a financial planner?
We decided to give it a try, and our finances haven’t been the same since. Over the past two years we have been able to reap countless benefits from the advice and guidance of our financial planner. We have realized how essential an overarching plan for your financial future is, no matter what your financial situation. We’ve also experienced the value of having a knowledgeable partner to help guide us down the right path to making our plan a reality.
So if I’ve convinced you that a financial planner may be worth looking into, stay tuned as we look at the different types of financial planners out there and how to choose the one that’s best for you. We’ll also take a more in depth look at the specific advantages a financial planner affords over the go it alone approach.
Any opinions expressed herein are solely those of the author, and do not in any way represent the views or opinions of her employer or any other person or entity.
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