When Should I See a Financial Planner?
Client Question: When should I see a financial planner?
Advisor Answer: If you are no longer considered someone else’s dependent (i.e. you are responsible for yourself), you should definitely consider seeing a financial planner. For many people, whether they realize it or not, they are officially off of their parent’s dole when they graduate from college or get their first job, so you may already be behind!
Many people feel they are not ready to hire a financial planner if they don’t have excess money to save. Of course, the problem may be they are spending whatever comes into their checking account (i.e. too much!). This paycheck-to-paycheck lifestyle may never change, and a financial planner may never get hired.
Have a sense of urgency
This month’s client question came from a recent group presentation I gave in Columbus. The list below is from a PowerPoint slide titled “What Most People Do Not Know.” The idea is most people do not become wealthy because they do not know the answers to these questions.
- How much money they have
- How much money they are spending
- How much money they are saving
- When they would like to retire
- How much money they need to retire
- What they are invested in
- How much life and/or disability insurance they have
- How much life and/or disability insurance they need
- Whether or not they have an estate plan
I challenge you to seriously consider whether you have answers to all these questions. Most people will continue on whatever path they’re on without ever knowing many if not all of the answers. They believe they will be able to get where they want to be financially without knowing where they are today, where they want to go, or any idea how to get there. Amazing!
I have met people who want to retire within a year and do not know how much money they have let alone how much money they need to retire. If this sounds ridiculous, ask yourself what exactly it would take for you to take action and seek help to have answers to the bullet points above. The truth is, unless there is an untimely death or disability, there may not be a particular event that causes someone to take action until they are within a year from retirement. The result is that many people don’t take action until it may be far too late.
Let’s compare this to someone who suddenly feels very ill. This person will likely try to see a doctor as soon as possible as they fear the situation could quickly worsen if not treated correctly. Unlike an illness, people think it’s OK to “kick the can down the road” from a financial perspective as if to “postpone and conquer” is a solid financial plan. In reality, the negative impact of financial decisions will manifest at critical junctures. Examples of critical junctures include when it’s time to purchase a home, pay for children to attend college, retire, or someone passes away or becomes disabled. And while this won’t impact your health in the same way an illness would, it will and does eventually negatively impact your quality of life.
Have a wealthy person’s mindset
Someone with the wealthy mindset would look at the bullet points above and immediately think they should hire someone else to manage their financial affairs. They see hiring a financial planner as an incredibly profitable investment that will more than pay for itself rather than an expense. A common expression I hear from wealthy and successful people is, “You don’t know what you don’t know.” Albert Einstein may have been the smartest person in the world, but that doesn’t mean he would know how a Roth IRA works. And why would he? The wealthy mindset doesn’t find it embarrassing to ask for help.
Someone with a non-wealthy mindset thinks in the exact opposite way. Their personal ego will take a hit if they ask someone for help, and they will try to “Do it themselves” by Googling every question they have. This is the same person who leaves their car maintenance to a professional, but decides to take their family’s financial future into their own hands. As the old saying goes, they “miss the forest for the trees” and think of a fee paid to a financial planner as another expense as opposed to an incredibly profitable investment.
You don’t have to make a big commitment
Many financial planners offer stand-alone financial planning services. For example, I provide a One-Time Financial Plan for $500 without any strings attached. And let’s be honest, are you serious about you and/or your family’s financial life if you aren’t willing to pay $500? Financial projections often show someone would ultimately be hundreds of thousands of dollars wealthier (if not more!) if they ended up following the recommendations outlined in a Financial Plan. These recommendations are nothing magical. Simply saving more money, utilizing the right types of tax-advantaged accounts, investing in appropriate, low cost investment allocations, and having adequate insurance coverage will have a tremendous financial impact over a long period of time.
To learn more about how Caligiuri Financial may be able to help YOU, click here to schedule a complimentary consultation.
Do you want to get on the right track with your financial life? Check out our One-Time Financial Plan.
Are you too busy to manage yours or your family’s financial affairs? Check out our Financial Planning Partnership.
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