- Some money decisions call for reinforcement from a financial planner.
- A good certified financial planner can help organize your overall financial picture, or focus on specifics.
- You may consider meeting with a financial planner if you're having a baby soon, combining finances with your partner, nervous about investing, need help with your retirement savings strategy, or are stuck in debt.
- If you decide to seek professional advice, make sure you hire a fee-only financial planner — they act as fiduciaries, which requires them to put their client's interests first.
- Find out what a financial planner can do for you with Personal Finance Insider's free e-book »
A good certified financial planner can organize your overall financial picture and implement strategies that will help you achieve your goals, from putting your kids through college to retiring when you want.
Here are a few times you should consider hiring a financial planner.
1. You're having a baby soon
Some of the most exciting life milestones also happen to be the most costly. If you're expanding your family, there's a good chance you'll need to find room in your budget to accommodate the increased expenses — you're feeding, housing, and clothing another human, after all.
A financial planner can sit down and estimate the true costs of parenthood, reorganize your cash flow, and plan for any savings goals you have as a family.
2. You're combining finances with your partner
Money is often a touchy topic in relationships, especially when your spending and saving habits are at odds. A professional can walk you through which accounts to combine or keep separate, and create a cohesive financial plan that meets both your needs.
3. You won't invest on your own
Investing in the stock market is one of the most powerful tools we have for building wealth, but too many people are paralyzed by the fear of losing their money that they avoid investing all together. If this sounds like you, consider consulting a financial planner to formulate an investment strategy that satisfies your risk tolerance.
Indeed, returns are never guaranteed when investing in the stock market, but what you miss out on by sitting on the sidelines is often far greater than what you could potentially lose if you invest wisely.
4. You need help with your retirement plan
The younger you are, the simpler your retirement strategy should be: Save as much as you can automatically through your tax-advantaged savings accounts, including your company-sponsored retirement plan, such as a 401(k), and/or a traditional or Roth IRA.
But as you age into your 30s and 40s, you'll have a clearer idea of what your ideal retirement looks like, and figuring out how to achieve that may get a bit complicated. Financial planners are adept at retirement planning — they can assess how much you should be saving and where you should be investing it to put you on track to your dream retirement.
5. You're overwhelmed by debt
Anyone who has ever been in debt, whether from student loans or credit cards, knows it can feel insurmountable at times, especially if you're juggling saving for retirement or financial goals, or live in an expensive city.
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