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Do You Need a Financial Planner?

September 2nd 2014 by
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Managing your finances isn’t easy. You may be struggling with how to pay off debt, save for vacation and/or set up a secure retirement. Add major life events that occur along the way, and it’s downright overwhelming.

Fortunately, you can get help. Financial planners can step in and assist you. However, they come at a price.

So how do you know when it’s in your best interest to get professional help?

Financial Planners in a Nutshell

Financial planners help solve problems. They help with a range of issues including:

  • Taxes (especially for people who own businesses)
  • Investment
  • Estate management
  • Planning for long-term goals

While a financial planner will offer advice on everyday money management, you don’t need to hire one if that’s your only concern. There are plenty of programs you can use yourself to help with that. Most people struggle with the discipline aspect, which a financial planner wouldn’t be able to fix anyway.

Anyone can call themselves a financial planner. While looking for one, it’s important to do your research on their background and make sure their accredited. Here are some of the titles to look for: RIA (Registered Investment Advisor), CFP (Certified Financial Planner), CRPC (Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor), AIF (Accredited Investment Fiduciary) and CPA (Certified Public Accountant).

Reasons to Hire a Financial Planner

You know a financial planner can help with sorting out taxes, investments, your estate or establishing a plan to meet long-term goals, a financial planner can help you out. But these situations don’t mean you need a financial planner.

Do you have a good grasp on your current financial situation? Do you enjoy reading and learning about personal finance and investing? Do you have the time to manage your own finances? If so, you could be fine on your own.

Life events are a good reason to look into a financial planner. If you recently got married, divorced, had a baby, inherited money or started a business, you could benefit from a professional’s advice.

DIY Financial Planning

Does it sound like you can do this on your own? If so, here’s what you need to do:

1. Set your goals. Plan short-term and long-term goals.

2. Figure out your net worth. This will let you establish your baseline.

3. Research and plan. The information is out there, so you need to take the time to learn.

No one is going to care about your personal finance more than you, so it makes sense to do it yourself if you’re capable.

If you want to have some fun learning how to invest, this site provides games you can play that will help you learn.

Have you ever used a financial planner? Or do you have any tips for those doing it on their own?


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