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Do You Need a Financial Advisor?

Seven times when it can make sense

You've chosen your own life adventure, and you may hit a financial fork in the road at some point. No matter when that happens, who do you want on your team, helping you plan your route? A financial advisor will get to know what's important to you and be your financial navigator when those inevitable crossroads appear. Here are seven milestones when it makes sense to seek out a financial advisor:

  1. When you're ready to move beyond your company's 401(k) You hear it. It's that voice in your head telling you "it's time to do more." You're maxing out your 401(k), or you've hit a career milestone and you're eager to start planning your financial future. A financial advisor can help you focus and organize your goals for the future – whether it's paying for future education, preparing for retirement, or preparing for unexpected events.
  2. When you're part of the "gig" economy You've done it – you've paved your own path to a career as a contractor, freelancer, through self-employment or as a small business owner. You're also experiencing unique challenges that come with your livelihood, such as not having the comfort of a company's retirement plan or benefits. And that can be stressful. A financial advisor can help you focus on saving for the future you want, so that you can focus on running your business. This includes helping you manage the financial aspects of trekking your own career path – saving for unexpected events, planning for your short- and long-term goals and planning for retirement.
  3. When you are juggling multiple goals You may be wrestling with several financial goals and need to prioritize. Pay off that student debt, or put that money into savings for your first house? Save for that family vacation, or maximize your retirement fund? Trying to figure out the puzzle pieces when you have multiple financial goals can be overwhelming. Your financial advisor is your go-to person for helping you sort out these questions. Why? Because he or she will take the time to ask the right questions about your life priorities and can help fit those puzzle pieces together in a way that makes sense for you and your financial strategy.
  4. When your personal life is changing Major life changes can frazzle the best of us. Some will be joyful, such as marriage and growing your family. Others may be unexpected, such as divorce or the death of a loved one. All of these events can create so many questions about finances. Do we combine our finances? Can I do this on my own? Just HOW much does college cost again? These questions often come with a sense of urgency to find answers. As a sounding board, your financial advisor is there to provide a sense of calm and ensure that your financial strategy reflects the changes in your life. By meeting regularly with a financial advisor, he or she can help guide you through these transitions, while helping you keep your personal goals on track. 
  5. When you receive a large sum of money News of a large sum of money coming your way is almost always positive, but so many questions pop up when you receive an inheritance, a large work bonus or another significant sum of money. A financial advisor can help you plan a strategy for that money by learning what's important to you – are you determined to pay off debt or are you ready to be a homeowner? He or she can help you determine where the money can most benefit you and your long-term financial strategy. 
  6. When you're nearing retirement You see it – it’s the day you put down the laptop and pick up that paintbrush. Retirement. You've got it in your sights, but are you actually ready? Nervousness can often set in when you are nearing retirement age and you start to question every financial decision you ever made. A financial advisor can help reassure you by helping you know what to expect once you make that transition into retirement. He or she can help you evaluate, or re-evaluate, how much savings you'll need to retire and strategies to help get there in your timeframe. 
  7. When you're retired You did it! You made it to retirement. But you'll still have financial questions and need to make sure you continue to have enough income to live out your retirement however you planned. Having a financial advisor by your side as your navigator is key – they'll provide professional guidance to help answer those questions and adjust your strategy if needed. They'll help you create a strategy if you haven't yet done so or help you make important decisions regarding realistic spending, leaving money to heirs and ongoing investment strategies.

Are these the only events that might trigger you to seek out a financial advisor? Probably not. The common thread with all of these milestones is that seeking out a financial advisor is adding a player to your team – one that understands how important your money and your financial goals are and works in your best interest to help you succeed. And every one of us could use another supporter on our team, right?

More Resources:

Retirement Accounts

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Stocks, Bonds & Mutual Funds

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Your investment goals are as unique as the route you take to reach them. But regardless of your course, we believe these 10 “rules of the road” can help you get where you want to be.

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