My son, unfortunately, doesn’t have good hair genes. I’ve always envied babies that are born with hair, because my son was bald for months and months. When it finally did grow, it became pretty long in the back, but barely grew on top. This resulted in a baby mullet, which is one of the worst hairstyles known to mankind. After seeing a very unattractive mullet on a man at the grocery store, I decided it was time to cut my son’s hair. My boyfriend’s mom, the ever-thrifty paragon of personal finance and bargain shopping, repeatedly offered to cut it to save us the cost of the haircut. Yes, she’s got a certain talent with an electric razor, but I just wasn’t ready to sacrifice my baby’s precious curls to an amateur. Sometimes, you need a professional.
Most women I know wouldn’t trust their hair to an amateur. If you’re just doing a little bang-trim, you can probably handle that on your own; other times, you need someone with experience. It’s the same way with your money. If your budget needs a little snip here and there, it doesn’t make sense to pay a lot of money to manage your finances. If your finances need a complete makeover, however, a good financial planner can be your best stylist. Let’s take a look at what financial planners do, and when you should consider hiring one.
Most people associate financial planners with investments and the stock market and all that confusing money mumbo-jumbo. If you’re looking for investment help, there are investment advisors who will determine where to put your dollars. If you’re looking for other financial help, however, fee-only financial planners can give you good money-management advice. If you hire the right type of financial planner, they’ll advise you on savings, retirement accounts, mortgages, insurance and much more, according to Sensible Money. Basically, financial planners will gather your personal and financial information and use it to make recommendations for your situation.
In most cases, you won’t need a financial planner for managing your day-to-day finances. When there are big changes in your life, a financial planner can help you make the necessary changes to your finances. Here are some instances in which you might consider hiring a financial advisor:
— You got married and/or had kids
It can be stressful to blend two financial lives. Add kids to the mix, and you’ll find yourself swirling down a pit of financial confusion. A financial planner can help you address issues of insurance, assets, money management, and more.
You’re getting divorced
A planner can help devise an equitable settlement that makes long-term financial sense.
— You’re planning for retirement
Investments are a big part of retirement saving. A financial planner can help you decide how to invest, along with the best ways to withdraw funds upon retirement.
— You’re facing a financial crisis
Nobody wants to be in this position. But whether the crisis is caused by job loss, illness, legal problems or any other misfortune, you don’t have to face it alone.
— You’re buying or selling a home
Any sort of home-sale transaction can be really scary. Consulting a planner for advice can provide you with recommendations and information on everything from your loan to the tax implications of becoming a homeowner.
— You’ve received a financial windfall
This is one financial problem I wish I had. If you’ve come into some unexpected money, a financial planner can manage your larger nest egg and figure out the best ways to invest.
— You’ve lost a spouse
The death of a loved one is often followed by hurried financial decisions. A financial planner will be able to look at the situation with a calm and critical eye, and offer you advice that will benefit you in the long run.
If you’re going through any sort of major financial change, or trying to plan for the future, hiring a financial planner can certainly be money well spent. You can find even more reasons to hire a financial planner at Plan for Your Health. If you think you’re ready to hire a financial planner, you can begin your search at the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA), a professional association of fee-only financial advisors. Take your time and do the necessary research to find the right planner for you. Getting professional advice on your finances can have big rewards.