Let’s say you are settled into a career, you have a home and a family, and two cars in the garage. Maybe there is some debt to clean up, and you know you have to save more for retirement, college costs, and other life events, but you are planning on getting around to it soon, after the next raise or windfall. The bills are getting paid, and there’s even a little bit left over each month. Nothing about your financial situation seems to be an emergency, and you have an idea what must be done to tidy things up.
The fact of the matter is that not everyone who visits a Financial Planner is in dire straits, and on the flip side you don’t have to have ample wealth that needs management to necessitate the help of a professional. A lot of us know there are things we can do better, and in some cases we have even figured out how we can do them better, but we can’t seem to make ourselves follow through. Maybe you are waiting for your car loan to be paid off before tackling some credit card debt, or you know a raise is around the corner and that’s going to be the best time to increase your 401k contributions. Often, when those events come to pass, other expenses pop up that fill the void in your budget.
Accountability is the name of the game, and with a professional to help set goals, and check up on your progress, it is far more likely that the plan will be implemented on schedule. It’s easy to convince yourself that it makes sense to postpone taking the next step in your personal finances, but when you have to sit across the table from your Financial Planner and give the explanation you may find it more challenging.
Some avoid seeking the services of a Financial Planner because they don’t want to be told “no” all the time. The traditional view of Financial Professionals is that they are only there to tell you not to buy the new car, not to go on the expensive vacation, and not to go out to dinner at your favorite restaurant because it’s too expensive. Sometimes this is sound advice, if spending on these items is keeping you from doing other, more meaningful things with your money. But if your Financial Planner is doing the job right, and you are working together, the answer will not always be “no”. Your Financial Planner is there to help you identify your life goals, determine which are most important to you, and guide you through actionable steps to meet your objectives and improve your life satisfaction.