What is a Financial Planner?What is a financial planner

Money stuff is complicated. Very few people can figure out how to do it well on their own – especially when you don’t have a lot of money to start with. Things like making the right investments, making sure you save enough for retirement, buying the types of insurance that are worth having (and not wasting money on the ones that aren’t worth it) are all hard to parse on your own.

What Financial Planners Do

That’s where financial planners come in. It’s their job to understand the ins and outs of all that complicated money stuff. They’ve spent time learning all the details about money management that you don’t have the time (or desire) to give to it.

A financial planner will take a look at the details of your financial life – your monthly bills, your income and assets, your debt, your investments, and your financial goals – and help you craft a plan to make the smartest financial decisions in years to come.

Once the plan is in place, they can help you devise methods to stick to it over time or make amendments to it when circumstances change.

Should You See a Financial Planner?

There are people that are really good at saving and planning financially for the future. And then there’s most of us. If you fall into the latter category, then yes, you probably should meet with a financial planner.

Getting good, informed, and well-organized financial guidance can pack some big benefits throughout your life. It can help you:

  • Meet your short-term and long-term goals, like saving for a vacation or buying a house
  • Make sure you keep a safe amount in the bank for covering unexpected expenses like medical bills or car troubles
  • Help you make smart decisions around debt and saving
  • Make sure you don’t retire too early or run out of money early into retirement
  • Ensure you and your loved ones have an easier time affording the care needed as you and those closest to you age
  • Help you make the best decision for yourself and any family members in choosing and affording senior living options like assisted living or nursing homes
  • Make sure you leave your family covered once you pass

Just think how nice it would be to have a clear plan to have all that covered and guidelines to make sure you stick to it.

How Do I Find a Good Financial Planner?

If you’d like to go ahead and seek out a financial planner, then it’s important to find a good one. One of the first things to look for is whether or not they’re certified. Certification isn’t required for someone to work as a financial planner, but it’s a good indicator that they have the skills and knowledge needed to provide you with solid advice.

One of the best recommendations for any financial planner is if they’ve successfully helped someone you know, so ask around and see if you have any friends or family members that rave about someone they worked with (or have warnings to avoid someone they weren’t impressed with). If that doesn’t lead you to someone reliable, then go online and check out reviews. If there’s a financial planner located nearby that gets solid reviews from clients, then that should make your choice easy.

Too few people make it to adulthood with strong enough financial literacy to make good decisions about spending, saving, and planning financially for the future. If you’re like most people, taking the step to ask for help can make the difference in ensuring your financial future is secure.

Kristen Hicks is an Austin-based copywriter and lifelong student with an ongoing curiousity to learn and explore new things. She turns that interest to researching and exploring subjects helpful to seniors and their families for SeniorAdvisor.com.

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