Financial planning can seem like a difficult undertaking for many people. The vast majority of us are not wealthy so that it can seem unimportant. However, as our financial circumstances grow more complicated with advancing age, the need for sound advice becomes ever more vital.
Almost everyone can benefit from the services of a knowledgeable financial planner. A qualified financial planner isn’t just a source of investment advice. Financial planners can help you navigate a slew of complicated financial issues like:
The best insurance coverage for your changing circumstances.
Choosing appropriate long-term care coverage.
Estate planning to ensure your wishes are carried out.
Tax planning to avoid overpayment or costly mistakes.
It’s never too soon to start working with a reputable financial advisor. If you don’t have one, start looking for someone with a solid history of helping others. If you already use a financial planner, take advantage of your next meeting to discuss important changes in your circumstances, such as:
Marriage Divorce Birth of a child Purchase or sale of a home
A good rule of thumb to follow when choosing a financial advisor is to be wary of anyone who contacts you that you haven’t solicited first. A trustworthy financial planner shouldn’t be aggressively offering his services.
There are online sources of information that you can use to find reputable financial advisors.
The Better Business Bureau of Charlotte, North Carolina has an accredited business directory that lists BBB-accredited financial advisors.
Barron’s is a trusted source of financial information and lists the top financial advisors in all 50 states. Here is the list of top financial advisors in North Carolina.
You can also find a good financial planner the old fashioned way: ask around. Talk to friends and relatives, ask who they use, and why.
There are important things to consider when choosing a financial planner such as their credentials, how you’ll compensate them, and how you get along together.
Use the CFP Board’s certification verifier to check the planner’s certification status, professional history, and if they’ve filed for bankruptcy in the last ten years.
Find out if a planner you’re considering is a fiduciary. A fiduciary has to place the client’s best interests first, rather than just offering a range of less than ideal options.
Certified planners are paid in one of three ways:
Fee- based: the planner receives a percentage of your holdings annually.
Commissions on particular investment vehicles.
Fee and commission combined.
Do your research and find the best options for you.
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