May 8, 2023
Five Signs You Need a Financial Planner
When talking to a prospective client, one common roadblock that I run into is the prospect saying they don’t need a financial planner at this time, and they are “fine” handling their finances on their own. My hypothesis is that people say this (even though they are the ones that reached out to me) because they feel like admitting they need help is a sign of weakness. However, if you were an engineer, you wouldn’t try to replace your hip on your own, would you? Of course not. You would call a professional, a doctor. In a similar vein, even though you might be financially literate and very smart in your field of study, it’s always best to use a true industry professional when it comes to finances.
This is where a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER comes in handy. A CFP® is a verified financial planning professional who has exceeded an intense set of criteria to prove that they are subject matter experts in financial planning. I work with many very intelligent clients, whom I have no doubt could find a way to hit their goals if they were doing their own financial planning. However, they trust me and my team to find inefficiencies in their plan that they are unaware of, do the research they don’t have the time for, and have the foresight to see what challenges might be upcoming, and mitigate those for them.
That said, there are five specific moments in life that are great opportunities to begin working with a CFP® to help launch your next phase of life.
1. Recently married. There are more steps than you expect in merging two individual lives into one. Does it make sense to combine finances? How do you want to track cash flow and bills? Does one or both of you have debt that you are bringing into the marriage? These are just some of the reasons that financial issues are always near the top when it comes to causes of divorce.
2. Owning a business. Sure, you might run a business that is doing well-enough cash-flow wise to pay you what you need today, but what is the best way to optimize it for tax purposes? Do you have an exit strategy when you’re ready to hang it up, and what happens if the business goes belly-up (any back up plan)? Then there’s considerations for the best way to take care of your employees, save for retirement, purchasing health insurance, etc. We help small to large business owners optimize their operations for their needs and their financial plan on a regular basis.
3. Looking to make a large purchase. While most people just look at big purchases and determine how much they need to save each month to be able to afford it, wouldn’t it be nice to know how that large purchase is going to affect your cash flow, lifestyle, flexibility, and future goals in the long-term? These are all the things we help our clients work through before they buy any large item (i.e., car, house, business, etc.)
4. Career change. These changes can be exciting, nerve racking, or both! Sometimes people change careers on purpose, sometimes it’s due to downsizing. Either way, new employment (or a termination) comes with a change in income, health benefits, retirement benefits, and future career prospects. We help countless clients each year weigh the benefits of making a jump from their existing employer based on how all these items affect their financial plan, for better or worse. Some small, key changes to benefits or salary can have rippling effects on your financial plan.
5. A growing family. Not only are there substantial ongoing costs associated with a baby and raising that child for the next two decades, but also how you look at your insurances, retirement, purchases, etc. will all change. We help our clients make sure their wishes for their kids and spouse are met should they pass away prematurely or become disabled. If clients want to help fund education for their kids, we find them the best manner with which to accomplish that as well. When it comes to a growing family, one thing is for certain, whatever is put into the plan as a prediction today is assuredly going to change in the coming years. That is why we completely review and re-do our clients’ financial plans each year. If a financial plan is not reviewed (at least) annually, it is not worth having.
The first step is admitting that you do not know everything, closely followed by the knowledge that a financial professional is better suited to help you get to where you want to be financially. If you can follow these two steps, you’re well on your way to unlocking your financial future. You don’t have to do everything on your own. Let a subject matter expert help so you can focus on what’s important to you – family, job, hobbies, etc. Here at Gainplan, we have a team of six CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PROFESSIONALS that assist hundreds of families daily. Let us help you reach financial freedom— reach out to us today.