People tend to go All Or Nothing when it comes to working with a financial advisor. Either they have an advisor on call who helps them make every important financial decision, or they go it alone, never getting outside insight about the vital aspects of their own finances. Neither way is the best way. Everybody should learn enough about money to make educated decisions in the day to day. You can get to this level pretty easily, just by reading a book or a personal finance blog. But there are some times in life when it’s very important to sit down with a financial advisor. Here are three.
1) When Selling a Structured Settlement. This may seem like a fringe case, but you’d be surprised how many people will receive a structured settlement within their lifetime. Structured settlements are often the product of protracted legal disputes. In this case, you’re the plaintiff: someone who has been hurt or wronged. In these trying emotional and financial times, many people are given structured settlements so the offending party can avoid a court drama. But these monthly payments may not be enough to get you by. Many companies will approach you to buy your settlement – for pennies on the dollar. An Alaskan independent professional advisor is an example of a regional authority on this kind of matter. Find the equivalent in your area to make sure you get the money you deserve during this trying time.
2) When You Have Children. Finances change dramatically when you have kids, and it’s important that you have your ducks in a row during the next months and years. You’ll likely need help creating a financial plan for the day to day. But you’ll also need help planning for the more distant future. Many parents these days are trying to start investing when (or before) their first child is born. But all of these hopes and dreams can go out the window in the stress of a first child, so it’s important that these plans be carefully laid. Sit down with a financial advisor before you bring a baby into the world. You’ll be happy you did.
3) If You Never Have Before. There’s no time like the present. Sitting down with a financial advisor is like having a money coach. As with anything that requires learning and skill, you’ll do better if there’s someone to answer your questions, show you what you’re doing wrong, and give you specific ways to improve. Some people like to schedule a sit-down with a financial advisor once every 3 months or so, to help chart their progress and make better plans for the future.
Having a conversation with a trusted financial advisor can have a life-changing impact on your finances. So many of us have financial lives that undergo no scrutiny at all. Instead, take the time to sit across the table for someone who can offer a little perspective. A little financial counseling goes a long way, and simply taking the step to do so is a step in the right direction.