Guest Blog Post by Will Kaplan
Marriage, a family, starting a business... these milestones in life might signal the need for a financial advisor, but turning points aren't the only signs you might need help. Sometimes it's the little events in life that add up, prompting the need to call in an expert who can assess your finances and help you make decisions.
It can be hard to tell if you need help from a professional, but here are six important signs that you might benefit from the advice of a personal financial advisor.
1. You're not sure if you have enough for retirement.
While this should be a concern all your working life, it's most often what pushes many people in their 50s to seek help from a financial advisor. Aside from knowing whether you have enough set aside, it's even hard to know how much you'll need to get by. When you're dealing with a short time frame for preparing to retire, it's nice to get help from a professional who may help you get there faster.
2. You're ready to start investing.
Maybe you've been glued Bloomberg TV, or perhaps you've watched a friend get excited over her investments. Whatever the source of your inspiration, you're now motivated to invest. There's real estate, stocks, mutual funds, annuities, ETFs, and more. A financial advisor can look at your lifestyle, your income, your goals, and your tolerance for risk to help guide you towards investments that are right for you.
3. You have a big goal in mind.
We all have goals, but reaching them sometimes requires a little professional advice. Not sure how you'll come up with the down-payment for a house? Not sure how much you can even afford, or should afford? Any sizable investment will have a huge impact on your finances plus your lifestyle. Make sure you're making wise choices with such long-term decisions.
4. You get a tax refund every year.
Sure, it feels nice to get that fat check every April, but you're really not doing yourself a favor by letting Uncle Sam hold your hard-earned money for you, interest free. If this doesn't make sense to you, then you need a financial advisor... pronto.
5. You tied the knot.
Bringing two lives together means all kinds of changes, not the least of which is what in the world to do with your finances. Should you combine accounts or stay separate? What happens to each spouse's debt? What's the most advantageous way to file your income taxes?
6. You started a new business.
Without guidance of a professional, new business owners could get reamed when it comes to tax time. But that's not the only reason you'll want help: budgeting, capital sources, and allocation of your resources are important issues to weigh.
Will Kaplan, CFP® is the principal at Halcyon Financial Planning, a fee-only wealth management firm located in Portland, Oregon. Halcyon specializes in a goals-based approach that combines your aspirations and resources with a forward focused, proactive style of planning.
Will and I became friends after meeting at a conference and I asked him to write some thoughts as a guest topic for this site.