Should You Get Help from a Financial Planner?

By Miranda Marquit

Most people think that financial planners are for those who have a lot of money. However, this isn’t necessarily the case. In fact, you might be surprised to discover that a financial planner can help you get on the right track — even if you are struggling with your finances.

Actually, help from a financial planner can be even more valuable if you are struggling with money.

Here are some reasons that it can make sense to get help from a financial planner:

You Can’t Seem to Figure Out What to Do Next With Your Money

Not sure what to do next with your money? A financial planner can help. Whether you’ve just started making money and you’re not sure what to do, or whether you’re drowning in debt and don’t know how to manage it all, a financial planner can help.

The right financial planner looks at your situation and your goals. Then, after evaluating your money issues, the planner can help you chart your course. A good financial planner can help you figure out a debt repayment plan or help you plan for multiple goals, like saving for retirement while providing for your child’s college.

If you know what you need to do to be successful with your money, but you aren’t sure what moves will be most helpful, a financial planner can be a big help.

You’ve Got a Big Life Change Coming Up

Is there a big life change on your horizon? No matter what it is, an outside opinion can help you navigate it. The truth is that most big life changes come with costs. When you get married, make a move across the country, have a child, or get divorced, finances play a big role.

A good financial planner can help you look at the situation and create a roadmap to help you make the most of your money. It’s important to move forward with a plan so that you don’t end up in worse trouble as a result of the life change.

Don’t let life’s changes get in the way of your financial success and your long-term goals.

Finding a Good Financial Planner

When looking for a financial planner, it can make sense to start with professional designations. Reputable financial planners take time to meet different certifications. CFPs and CFAs can be good choices when you are looking for someone who can help you make the right choices with your money.

While it isn’t necessary to choose a fee-only advisor, it can be one way to help weed out those who might have conflicts of interest. Not every financial planner or money manager that works off commission is going to be awful, but you might feel more comfortable with someone who charges a fee, rather than making money from recommending products and services.

Most financial planners will offer a free half-hour session to get an idea of your circumstances. Use this as a chance to feel out the planner to see if they understand you and see if you’re comfortable working with them. Choose someone who you feel like you can trust, and who shows signs of really wanting to get to know your situation so they can help more effectively.

Can You Afford a Financial Planner?

If you aren’t sure that you have money to work long-term with a financial planner, consider looking for a planner that offers packages. There are some planners who charge flat fees for helping you come up with plans for specific goals. This can be one way to at least get a little help figuring out how to proceed.

You might also be able to find financial planners that charge by the hour so that you only see them when you need to work something out. If you are truly stuck, it might be worth it to pay a couple hundred dollars to get on the right path.

Carefully consider your situation. It seems counterintuitive when you’re struggling, but sometimes a professional can help you come up with answers you’d never find on your own. With the right guidance, you are more likely to move forward and succeed with your finances in the end — even if it costs you a bit of money.