Most of us go to see professionals when we’re in trouble or during times of crisis. If you think about it, we go to the doctor when we’re sick. We see a lawyer when we have a pending legal issue, and we seek out a therapist when we’re feeling depressed.
As a financial planner, unfortunately, I often hear from clients after something has happened – and sometimes I’m limited in how I can help. Sure, we can often make a situation better, but if we knew about what our clients were facing sooner, we can usually help them avoid heartache and even save some money.
Based on my experience, see the list below of times when you should call your financial planner, so that he or she can help you as much as possible:
There is a lot to consider when you are changing jobs, besides just whether or not to roll-over your 401(k). I can help you with cash flow during the transition and when you start your new job. I can help you evaluate whether a new job offer fits within your overall long-term goals. Financial planners can help you evaluate your new company’s benefit plans and identify where you might see gaps in coverage.
Many couples know that money can be a major source of arguments in marriages. And while I don’t provide couple’s therapy, I can help you identify your joint financial goals and walk you both through the financial planning process. I won’t promise that it will eliminate all your money arguments, but I do think having a plan may help stop some arguments from starting in the first place.
Buying a House
I often tell my clients: buying a house is likely to be your biggest expenditure for quite some time. It’s important to discuss the risks. Is this your first home, investment property or vacation home? Depending on your circumstances, there are lots of headaches I can help you avoid in the future.
Having a Baby
Interestingly, many of our clients spend hours agonizing over the color of the new nursery and very little time on the financial planning matters that a baby brings into your life. Here’s where financial planners can help, providing insight and advice about: career transitions, education funding and 529 plans, tax implications, estate planning and wills, child care expenses, etc.
Starting a Business
If you’re an entrepreneur, you know how exciting it can be to start a business. And you have probably experienced many challenges as well. Financial planners can help review your business plan, think through health insurance options, help review your projected P&L and determine whether a SEP IRA or solo 401(k) makes sense. We can also put you in touch with other professionals, attorneys and accountants, who can provide further insight into specific issues.
It’s an unfortunate reality that many marriages end in divorce. And while every divorce is as unique as the individuals involved, there are some common financial planning themes. I can help you navigate the changes divorce may impact such as retirement, insurance, investments, etc.
Planning for Aging Parents
Are you are considering a senior living center for your one or both of your parents? Or maybe transitional housing with full-time care? Or visiting nurses? Many of my clients – often entering retirement themselves – are helping aging parents or relatives to manage their finances and living arrangements. There are so many things to think about here, including irrevocable trusts, durable power of attorney, health care directives, as well as options for the next chapters of your parent’s life. I certainly am not an expert in all the nuances, but I can help you sort through the issues and develop a plan.
Has your brother approached you about investing in his new business? Or maybe you’re considering buying a new car for your teenager? Or maybe a family member needs a loan? All of these are decisions are as much emotional as they are financial. I can help you determine what your options are financially, from an objective standpoint. It could be that you simply can’t afford to invest in your brother’s new business. And knowing that can potentially save you a lot of family drama.
As your financial planner, we can help you sort through many of your major life decisions. All we need from you is a quick call or an email letting us know what’s going on. I’ll then help you think through your options, so that you can continue on your path to live the life you want– on your terms.