Times When You Need to Talk to a Financial Advisor
Written by: Kristy Welsh
Last Updated: September 11, 2017
Here is an article on how to find a good financial planner, which is all well and good, but when should you start talking with a financial advisor? That is the million dollar question — quite literally. Of course, the first step is to find a reputable financial consultant and once you do, it is time to start talking to them about saving and investing your money. This article addresses the times when you need to talk to a financial advisor. While you don't always need to work with a financial planner on an ongoing basis, there are times when it makes sense to pop in for a consultation and/or a financial check-up.
When You Get Your First Job
After you get your first job is a good time to make your first visit to a financial advisor. It doesn't matter if you are making $20,000 or $200,000 a year, this is a point in your life when you need to start saving for retirement. Retirement you say? Yes, retirement! Wouldn't you like to be able to retire early and not have to worry about money when you do retire. Then, the only way to accomplish this goal is to start saving for it right from the beginning. Now, you might not agree with this initial advise and you can always change your goals years down the road to meet your changing needs.
When You Get Married
This seems like a natural progression in life — you get a job then you get married. Let's say you saw a financial advisor when you got your job but now you need to see him or her again and this time, you will need to bring along your new spouse. If your spouse has never been to a financial planner, it is great time to get them on the bandwagon with you. If they have been to a financial planner prior to getting married, then this is a perfect time to bring both of your "plans" together. Your advisor will be able to make sure you both are on the right path and they can help combine your assets, if needed. With the two of you now planning ahead for retirement, and possibly children, your planner can make sure you are putting aside enough income and in the right places to maximize your returns.
When You Receive a Large Sum of Money
Receiving a large amount of money, such as an inheritance, lottery winning, lawsuit award, bonus, buyout or a big raise, can create a surge in your financial health. Unfortunately, most people tend to squander this new found wealth instead of putting it to good use. A recent study showed that most people only save half of an inheritance they receive and one-third of those interviewed saw their overall wealth remain the same or decline! Now that is some poor financial decision making. Furthermore, the majority of people polled thought they needed at least $1 million in order to work with a financial advisor — which could not be further from the truth. No matter how much money you receive, you should always talk to a financial expert before you blow it all on bad investments or frivolous purchases.
When You are Preparing to Pass on Your Wealth
We all can't live forever and at some point you are going to have to part with your money. If you have been vigilant at saving and investing, chances are you have socked away a nice nest egg and a pretty large portfolio of wealth. When you die, you do not want all of this going to the state via probate court. This is when you need to start thinking about estate planning and talking to a professional about how to set up your beneficiaries and your living will. Hiring a professional to set up your estate will help navigate through complex laws and investments strategies that apply to high income people. Once you have over $500,000 in assets (which isn't really that hard to do if you own a home and a couple cars), you need to make sure your wealth is protected and set up so your children and/or grandchildren can enjoy what you worked so hard building up.
As we mentioned before, the first step to investing in your future is to find a reputable and competent financial planner. The next steps, as listed above, need to be followed so your money can work for you and increase as you get older. Start planning now for college educations, retirement, and passing your wealth to your family once you are gone.