It’s not hard to know when it’s time to call a plumber or a painter, or to make an appointment with your doctor or dentist. But when should you see a financial planner? Many people hesitate over this question because they don’t understand what financial planners do. Qualified financial planners are in short supply. While all financial planners are financial advisers, the reverse is not always true. The principal focus for a financial planner is to help you set goals and develop strategies for achieving them. These strategies can include getting the right balance between spending and saving, strategies for retirement savings, investment, protection from financial risk, tax and estate planning, and planning your retirement so you don’t run out of money before your life ends.
A financial planner will review your financial situation and help you set goals. While a planner may recommend product solutions for you, they will also act as your financial coach and mentor. When necessary, they will refer you to specialist advisers and professionals for additional help. There are certain triggers that may prompt you to contact a financial planner:
- When you want to know if you are on the right track or not with managing your finances
- When you need help with managing your money so can achieve your goals more quickly
- When you need to make a major financial decision, such as buying a house, investing money or purchasing insurance
- When you have a change in circumstances, such as losing your job, ending a relationship, selling a business, receiving an inheritance
- When you reach a new stage of life, such as starting your first job, marriage, starting a family, changing career or retiring
So when should you see a financial planner? For most people the answer is, as soon as you can!