Do You Need a Financial Planner?

A common misconception is that only multimillionaires benefit from the services of a financial planner, but the truth is many people will find value in the advice of a financial expert.

What can a financial planner do for you?

While a professional will adjust their level of service to the type of advice and help you’re seeking, there are a few general services they’ll offer.

• Review your financial situation by looking over your tax returns, income sources, assets, wills, insurance policies and retirement and estate planning documents.

• Help you craft financial goals and identify your needs, now and in the future (e.g., retirement).

• Create a financial plan.

• Explain the different savings and investment options, including mutual funds, RRSPs, retirement savings and pensions, college savings plans, stocks, bonds, etc.

• Guide you through the types of insurance that may help you best protect your family and assets.

• Reduce the impact of taxes so you can keep more of your earnings.

• Connect you with other professionals, including accountants, attorneys, etc., who may be able to help you execute your plan.

• Review your progress and help you revise your plan

7 reasons to seek financial planning advice

If any of these scenarios sound like yours, you may want to consider meeting with your local financial professional.

You want to learn more about ways to boost your savings, build a nest egg or pay for college and emergencies. A financial planner can offer advice to help you put your money to work for you. A professional can also help you refine and reassess your financial goals.

You’ve experienced a major life change, such as getting married or divorced, expanding your family, starting a new career or retiring. Whether you’re combining or separating finances, or trying to stretch your budget, a financial planner can help you meet your savings and investment goals.

You’re not sure where to invest your money. Investing can be tricky for people without prior experience. While you can research and review investment options on your own, a professional will help you pinpoint opportunities that allow you to meet your goals, while still matching your personal interests (e.g., socially responsible investing), your desired investment time frame and the level of risk you’re comfortable taking.

You’ve had a windfall. If you’ve won the lottery, received an inheritance or had a significant increase in your income from a new job, position or side business, a planner can help you maximize your money.

You’re taking care of an aging parent. A professional may be able to help with estate planning information, life insurance, etc.

You’re just starting out in your career. Meeting with a planner when you’re just starting out may set you on the fast track to financial freedom. The earlier you start saving, the more you’ll be able to save over time, even if you’re not saving a large amount of money per month. Having a professional on your side to guide you through important financial decisions may also help you avoid common spending and investment mistakes.

You want impartial advice on your financial plan. If you’ve created your own financial plan, an unbiased professional may help you identify missed opportunities or offer advice that helps you rethink your approach.