Financial planners come in all shapes and sizes, so do some homework to figure out what kind you need, what services you want, and whether it’s worth the cost.
The road of life is littered with financial detours. Just when you’ve navigated a smooth stretch, you hit a curve: funding a college education, financing a divorce, or managing an inheritance. Even if you’re not faced with a big-money decision, nagging issues pop up from choosing between term and whole life insurance to the 53 investment options in your company’s 401(k) plan. If you’re in over your head or just want a second opinion, consider consulting with a financial planner. Although you might not find a budding Suze Orman to hold your hand, there are thousands of financial planners out there, and it’s likely that one will meet your needs at a price you can afford.
First, you have to know what you want. Financial planners offer a wide variety of services, including money management, retirement planning, budget review, tax management, estate planning, and insurance analysis. Decide which services you want and whether you want an ongoing or occasional relationship with your planner. Planners offer one or more of the following services:
Manage all your financial affairs
Manage your investments
Draft an overall financial plan
Provide financial check-ups
Give ongoing advice on all financial matters
Offer occasional advice for specific situations
Anyone can put out a shingle and advertise that they’re ...