Generations X and Y have grown up in an era of instantaneous access and unlimited information at our fingertips, turning us all into proverbial do-it-yourselfers. However, we also realize there are certainly areas where the advice of a trained professional is warranted.
You may be someone who relies on WebMD to self-diagnose a minor health issue, but when it comes to something more serious, you know you need a professional diagnosis from a licensed physician. They know the questions to ask, the symptoms to focus on, and the tests to run in order to correctly diagnose and treat your ailment.
Just as one part of the body affects another, one financial decision will typically affect many aspects of your overall financial well-being. Your financial future is an area that needs the guidance provided by a living, breathing professional. We believe that financial decisions should never be made in haste or in a vacuum. Financial planning is an ongoing process that combines taxes, insurance, investing, retirement, employee benefits, and estate plans with your personal values and long term goals. A CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ practitioner can act as your advocate to help you coordinate all aspects of your financial life to ensure that the decisions you make today are working together toward your future goals. In a world where we have become accustomed to instant access and immediate results, it can be difficult at times to take a step back and consider the bigger picture before making a decision.
You may have heard the saying – “you don’t know what you don’t know.” This is especially true in wealth management, as one event can touch multiple aspects of your financial life that you may not think to consider on your own. Put yourself in the shoes of a young, affluent couple who has just had their first child. Have you considered…
- Your family’s need for life insurance. There a number of factors that go into this decision including what type of policy to buy, how much coverage you need, whether or not the policy be held in trust for minor children, etc.
- Updating (or creating) your estate documents to ensure that you have the essential documents in place to protect your spouse and/or your child in the event something happens to you.
- Reviewing your employee benefits to make sure coverage levels and beneficiaries (when applicable) have been updated appropriately.
- College savings for your child and the impact that tuition inflation will have on your savings. Be sure to read Eric Clark’s recent post, College Savings Strategies, if you’re interested in learning more.
- How best to set and maintain appropriate savings goals while simultaneously paying down debt and providing the life you want for your family.
- How to coordinate the appropriate investment vehicles that will help grow your assets for the long term, while also considering the tax implications today and in the future.
This is not an exhaustive list, but hopefully it has you thinking. Unless you have been professionally trained in a specific subject or trade, the saying rings true that you really “don’t know what you don’t know,” but the right financial professional can help you think through all of the important considerations for your unique situation.
If you are generating enough income to begin saving and investing in your future and you have a family that relies on you financially, consider contacting a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ practitioner. The key is to find a professional that you trust, and enlist their help as early as possible in order to get you started off on strong financial footing. We all need an advocate, so put your smart phone to good use to begin your research into finding the best financial advisor for your situation. To learn what questions to ask when searching for a financial advisor, check out the The National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA), or contact Clearview Wealth Management to discuss your situation in more detail.