Financial Planner: Do You Need One?

One of the reasons I started this blog was to keep myself accountable for my family finances and increasing our net worth.  Not only be actively involved, because I was already the one managing our finances, but to foster a more intentional approach to our finances with goals and budgets and learning to invest, etc.  The MassMutual quiz agrees that’s the type of financial approach I take I’d like to take.   Here’s what the quiz (it’s further down in this post if you want to take it) had to say about me:

temp Financial Planner:  Do You Need One?

To be honest, I’ve kind of scoffed at the idea of a financial planner.  My self talk went something like this:

Why do I need a financial planner?  I can figure this stuff out.  I have an internet connection and am pretty savvy, that’s all I need.

But after chauffeuring the kids to and from soccer practice,  making dinner, talking my daughter through her first crush, homework, trying to get through Couch to 5K before summer, paying attention to the dogs, paying the bills, cleaning the house and oh yeah, that little thing called a full time job, the amount of time and energy I have left to devote to my finances is pretty slim.  I simply don’t have the capacity to be my own financial planner right now.

Sound familiar?

And although I think I’ve diversified pretty well by investing in what I know – rental property, stocks, Roth IRA, 401K, and company stock – something the MassMutual representative that I interviewed said really struck home.  Yes I invest in what I know.  But I don’t know what I don’t know.   How true is that for all of us!  We don’t know what we don’t know.

I flat out asked him (Thank you Court for being so accommodating!) – Why should my readers use a financial planner?  Why can’t they just use the financial calculators that are out there to figure out what they need to be saving for retirement, college educations, etc.?  What do you bring to the table?

And his answers surprised me and really made me see how a financial planner could help.  It’s not so much about figuring out how much to save (although they can do that too), it’s all the other details that make a huge difference and you don’t think about unless this is your job.

  • What type of account is going to have the fewest tax impacts when it is time to actually spend the money?
  • What happens if income tax increases 2% in the next 10 years?  Does that change my investment strategy?
  • Am I paying attention to the global events that could impact investments in the next 6 months?  Do I know how I can either minimize my exposure or maximize my profits based on those global events?
  • Are my spouse and I on the same strategic page regarding our retirement and investments?  Are we both investing in our 401Ks versus diversifying as a couple?
  • Do I have enough life insurance?  Should that decrease or switch to a permanent plan (with a payout) or leave it as term life insurance?
  • I’m getting a divorce.  Now what?  How does that impact where I am financially?  Am I still ok?  Do I have different needs now that I don’t have that second income to fall back on if I lose my job?

There are SO many things to think about and the reality is that I simply don’t have the time or energy to look into them and stay on top of them as I would like.  I have a feeling that you don’t either and if you’re reading this blog you want to have a more intentional plan for your finances.  You want to have clear goals and steps to get there.  You want to have confidence that you are on track.  A financial planner can do that.  Don’t be embarrassed to ask for help.  There is no minimum dollar amount required, so you can start any time.

Take the Quiz

Disclosure:  I wrote this post as participation in a blog tour for Mom Central on behalf of MassMutual and received compensation in the form of an Amazon gift code to thank me for taking the time to participate.

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