5 Times You Should Have Talked to a Financial Advisor
You probably know about the “standard” milestones that spur people to seek out a financial advisor: marriage, retirement planning, a new baby. But there are many other situations in which we can really benefit from professional help.
Read on for five life transitions where you really should have called your financial advisor – or really should, if you’re going through it now!
You lost your job – or got a new one
Because they’re so personal, job transitions can make us want to handle things ourselves. But these are vital times to check in with your advisor.
With the loss of a job, it’s a good idea to take a look at your financial plan, the resources you have at your disposal, and the changes you might need to make to preserve your wealth. If you encounter a longer period of unemployment, it might become necessary to generate income from your assets – and generally speaking, we recommend doing this with the help of a professional.
On the other hand, a new job can generate a number of financial decisions, such as how much to contribute to a new 401(k), how to allocate it, or whether to adjust your overall savings plans. Checking in with your financial advisor can help you navigate these decisions more quickly and efficiently.
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You decided to take the trip of a lifetime
Many of us have dreamed about taking off work for a few months to travel the world – or even just a few weeks. But if you’re making a major travel decision outside of your usual vacations, it’s a good idea to run your plans by your financial advisor.
Your advisor can help you navigate several important issues:
- The decision about how to pay for your trip and how much you can afford
- Automating financial operations or empowering someone to help while you’re away
- Checking up on your estate plans and insurance coverage just in case
- Setting up ways to communicate while you’re traveling
For many people, the most important issues lie around affordability: the trip of a lifetime may be priceless, but for most of us the money has to come from somewhere. Your advisor can help you figure out an appropriate budget that will help you maximize your memories without sacrificing your careful planning.
You put your home up for sale
Selling your home is a hefty decision that can have a significant impact on your financial plan.
Whether you’re moving to a new city or just down the block, real estate transactions are some of the biggest we experience. Add the sheer amount of value involved and technical financial issues around mortgages and capital gains, and you have a transaction that merits professional guidance.
Talk to your financial advisor about your plans, possible changes to your lifestyle and costs, and what to do with any potential windfall (or how to come up with extra cash for a new home). You might also want to seek out additional tax advice about your home sale, depending on your specific situation.
Your advisor can also help you think through common choices, like the decision to sell versus rent, to buy in a lower-cost or higher-cost area, or even just identifying key considerations in choosing an appropriate mortgage.
You started managing long-term care issues for your parents
Caring for aging parents is so much more than a financial issue: you’ll likely experience some strong emotions and difficult choices.
But the financial considerations are critical.
Whether your parents have sufficient assets or need your help, your financial advisor can help you determine what you can afford and how to shore up resources for future needs. It might even be a process that helps you kickstart your own longer-term planning.
Advisors can also help to buffer some of the uncomfortable conversations that parents and children tend to encounter in these scenarios. Whether it’s in the office all together or just a quick check-in with your advisor before offering your parents a plan, your advisor is there to provide steady, objective, and neutral advice – which can help you more confidently and calmly navigate these challenging issues.
You inherited a lump sum or made a windfall
One of the biggest mistakes people make is in spending large windfalls as soon as they come in the door. Of course, as humans, we understand the impulse: life can be challenging, and having the resources to go on vacation, improve your home, or simply boost your lifestyle can be very nice.
But as advisors, we want you to step back and think about the most effective use for that money. Some of that might include spending – but you might also be better off devoting some or all of it towards managing debt, increasing savings, or working towards other goals.
Even if you don’t do that, and choose to spend every penny, just taking the time to assess where and how this money fits into your overall financial plan will give you an immense feeling of control and confidence in managing your money. That alone can be priceless.
Financial transitions come in many shapes and sizes: are you ready?
One of the biggest transitions many of us will face is the road into retirement. Don’t leave it up to chance: plan ahead so that you can retire with more confidence and purpose. To get started, check out our free retirement transition guide. It’ll show you the ropes and give you a handle on the big questions you need to think through.
Download Your Retirement Transition for free today!
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