What does investing mean to you? If the word makes you think of transactions – buying or selling stocks and bonds – you’re looking at just part of the picture. To work toward all your goals, such as a comfortable retirement, you need a comprehensive financial strategy. And for that, you might need to work with a personal financial advisor. But what, specifically, can this type of professional do for you?
Here are some of the key services a financial advisor can provide:
Help you invest for your retirement – An experienced financial advisor can look at all the relevant factors – your current and projected income, age at which you’d like to retire, desired retirement lifestyle – to help you determine how much you need to invest, and in which investment vehicles, to help you reach your retirement goals. To cite just one example, a financial advisor can review your employer-sponsored retirement plan and help you determine how to use it to your greatest advantage.
Help you save for college – Higher education is expensive, and costs are rising every year. If you’d like to help your children – or grandchildren – go to college someday, you need to save and invest early and often. A financial advisor can suggest appropriate college savings vehicles and strategies.
Help make sure you’re well-protected – If something were to happen to you, could your family maintain its standard of living? Or if you someday needed some type of long-term care, such as an extended stay in a nursing home, would you be able to maintain your financial independence, or would you be forced to rely on your adult children for help? A financial advisor can recommend and possibly provide suitable protection products and services for your needs.
Help you adjust your financial strategy – Not much will stay constant in your life – and that includes your financial strategy. Any number of events – a new child, a new job, a new retirement destination – can cause you to adjust your investment moves, as will some of the factors influencing the financial markets – economic downturns, changing interest rates, new tax laws, and more. A financial advisor can help you change course as needed – and sometimes encourage you not to change course, when, in his or her professional opinion, you might be tempted to overreact to some event or other.
While a financial advisor can help you in many ways, you’ll need, above all else, to feel comfortable with whomever you choose. Ultimately, you’ll want to pick someone who understands what’s important to you, and who will follow an established process to create personalized strategies and recommend specific actions needed to help achieve your goals. And you’ll want someone who will be with you in the long run – someone who will revisit your objectives and risk tolerance and who can adjust your strategies in response to changes in your life.
A financial advisor can make a big difference in your life. So, work diligently to find the right one – and take full advantage of the help you’ll receive as you move toward your important goals.