Life is full of ups and downs. As a financial advisor with over three decades of experience, I’ve seen firsthand how these highs and lows can affect a person’s finances. It isn’t possible to predict every curveball life will throw your way, but having an experienced professional in your corner can certainly make the journey easier. One 2019 CFP Board survey found that adults working with a financial advisor are much more likely to feel prepared for a recession when compared to those who don’t. This can make all the difference as one mistake with market timing can result in a lifetime of planning errors.
The right financial advisor can help you weather the tough times. They can also show you how to use your wealth to live a life that reflects your values. Here are three different ways a wealth management professional can help strengthen your financial health over the long term.
1. Helping You Juggle Multiple Financial Goals
Take a moment to think about the financial goals that matter to you most. Between saving for retirement, starting or growing a business, shoring up your kids’ college funds, and paying down debt, you might have a tough time ranking them. The good news is that you don’t have to. A skilled advisor will step back, evaluate your financial big picture, then provide personalized recommendations.
- It’s possible to work toward multiple financial goals. For example, there are other creative ways to contribute to your children’s college education without sacrificing your future financial security. An experienced financial advisor can help you set realistic, achievable targets, and create a roadmap for getting there. That may require you to make trade-offs or explore alternative ways to get to where you want to go. Imagine tracking and accomplishing all your financial goals. Having a strong plan and a team behind you can increase your odds of success.
- Strategic retirement planning is key. One of the biggest mistakes people make is saving too much money in tax-deferred accounts and not realizing how the tax ramifications may impact their overall retirement income. Tax efficiency is a huge factor when saving for the future. With tax-deferred accounts like 401(k)s and traditional IRAs, you’ll be taxed on distributions you take in retirement. Those withdrawals could even push you into a higher tax bracket. A financial advisor can help you plan ahead and balance your retirement income in the most tax-efficient way. That can allow you to enjoy a higher after-tax income during this chapter of your life.
2. Guiding You Through Life’s Big Changes
When you partner with a trusted financial professional, you’ll likely get access to a team of wealth managers with different perspectives on how to build a robust life (both financially and emotionally). My team and I have helped clients navigate all sorts of major life changes — from divorce to job loss to the death of a spouse. Financial planning is never a straight and narrow path. Life happens, but a financial advisor can:
- Anticipate major life events before they occur (and help you plan accordingly)
- Help you course-correct and modify your financial plan when the unexpected happens — and take advantage of hidden opportunities.
- Put financial guardrails in place to protect your wealth today, tomorrow and in the future.
It’s also smart to revisit your financial plan during times of positive change, such as getting married, growing your family, or starting or expanding a business. A financial advisor can help you navigate these changes and prepare for the future.
3. Supporting You in Leaving a Legacy
Financial wellness goes beyond living well today. What legacy do you want to leave behind after you’re gone? The way you answer will be personal to you and your values. It might include passing your wealth onto your children, grandchildren or charity. Legacy planning addresses these details and goes hand in hand with your estate plan. That typically involves:
- Maintaining an updated will
- Incorporating trusts so your loved ones can avoid the probate process after you’re gone
- Creating powers of attorney
- Updating beneficiaries on your insurance policies and retirement accounts
A skilled financial advisor can stand by your side as you move through different phases of your life. It’s difficult to put a price tag on financial peace of mind, but that’s exactly what the right financial professional can provide. Imagine living your very best life in retirement, thanks in large part to a successful financial plan.