Almost all of us can agree that we receive a lot of free advice, to include in the financial and estate planning area. It can get complicated quickly and there can be too much information on the internet alone. Consequently, many people do not know what to do. They can suffer from a common maladay: over-analysis paralysis.
As a result, many do nothing, or they accumulate cash - which does not earn them anything. Others will start to think about planning when they are in their late 50s and early 60s, realizing that their work life is short.
So, do you need a financial advisor? If yes, then how do you find one right for you?
A good financial planner can help clarify and prioritize your goals, and help you make the most of your money.
A recent USA TODAY article, titled “How to find the right financial adviser,” states that no matter where you stand financially, you can benefit from the advice and guidance of a qualified financial planner. In fact, even for those with modest savings can see a significant change in their lives with a the guidance of an experienced planner.
Many financial planners are members of professional organizations that certify them. For example, there is the CFP Board, which is an independent professional regulatory organization.
To become certified as a CFP® licensee or practitioner, a financial planner must meet strict requirements. These include taking an extensive course of study and then passing a rigorous, comprehensive two-day examination on the financial planning process, investment planning, income tax planning, retirement planning and employee benefits and estate planning. Thereafter, to maintain the CFP® certification, on must satisfy considerable continuing education requirements, including two hours of ethics.
[Sidebar: I was first admitted to practice law in 1984, and have been a CFP® licensee since 1991. Professionally, I have found that understanding financial planning has helped me become a better estate planning attorney and a better "team member" with the financial professionals serving our mutual clients.]
There are several other prominent financial planning designations, and you should work with your estate planning attorney, who likely will know a qualified financial planner to help you design a plan to meet your financial objectives.
Remember: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” When making your financial, tax and estate plans, do not go it alone. Be sure to engage competent professional counsel.
For more information about estate planning in Overland Park, KS (and throughout the rest of Kansas and Missouri) and to download free tools to help you organize your estate, visit my estate planning website.
Reference: USA TODAY “How to find the right financial adviser” (July 9, 2014)