In today’s ever-connected world, it is far too easy to gather information from all corners of the web. For better or worse, you can find instructions on how to plan for nearly all facets of life, including money management. In some cases, though, using the vast “knowledge” of the Internet, and the self-proclaimed experts who offer up financial information online does not lead to ideal results. If you’ve considered enlisting the help of a real-life financial professional but aren’t sure if it is worth the time or effort, stop and ask yourself if you’re experiencing these subtle signs you need a financial planner.
Tax Time Equals a Big Refund
This may come as a surprise, but getting a check from the IRS each year isn’t necessarily a good thing. Tax refunds represent too much withholding throughout the year, and the taxman does not pay interest on that extra withholding. Having those extra dollars paid out each pay period gives you the opportunity to put those funds to work in an account or an investment that generates some return. A financial advisor or planner can help you determine if you should reduce withholding throughout the year, as well as options for what to do with the extra money flowing in each month.
You Aren’t Clear on Your Investment Options
In the world of financial management, investments are often the most alluring piece of the puzzle. Unfortunately, there is a common misconception that investment options are only made available to the wealthy – or at least wealthier than you. That is far from the case! So long as you have a foundation of savings and little to no debt (or a plan to get out of debt), there are options for investing that allow you to start small through monthly or bi-weekly additions. Financial planners can make suggestions surrounding how to invest your excess cash, based on your budget and your willingness to take on risk.
You’ve put Savings on Your To-do List
If you’ve been eyeing a new pair of shoes, a dream vacation, or simply enough money set aside to feel like you don’t have to use short-term loans or high-interest debt to get through, it may be time to sit down with a financial planner. Uncovering financial objectives is a significant part of the process, and creating a savings strategy to meet those objectives takes an unbiased, experienced eye. Financial planners work with you to understand your goals for the near- and long-term, and they can devise a workable plan for how to get there without pinching pennies.
Financial Goals Seem Unreachable
Speaking of goals, if yours seem just out of reach based on your income and expenses, a financial planner may be able to lend a necessary hand. For some, the problem with reaching goals lies in the fact that they are not realistic to begin with; others find it hard to create and stick with a plan of attack. Financial planners can talk you through the objectives you should be aiming for, with your unique circumstances in mind. They also act an accountability partner when remaining diligent with your plan gets challenging.
No, a financial planner isn’t a great fit for everyone, every time. However, if you’re experiencing some of these questions in your financial life, now may be the perfect time to get professional help.
Editor’s note: This article was written by financial expert Rebecca Kennedy on behalf of TheNetLender – a reliable and responsible car title loans company with a base in Sacramento.