When should you start working with a financial planning professional?
Query the internet and you’ll receive the full range from immediately to never – and all the opinions have statistics and stories telling you why their opinion is the only correct one.
We all have the stories about people who tried to tell us they had experience that we needed to know, and we either take or discount their experience/story for varying reasons.
You have an internal guide telling you to trust someone or not and most of the time we follow that guide. Once we make that decision, we spend time – sometimes a lot of time – gathering evidence about why our decision was correct. Seek, and ye shall find – so goes the saying.
And then we tell others about our decision and invite them into the evidence gathering with us.
Perhaps you’ve come across someone with a strong opinion who has spent time beefing up their evidence. Play along and you now will be pummeled with all the “evidence” and stories they have gathered. How do you disagree with all their evidence? Peer pressure is powerful. Pressure from elders or people who we deem have more experience is even more powerful.
From our professional experience, this is what happens with matters of financial planning.
We’d like to say that we’ve been taught to not talk about money, politics, and religion – but we know that while that may be true, that’s not why we don’t talk about it. We don’t talk about it because we’re afraid to be pummeled with opinions so strong that we can’t hear our own guide. AND -- we don’t want to be found lacking or less than in our judgements – in anything – let alone in relation to our money, politics, or religion. Being found “less than” exposes us to what else will be questioned? Parenting, car choice, decision making abilities, or any other myriad of responsible choices you make each day?
The reality is that it’s easier to “go with the flow” than “buck the system.”
Here’s where having a financial professional can help.
What if you could find someone (or a team of someones) who listen to what you want in your life and help you attain those dreams?
Everyone has dreams, most of those require money to make them happen. Not everyone wants to travel the world. So, if all financial advice was geared toward travelling the world, there’s a lot of advice that would not fit a lot of people.
The financial world is vast, deep, and ever changing. New financial products are introduced all the time. Regulations change. We, as the professionals, sometimes have a hard time keeping up with everything – and we’re paying attention to it! There’s no way for the average person to keep up.
And here’s the secret to planning: it’s not necessarily about the products.
It’s about the strategies utilized throughout your life that create successes over a lifetime.
(Of course, you should have quality financial vehicles but that’s a different topic.)
It doesn’t make sense that the same strategy that leads you to accumulate your wealth will work when you are looking at retirement. It doesn’t make sense that strategies employed by a single person working a six-figure job will work for a family of five with college on the horizon. There just can’t be a “fix it and forget it” mentality in planning your financial world.
You should have someone in your corner who knows what your vision is and wants to help you get there. You are great at doing your job. Let the financial professional help you release fears, misinformation, and allow them to empower you in making sound financial decisions that bolster what you want in your life.
So, when should you start working with a financial professional? As soon as you are ready to be coached, advised, held accountable, and ready to do the work. For some that’s early. For others, it’s later, after they’ve tried the DIY approach.
There’s no “right” or “wrong” here.
You must be ready. “The teacher appears when the student is ready” doesn’t mean that the teacher wasn’t standing there the whole time. It means that you are finally ready to see them as a teacher and are ready to learn.
So, now you have to ask yourself – am I ready?
If you are, we’re here to guide you.
Karen Jessey, ChFC®, CLU®, RICP®, CExP™
Neill Turner, CExP™