You might be wondering whether or not you need a financial planner. In short, when you have questions that require more than a simple yes or no answer, you most likely could benefit from the services a financial planner provides.
Let me be more specific. A financial planner can help when you have questions about your finances that involve:
- Legacy/Succession Planning; wills, trusts, directives, etc.
- Insurance Planning; life, long-term care, etc.
- Investment Planning; 401(k), retirement needs analysis, etc.
The role of a financial planner is much like that of a quarterback. Given the breadth of advice a financial planner provides, and the unique circumstances of each individual, an exact prescription for seeking professional advice is challenging to provide. However, certain financial planning activities such as those listed above are excellent times to engage a professional.
Let’s dig into each of these topics further.
When you begin to accumulate assets and have an interest in how they might be distributed in the event of death, it is probably time to begin work on a will and trust. While the drafting of a will and trust is handled directly with an estate attorney, a financial planner may be able to facilitate both finding a reputable attorney and provide guidance on organizing your financial affairs to make the most of your meeting time.
As an individual or as partners, when you begin to accumulate assets and have assumed debt to purchase one or more of those assets (i.e., have a mortgage), it is probably appropriate to consult with a financial planner to properly assess the level of life insurance needed to meet those liabilities. It is also important to begin to articulate and ensure the achievement of your emerging life goals through prudent insurance planning.
Ideally, the time to begin working with a financial planner/investment advisor is when you begin to actively contribute to your future goals and objectives; investing in a retirement savings program through your employer, starting a serious savings plan, etc.
However, more often than not, individuals tend to seek the advice of a financial planner and/or investment advisor sometime in their mid to late forties with questions like “Am I saving enough?” or “Are my investments on track to provide the level of income I planned for retirement?” Regardless of age, when these types of questions come up, it is time find some good advice.
The process of answering these questions is the essence of the financial planning and investment advisory relationship. Understanding where you are, and helping you define where you would like to be, is the important first step. Developing a financial plan takes a bit of time and excellent communication, but once in place and partnered with sound investment guidance, you will have a roadmap for your future.
As you move through life, it is important to continue your work with your financial team; updating your documents and financial plan, while managing the growth your assets.
The advantage of working with a financial planning and investment management firm is twofold. As life evolves so will your financial plan and it should be updated with both your individual circumstances as well as the broader influences of economic factors such as inflation, portfolio returns, and tax law changes. As your life and economic factors change, the guidance of a qualified investment advisor can be instrumental in navigating change and uncertainty and helping achieve your goals.
The relationship between you and your financial team is founded on open communication, regular meetings, and sound advice. At Sampson Investment Management we view our work in both the financial planning and investment advisory disciplines at the core of our value proposition. In many cases we have worked with clients for over 30 years. Our greatest sense of accomplishments comes from helping our clients throughout their lives, achieve their financial goals in objectives.