Financial Planning You Can Afford

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Whom do you turn to when you need advice on managing your personal finances? A family member? A close friend? Or do you have a financial planner on speed dial? When there is mention of a financial planner, people often think it’s a service for the wealthy. It’s time to debunk that myth. Financial planners are not only for those with lots of money, they are for anyone needing to get financial matters in order. If you don’t think it’s true, check out one of the free Financial Planning Days events happening in your city from Oct. 3 through Nov. 7.

The Financial Planning Days events are designed to provide financial planning resources and financial guidance. They are an opportunity to meet, at no cost to you, one-on-one with a qualified certified financial planner — hassle free and with no strings attached — to answer your most pressing questions about finances.

Finding a financial planner is like finding a good hair stylist or barber. You want someone who is willing to get to know you and help you achieve your goals. We all know talking about finances is a personal matter. It’s one of those topics, like religion and politics, that mostly get avoided at the dinner table, particularly when you feel like you don’t have a good grasp of the nuances of investing and money management. That’s why it’s important you seek someone who is trustworthy and has your best financial interest at heart.

When seeking someone with good financial judgment, be sure to screen them carefully. A good place to start is at www.letsmakeaplan.org, where you can check a financial adviser's credentials and to make sure he or she is knowledgeable, competent and reliable. You can also check to see if anyone has filed a complaint against the adviser at the Securities and Exchange Commission or Finra BrokerCheck.

It is important before you commit to using a financial planner that you know how you will be charged for the services. Some planners charge hourly fees, some charge an annual percentage of the money they manage for you, and some are paid commissions on products they sell.

Additionally, you will want to know if they work part time or full time; how much time can they dedicate to you; whether they require their clients to have a certain income; and how many clients they handle. All of these questions are important to consider before you commit your time and money.

Have more questions? Visit the Financial Planning Days to get your free personal finance questions answered.

Photo: AARP

Other topics of interest:

How to Choose a Financial Planner

Questions to Ask Before Working with a Financial Professional

Personal Financial Planning 101

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