3 signs it's time to hire your first financial planner, even if you don't think you need one

3 signs it's time to hire your first financial planner, even if you don't think you need one

January 7, 2021
  • You don't have to be reaching retirement or earn a six-figure income to hire a financial planner — almost anyone can benefit from their help. 
  • In some situations, they're especially valuable. If you have money questions you can't answer, or need help understanding a certain topic, working with a financial planner could provide simple answers. 
  • Younger people saving for retirement could benefit from financial planning to make sure they're on track for retirement and other goals.
  • Financial planners could be especially helpful for anyone who's self-employed, and can help with everything from budgeting on an inconsistent income to paying quarterly taxes. 
  • Check out Vanguard Personal Advisor Services® to get the investment advice you need to help build the life you want »

Financial planning involves a lot of work. If you're not an expert, a financial planner could be an invaluable asset. 

A financial planner could be your go-to person for all of your questions about investing, keep you accountable for working towards goals, and helping your money grow. Almost anyone can get a lot of value from financial planning and advising, but if you're younger, you still might not feel like it's critical.

If you're thinking about getting a financial planner but aren't sure it's the right time, there are three signs you should go for it.

1. You don't know much about managing money, and don't have the time to learn it all yourself

Managing money isn't always simple, and it can be tough to learn quickly. Especially for busy young professionals, it can be hard to make the time you need to learn how to make a budget and a financial plan. Hiring a financial planner can help you get it done. 

Writer Hanna Horvath hired a financial planner shortly after graduating from college for this reason. "I knew next to nothing about personal finance. I had never made a budget; I didn't know the difference between a 401(k) and an IRA. I couldn't even tell you what a "good" credit score was," she wrote for Insider. 

The financial planner she hired helped her craft a financial plan and a budget, without her needing to take hours of time learning how to do these things herself. "After graduating college, it's easy to feel lost. Having someone to hold your hand through the process of becoming financially independent can be essential," she wrote. 

2. You're starting to save for retirement

Retirement planning takes a long time, and the sooner you start, the easier it will be to achieve your goal A financial planner can help you make sure you're on the right track.

Writer Zina Kumok worked with a financial planner years before she planned to retire. The experience taught Kumok and her husband that they weren't saving enough to retire by 60 as they'd hoped, even though they'd been saving since they graduated college. 

By working with a financial planner years before retirement, Kumok was able to start increasing her savings now to avoid bigger problems later.

3. You have a complicated financial situation, like being self-employed

When running your own business or being self-employed, your financial situation isn't like that of someone who earns a paycheck every two weeks. A financial planner could give you some extra help in understanding your finances and the unique requirements of managing your income.

Financial planners can help with things that can be complicated, like finding health insurance, which is purchased individually when not available through an employer, and saving for retirement without access to a 401(k) plan. From managing money when income is inconsistent to planning for taxes each quarter, a professional can help you make a plan. 

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