You want to be financially healthy, right? Who doesn’t? But what does financially healthy really mean? For most people it means to be financially balanced. In other words, to have good debt to income balances, low to no credit card debt and a good amount of money socked away in their investments. Now, the best way to get there is to have a basic understanding of general finances, tax basics and retirement planning fundamentals. Sounds great but that’s easier said than done. You may know little bit about those areas, but not enough to be comfortable with your decisions. Which is where good financial advice comes in. Good financial advice can help you start a financial foundation from which to build from. Sounds great but where do you find good financial advice?
Finding Financial Advice
Your Insurance Agent
Most folks think of their Insurance agent as just an expert in insurance, rightfully so. Most insurance agents are just licensed to work only in the insurances. They are experts in auto insurance, home insurance, umbrella, life insurance and boat insurance. But other insurance agents also have a securities license which allows them to work with clients on their financial needs. They can sell IRA’s, annuities, 401k plans and other investment products. With a security license they cannot give tax advice, but they can give retirement savings advice and financial advice. The question you need to ask yourself is if you want to use your insurance agent for financial advice or just insurance? Are you better off buying all your insurance from your insurance agent and using a financial adviser for retirement savings advice and financial advice?
Your Financial Adviser
Financial advisers are supposed to be experts in offering financial advice. They are licensed and trained in the financial services business. They work with clients on financial action plans; determining individual’s financial needs, goals and dreams. They are experts in financial planning and retirement planning. They can give you investment advice so that your investment choices match your financial goals. They have numerous financial products available to them. They not only can help determine your financial needs they can help you to fulfill them. So are you better off having your financial adviser just draft a financial plan for you and then go outside to buy the product? Or should you also use the financial advisers product to complete the financial plan?
Sometimes your banker may have the financial products you need. Which makes sense since bankers are in the money business. They take deposits, make personal and business loans. Some banks employ financial advisers to sell annuities or life insurance. Some financial advisers can also sell security products, IRA’s, 401k’s, variable financial products. If your bank doesn’t sell a financial product that you are looking for they may be able to recommend someone who they trust to have your best interests in mind.
Accountants are in the business to give tax advice. They prepare taxes, they know the tax laws, they keep you in line with the tax laws. Some accountants may be able to give financial advice in addition to tax advice, but do you want them to? Some accountants are licensed to offer financial products, IRA’s, annuities, life insurance.
Do Your Homework
Most of us at some point in our lives will probably need some type of either financial advice or tax advice. Before you need it would be a good time to find the professional you would want to work with. In other words, do your homework ahead of time. Case in point, before you are about to retire and use your retirement savings would be a good time to seek financial advice. Or before buying your first house, you would want to review your finances and seek some financial advice. Using one professional as the only source of financial advice can be beneficial or a nightmare, you need to make that decision. Each financial professional offers different expertise. Play it safe, learn the differences before making a commitment to one professional.