You have decided it is time to find a financial planner. You may have even asked your CPA, your estate planning attorney or a financially savvy friend or two for a referral.
How do you evaluate those referrals or perhaps broaden your search?
Here are 5 terrific resources to guide you in your search.
The Financial Planning Association (www.fpanet.org) is the most widely recognized professional organization for Certified Financial Planners. This is the only industry site that consistently indicates any income and/or asset minimums a financial planner requires for new clients. This level of detail is helpful because some advisors do not post this information on their websites. (more…)
We often equate preparing for old age with achieving the financial security needed to sustain us throughout life. However, a truly successful and fulfilling aging experience requires planning and preparation in all areas of life.
Financial planning is indeed important, but money alone cannot “buy” happiness, good health, meaningful relationships, and purposeful activities. In The Late-Start Investor, John Wasik wrote:
“Instead of absorbing an obsolete view of retirement, you should consider what I call your New Prosperity. This includes a flexible life plan that provides for your financial, vocational, physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. Unless you look at your future holistically, merely saving up a pile of money will be a meaningless act.” (more…)
Getting people to feel less stressed when thinking, talking, and making decisions about money is the goal of Financial Therapy; a combination of psychology and financial advice that is focused on developing healthy relationships with money.
While a financial counselor usually comes in at a point of crisis—like bankruptcy or intractable financial conflicts between spouses—the role of a financial therapist is to help us understand the stories we tell ourselves, true or not, about money. These “money scripts” usually reside outside of our consciousness, and act as an invisible force guiding our thoughts, feelings, and decisions about money. (more…)
Many of us have been taught about setting goals through the use of the SMART acronym. The theory is that in order to be successful in our pursuits, our goals must be:
Although a number of studies have focused on the effect of income on happiness, Elizabeth Dunn, a social psychologist at the University of British Columbia, also wanted to understand the effect of spending choices on happiness.
For example, previous research clearly demonstrated that income has a predictably positive effect on level of happiness, but these levels remain flat over time even as income increases. This finding puzzled Dunn and she wanted to find out why happiness did not increase along with income. (more…)
Budgeting. Just the thought of that word can elicit groans and shudders. Yes, there are those out there who love typing every expenditure into their spreadsheets or personal finance software programs, who gleefully save every receipt from every purchase, and who enjoy doing this every day. But for some, the idea of taking the time to create and maintain a full-blown budget can be intimidating. ~ Anna Prior, Wall Street Journal
The key to financial success is adopting a cash flow plan that will guide your financial decisions on a day to day basis. In addition, understanding and controlling how money flows in and out of your life will free you from financial stress and empower you to achieve your most important life goals. (more…)