5 times you should consider meeting with a financial planner

If you’re serious about building long-term wealth, you’ll probably find yourself face-to-face with a financial planner at some point.

A good certified financial planner can organize your overall financial picture and implement strategies that will help you achieve your goals, from putting your kids through college to retiring when you want.

Here are a few times you may consider hiring a financial planner.

1. You’re having a baby soon

Some of the most exciting life milestones also happen to be the most costly. If you’re expanding your family, there’s a good chance you’ll need to find room in your budget to accommodate the increased expenses — you’re feeding, housing, and clothing another human, after all.

A financial planner can sit down and estimate the true costs of parenthood, reorganize your cash flow, and plan for any savings goals you have as a family.

2. You’re combining finances with your partner

Money is often a touchy topic in relationships, especially when your spending and saving habits are at odds. A professional can walk you through which accounts to combine or keep separate, and create a cohesive financial plan that meets both your needs.

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3. You won’t invest on your own

Investing in the stock market is one of the most powerful tools we have for building wealth, but too many people are paralyzed by the fear of losing their money that they avoid investing all together. If this sounds like you, consider consulting a financial planner to formulate an investment strategy that satisfies your risk tolerance.

Indeed, returns are never guaranteed when investing in the stock market, but what you miss out on by sitting on the sidelines is often far greater than what you could potentially lose if you invest wisely.

4. You need help with your retirement plan

The younger you are, the simpler your retirement strategy should be: Save as much as you can automatically through your tax-advantaged savings accounts, including your company-sponsored retirement plan, such as a 401(k), and/or a traditional or Roth IRA.

But as you age into your 30s and 40s, you’ll have a clearer idea of what your ideal retirement looks like, and figuring out how to achieve that may get a bit complicated. Financial planners are adept at retirement planning — they can assess how much you should be saving and where you should be investing it to put you on track to your dream retirement.

5. You’re overwhelmed by debt

Anyone who has ever been in debt, whether from student loans or credit cards, knows it can feel insurmountable at times, especially if you’re juggling saving for retirement or financial goals, or live in an expensive city.

If you’re overwhelmed by your debt load, consider consulting a financial planner who can help you come up with a debt repayment plan that works for you and doesn’t neglect your other financial goals.

Need help with your money? SmartAsset’s free tool can help find a licensed professional near you »

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