A financial advisor is incredibly valuable when it comes to handling your everyday money concerns and helping you plan for your future. But at the same time, there are milestone life events that can dramatically alter your financial situation, or at the very least, cause you to rethink your current strategy. Financial advisors have the experience to work with you to plan for all stages of your financial life. Here are eight life events when you would greatly benefit from the objective, unbiased guidance of your advisor:
You may think you don’t have enough money to work with an advisor when you graduate, but this is a crucial first step to getting your financial life on the right track. A wealth advisor can steer you in the right direction and advise you on how to allocate your income earned from your new job. Now is the time to work on repaying student debt, creating a retirement plan, managing living expenses, and purchasing a life insurance policy.
If your children are at the point of graduating college, you should reevaluate your savings strategy and reallocate the money you were previously contributing to college savings accounts. Now that your children have completed their education, you can amp up your retirement savings or turn your attention to other investments.
Marriage or Divorce
Joining your life with someone else is a major undertaking. From planning the wedding to merging your possessions, it can be easy to ignore the financial side at first. But it’s critical for you and your new spouse to meet with a financial advisor to take care of paperwork to update beneficiaries in your will, insurance policies, and investment accounts.
You’d be surprised by how much can change once you get married, especially when it comes to your finances. In fact, money is the leading cause of stress in marriages because emotions run high, and people can have differing opinions on money. This is why you may want to seek guidance from a wealth advisor who can serve as an objective partner. An advisor can help you stay focused on the right goals, articulate your financial targets and needs, and create a strategy that incorporates both of your values and objectives.
On the other hand, a divorce can cause a significant uproar in your financial world. An advisor can help you avoid making emotional decisions and minimize your losses as you deal with the legal side of the divorce.
Having a Baby
Welcoming a baby into your life is one of the most exciting, life-changing, and overwhelming events of one’s life. The arrival of a baby also means changes in your finances. From the hospital bills to education, a child can cost half a million dollars, when all is said and done!
A financial advisor can review your insurance coverage to ensure it is adequate for your growing family. You will also need to add your new child as a beneficiary and update any paperwork pertaining to your will and insurance policies.
While your kids are still young, start talking with an advisor about college savings options. A college education in the U.S. can cost upwards of $334,000, so it’s a good idea to start saving for your child’s education as early as possible. Take advantage of time to reap the benefits of compound interest. You have choices when it comes to college savings, such as a 529 plan or an education savings account. An advisor can help you choose what is best for you.
Whether it’s the loss of a job, a promotion, or starting a new career, you will benefit from the guidance of an advisor. You will need to make decisions about what to do with current 401(k)s, tax planning, stock options, and how the change in income will affect your financial goals. An advisor can also walk you through your new benefits package and help set you up for success in your new season of life.
Buying or Selling Property
A change in your property situation can affect your finances considerably. It’s a good idea to work with an advisor when selling or buying so you can properly deal with issues such as capital gains taxes, write-offs, and use of savings or investments to purchase property.
It doesn’t matter where you are in life, a serious diagnosis can turn your life upside-down. In an HSBC survey, 78% of people surveyed stated that a critical illness is one of the most financially damaging events in life.
If you or your spouse are suddenly facing a life-changing illness, you may be forced to draw from savings to cover expenses. You may also be required to retire earlier than planned, which changes your retirement income forecast. While you or your spouse is battling a life-changing illness, you don’t want to be wasting your precious time and energy on the financial stress this type of event can bring. Your advisor has the expertise to help you with long-term care options, estate planning, and income planning and can ensure that life insurance and disability insurance paperwork is up-to-date.
Receiving an Inheritance
Regardless of how much you receive as an inheritance, an incoming lump sum can cause financial headaches. You will need an advisor to aid you with tax repercussions and help you make decisions about the type of accounts you have inherited, such as IRAs or 401(k)s. An advisor can work with you to figure out the best way to handle the money, where to invest it, what debts to pay off, or what to spend it on. You will also need to update your will to reflect the changes in your financial situation.
Nearing Retirement Age
No matter what the state of your retirement savings, this is when you need to get serious about meeting with a financial advisor to hash out the nitty gritty details of Social Security, withdrawal rates, Medicare, and more. Retirement is complicated, so don’t try to handle the intricacies alone.
A financial advisor has expertise and experience with each of these milestones and their financial repercussions. Take advantage of their help so that these milestones only enhance your life instead of derail it. At Mason & Associates, we want to partner with you through life’s changes and set you up for success regardless of what happens. If you have experienced one of these milestones or have one coming up in the near future, contact our office today by calling us at (323) 254-3072.
About Mason & Associates, Inc.
Mason & Associates, Inc. was founded in 1989, specializing in Life Planning for individuals, families and small businesses. Life Planning places a person’s core life values at the heart of the advice process and focuses on the human aspects of financial planning.
As a client, your personal story is key to our planning process. That is why we strive to build a close relationship that will encompass every aspect of your life. Together with our team of professionals, we guide you through the process of identifying what is important to you, your goals, your dreams. We then put into place a financial road map to set you on your way towards achieving your objectives.
Our responsibility does not end there. As you encounter bumps in the road, changes in goals or any other roadblocks, we are there to offer advice and guidance. We are there to celebrate your successes and cope with your challenges. We work alongside your other professionals such as your attorney and your CPA to be sure all of your legal and financial needs are aligned.