Many of us consider the services of a financial adviser a luxury reserved for only the wealthiest, for people with money that they need help managing, which is no one who knows that it all comes in and all goes back out with the bills. But there are times when even you or I should seek one out. There are plenty of times when you should definitely talk to an adviser, and we've talked about how to hire one that won't rip you off even though rules say they have to act in your best interest. US News Money has a few more times when seeking one out would be a good idea in the slideshow (ugh) linked below, but here are the highlights:
- When you're going through a major, expensive life change. Retirement, weddings, divorces, new children, situations that you know will either cost a ton of money or drastically effect your income and debt are worth talking to an expert about before you jump in.
- You're thinking about retirement, or have no plans for your legacy. Even if you're considering retirement and you're not sure what you should do, you might want to talk to someone who can help — preferably someone who doesn't benefit from those investments. Similarly, if you're not sure what to do about what you may leave behind — especially if you don't have kids — it makes sense to talk to an adviser.
- You receive a windfall. Winning the lottery, as unlikely as it is, is a good reason to get financial help. The same is true for inheritances, legal payouts or other windfalls that don't factor into your normal budget and expenses. Get help with it before you just spend it away.
- You need to care for ageing or retired family. This one's a bit trickier, but US News notes that caring for elderly parents in an ethical, compassionate way isn't going to be cheap, and you'll need help juggling your budget and what you can afford versus wanting the best for your loved ones. It's not something we all like to think about, but it's important.
The list has some other items on it, like "your net-worth is a quarter million", "you have a financial goal you want to reach" and "you get your first job", which frankly I don't think are necessarily reasons to seek out a financial adviser. The former is pretty arbitrary, the middle is something you can easily plan for yourself without help and the latter is just not a good reason to spend money on an adviser when your first job likely doesn't pay enough to pay them. The ones in the list above are the good ones — but if you want to check them all out, hit the link below.
8 Times to Talk to a Financial Advisor [US News]