Life is full of major events and crossroads. These events often cause radical changes in your financial goals and the resources you have available to achieve them. It is critical to meet with a financial advisor during the following 6 life events, as they will help you work through the important financial implications and avoid common mistakes.
You Start a New Job
A new job often brings with it financial options you did not previously have.
Talking with a financial advisor after getting a new job can help you decide how much of each paycheck should be dedicated to savings after all the bills have been paid. Your personal savings rate will vary based on your existing savings, your asset allocation to stocks and bonds, your remaining investment timeline, and your financial goals.
An advisor can help you decide whether to put money into your 401k or Roth 401k, a Traditional or Roth IRA, or a taxable investment account. Perhaps most importantly, they can help you choose how to allocate your savings amongst stocks and bonds, and identify which funds within your 401k offering meet your financial objectives. If you have a 401k from a previous job, a financial advisor can determine if you are better off leaving it where it is, rolling it over to your new company’s 401k, or rolling it into an IRA.
This decision can have substantial tax and investment plan savings implications, and can even allow you to retire as early as age 55 without paying the 10% tax penalty on your withdrawals!
You Just Received a Financial Windfall
While receiving an inheritance from a family member, or winning a large sum of money at the casino may feel good, it is important that you create a plan to use that money in a way that aligns with your life goals.
Proper financial planning can make it easier to structure the windfall in a way that minimizes state or federal taxes. Talking with an advisor will help you learn more about trusts and other ways to save the money for a child's education, or to meet other long-term goals.
You Get Married
A change in marital status inevitably brings changes to your finances.
You will want to make sure you and your spouse are on the same page with your financial goals and priorities. By having conversations about your goals as a couple, an advisor can give you an idea of what are reasonable goals to prioritize and can help you create a plan to achieve them.
Marriage also brings up issues like formally joining your financial accounts, assuming each other’s debt, and many other tough issues that are often easier to work through with a financial advisor.
Your First Child Is Born
As a parent myself, I can tell you from firsthand experience that this changes everything about your financial needs and priorities.
The birth of a child means finding or amending your existing health insurance to cover your growing family. You must also evaluate life insurance for yourself in the event of an unexpected death, to ensure your surviving spouse and child(ren) are financially secure. If you are the sole income provider in the family, you should also consider disability insurance in the event of an accident or health issue that keeps you from working.
It also means finding ways to pay for braces, dance lessons, and college tuition. An advisor can show a new parent how to use their resources to fund these goals and how to take advantage of 529 education savings plans.
You're Getting Close to Retirement
Ideally, you will start planning for retirement as soon as you enter the workforce. However, it is never too late to start thinking about how to reach your long-term financial goals, even if you plan to retire early.
A financial advisor can create a financial plan that will show you if you are on track to achieve your most important retirement goals. An advisor can give you an idea of how much you need to retire, when you can retire, and how much you can expect to spend in retirement. If you are not on track to achieve your retirement goals, an advisor can provide you with the adjustments you need to make to achieve them. They can also help you plan ahead for the later years of retirement.
You're Scared of a Market Pullback
Stock investors are treated to a bear market (a market decline of 20% or more) roughly one out of every five years.
Despite this regularity, they still catch investors by surprise, and cause widespread panic. It is extremely important investors remain confident and stick to their investments during these times, or they may make the mistake of turning a temporary decline in their portfolio, into a permanent loss that they cannot recover from financially. However, even the smartest investors can fall prey to their emotions during these times.
If you are scared because your portfolio is down, and everyone around you is convinced the sky is falling, you need to talk to a financial advisor. A good financial advisor will recognize and understand your emotions, while providing you with the confidence and perspective you need, to prevent you from making emotional investment decisions at the worst possible time. This is perhaps the largest value you can receive from a financial advisor.
While no one can predict what the future holds, there are ways to plan ahead for important changes to your financial situation.
If you are getting married, getting ready to become a parent, looking to retire, or are about to experience any other major life event, it is important that you plan diligently and manage your money properly, to set yourself up to achieve your most important financial goals. A financial advisor provides additional assurance that important decisions are made correctly during these times, leading you on a path to financial success!
Are you going through one of the life events mentioned above, or another major financial crossroad? Schedule a time to meet with financial advisor Ryan Repko, and our CEO, Paul A. Ruedi.
Want to hear more from Ryan?
Read his past blog post on emergency funds:
Ryan recently provided his thoughts on individual investors to AdvisorNews:
Listen to Ryan cover financial planning issues on Paul Ruedi’s On The Money Radio Show: