How do you know when you should see a financial advisor?

Published January 23, 2019
 A financial advisor has a conversation with a couple.

Everyone dreams of a safe and secure financial future. The average person spends time planning out their finances, whether it's making a budget, paying a mortgage or saving for your children's education. There are a lot of factors to consider and it can be a challenging task to determine how to meet your financial goals.

If you are serious about planning your future and want to work towards achieving your financial goals, then it is worth taking the time and effort to hire a financial advisor. A good financial advisor will help you set an overall financial strategy and be well prepared for your future – but when should you seek help?

Here are four key life events in which you might be able to benefit from the services of a financial advisor:

  1. First professional job
    Eventually, you will land that first job, which may offer benefits and you will have some financial decisions to make. Should I participate in my employer group retirement plan (HINT: Yes!). How much should I contribute? What sorts of investments should I choose? When should I change my investment selections? How can I juggle saving for retirement with paying off student loans? A financial advisor can help you review your plan and explain the aspects that may affect your investment choices.
  2. Getting married
    When you get married, you and your spouse may decide to merge your finances, including your investments. But if each of you brings similar investments to the table, you might create some redundancies. A financial advisor can look at your respective portfolios and recommend ways to diversify. Generally, the more diversified you are, the greater your protection against market downturns that primarily hit one type of asset class. (However, while diversification can help reduce the impact of market volatility, it can’t guarantee profits or protect against all losses.)
  3. Having children
    Once you have children, you will have new responsibilities – and you will have some new financial issues that should be addressed. If something happened to you, would your children still have the same lifestyle and educational opportunities? Would they be able to stay in the same home? To help ensure your children’s security, you may need to add more life, critical illness and disability insurance.

    While life insurance could help pay for your children’s education in the event of an untimely death, you may want to consider setting up a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) which can help you child's post-secondary education. A financial advisor can help you with your insurance and education funding needs.

  4. Retirement
    As you near retirement you will have several factors to consider, such as, how much you need to save, how much income you will need each year and how to keep your savings on track to meet your goals.

Once you retire, you will face a variety of financial decisions, but here’s one of the most important ones: How much money should you withdraw each year from your retirement accounts? To choose an annual withdrawal rate that’s appropriate for your needs, you should consider several factors: how much you have in your retirement accounts, how much Canada Pension Plan (CPP)/Quebec Pension Plan (QPP) and/or Old Age Security (OAS) you’ll receive, what other sources of income (such as part-time work or consulting) you might have, your age at retirement, your spouse’s retirement assets, your retirement lifestyle, and so on. It might not be easy for you to consider all of these elements and then arrive at a suitable withdrawal rate, but a financial advisor has the experience, training and technology to help determine an appropriate strategy that could work for you.

All of these life events may not lead you to contact a financial professional, but they should give you a pretty good idea of the type of assistance you could expect over time. Consider reaching out for the help you need. Doing so could help make your life easier as you move toward achieving your personal financial goals.

We can help

At Edward Jones, we can help you achieve your financial goals. Contact your local Edward Jones advisor about a financial strategy that makes sense for you.