Given the importance of your financial investments (whether you are a business owner or just a normal consumer), it should come as no surprise that having the right person oversee them is something you should never take for granted.
That said you might be surprised how many consumers leave their financial well-being up in the air.
As a result, they leave themselves vulnerable to financial calamity sooner rather than later. Even if they stave off financial problems for the foreseeable future, their idea of a perfect retirement can very easily be put in jeopardy.
So, with the idea that investing in your financial future should always be taken seriously; take stock in your current financial picture and also where you would like to be down the road.
Research and Never Settle
If you haven’t already, start by research financial experts to see who and which investment company is best suited to handle your money needs.
With many still expressing concerns about an ability to retire one day, keep in mind that you are not alone with your fears.
You want a financial pro that has the following:
- Experience – Although it sounds like a no-brainier, be sure that you hire someone who has some real meat on their financial resume. How long have they been in this line of work? Have they stayed with the same firm over time or jump around from place to place? What do their colleagues think of them? Have they and/or their company been involved in any concerning business matters over the years, notably complaints or even lawsuits from consumers? These are all areas that you should research;
- Customer service – Nothing is more irritating as a consumer than having to chase down the person who is supposed to be working for you, not the other way around. While that individual obviously has countless other clients, be sure they can make time for you when needed. Whether it is a simple financial investment question or you have a financial matter of urgent concern, they need to be as accessible as possible to you.
You Have a Job Too
While locating the right financial pro is necessary in advising you of the best moves with your money, you also have an important role to play.
Unlike younger investors who have some “recovery time” on their hands when they either get a late start and/or make a few financial investment mistakes here and there, older investors do not have such luxuries.
If you are an older investor, it is important that you make sure all your financial eggs are in order, including playing catch-up if you are over the age of 50. Investors over that age are allowed to invest more money (up to a limit depending on if it is an IRA, 401K etc.) than younger investors.
Another key area of importance is whether you have a family or not.
If you are on your own, you have a little more flexibility. For those with a spouse and perhaps a child or two, financial decisions become all the more important.
Individuals in these situations should also make sure that they have a sound life insurance plan in place.
With a good life insurance plan, the breadwinner of the house can rest a little easier, knowing that his loved one or ones are covered should he or she become disabled and unable to work or even pass away.
While insurance agents are typically the go-to people for life insurance and other such needs, your financial pro can help lay out the basics for you, giving you some guidance on how having such a policy can impact your financial situation now and down the road.
Finally, with April 15 (tax day) creeping closer and closer, be sure to understand how your financial decisions can and will impact your tax burdens.
If you are contributing to personal IRA’s for example, you can note those contributions as deductions for the previous calendar year, lessening your taxable income.
With all there is to know about your financial situation today, tomorrow and ultimately down the road, make sure you’ve gone about hiring the right financial advisor for all your monetary needs.
When you do, you could find yourself being one happy camper.
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About the Author: Dave Thomas covers business and financial topics on the web.