Thinking about your financial future doesn’t have to be frightening or stressful. When you’re backed by the right team of professionals, you can breathe easy and know that you are on your way to achieving your financial goals.
Who Should Be on Your Team?
The answer depends a bit on who you are, what your life situation is and what your goals are. Here are some guidelines:
Similar to a primary care doctor, a financial advisor can take an expansive look at your finances and provide guidance and insight. They can also give input on investing decisions, help you manage your tax liability and can refer you to specialists (such as a debt counselor or money coach) when you need more in-depth help with one particular matter.
Working with a financial advisor is incredibly beneficial to those who are managing multiple streams of income or have wealth to invest. Having access to professional advice is also important for those beginning to manage their own long-term financial journey who are dealing with questions about college planning, life insurance and wills, and for those nearing retirement who need to ensure they are prepared and able to enjoy their retirement in the way they have envisioned.
An insurance agent helps you safeguard your property and your livelihood in the form of auto, homeowners, renters, life and long-term care insurance. They can advise you on the best policies to protect you, your family and the future you are building from risk.
While there are a variety of online insurance providers, the benefit of a local agent is their connections in the community and the quality of care you receive. For example, they can suggest a local auto body shop after a fender bender. They will also meet with you to discuss where you are today and where you’re going to help you with all of life’s plans. When you’re searching for an insurance agent to join your team, think not only of price but also of the service you’re receiving and your insurance agent’s ability to work with the other members of your financial team.
An attorney or lawyer can assist you with buying/selling property (including businesses), creating a will and estate plan, negotiating contracts and more.
Unless you own a business, you aren’t likely to interact with a lawyer very often. However, when you are in a situation in which their insight would be beneficial, don’t leave them off of your list! Some situations may require a specialist, but having a relationship with someone before you need their services helps ensure you are receiving quality advice.
An accountant or tax advisor handles your taxes, including ensuring that they have been filed correctly, finding deductions you can benefit from and filing extensions if needed. They can also help manage your charitable donations. If you’re a business owner, accountants are important in managing and communicating the company’s finances.
If your taxes are complicated, such as if they include multiple income streams, lots of deductions, foreign investments, etc., then its likely worthwhile to hire an accountant.
Bringing Your Financial Team Together
Together these people are your team. They should be able to work in coordination to serve your needs as you build your financial future. For example, a financial advisor and insurance agent working in coordination can identify a shortcoming (such as a shortfall in your life insurance) and create a plan to address it (such as an additional policy).
Be sure to verify credentials before you enter into a relationship with an advisor, and don’t be afraid to ask for references. You want to be sure that the people who will be helping you navigate your decisions understand you and your goals — and that they are equipped to walk alongside you in your journey.
If you are looking for the foundation of your financial future team, consider reaching out to a Farm Bureau agent or financial advisor. Farm Bureau is dedicated to being your resource in protecting and preparing for your future.