Managing your household’s monthly finances is a big job. When you add retirement planning, saving for long-term goals and juggling your parents’ or kids’ finances, it can begin to feel overwhelming.
A financial advisor can simplify your planning and help you make better decisions about your money, according to Terrance Odean, a professor of finance specializing in investor behavior at the University of California-Berkeley.
“One of the best things an advisor can do is talk a client out of making an ill-informed or emotional decision about their money,” Odean says. “Stupid mistakes can be very expensive.”
A SunTrust Financial Advisor can help you:
Set realistic goals.
A financial advisor examines all of your finances, including your income and your retirement accounts, to help you set realistic goals. Your priorities—from travel to a vacation home—will dictate how much you should save and how long you’ll have to work before you can retire. An advisor can suggest interim tax-smart strategies to fund shorter-term goals such as your children’s college education.
Develop a financial plan.
A financial plan doesn’t end with your retirement accounts. An advisor considers all of your financial information, including your 401(k), mortgage and long-term savings goals, to help you develop a comprehensive strategy to fund them. The planner’s big-picture perspective can guide you through the market’s highs and lows and help you make better day-to-day financial decisions.
Track your financial health.
Just as a periodic physical assessment, it’s a good idea to get an occasional checkup on your financial health. An advisor can let you know if you’re on track to achieve your goals, and point out areas that need attention. Investments are only part of the picture; your advisor also examines whether you have enough life insurance to care for your family, and whether you have a solid estate plan.
Most financial advisors are experts at assessing investments, from your IRA fund choices to whether you should invest in your brother-in-law’s startup business. Advisors comb through the fine print of a fund’s annual report or business plan to help you weigh your options so you can make informed choices based on your particular circumstances.
Review your progress.
Even the best financial plan needs regular attention and periodic adjustments. When you have a child, buy a home, start a business or make other significant life changes, an advisor can help make sure your plan accurately reflects your life and your current goals. Together you can develop a financial road map that addresses your current situation and helps you achieve your most important objectives.