Financial planning isn’t something that most people do on their own. As they say – teamwork makes the dream work, and your team should be made up of several different professionals who each bring a unique set of skills to the table. But who should be part of your financial planning team? Let’s take a look at four key players.
Certified Public Accountants are perhaps best known for preparing tax returns, but their expertise extends far beyond the data entry required for taxes. CPAs can provide sound advice when it comes to interpreting the tax code and developing strategies to help you save money come tax time. They also provide financial reporting services and can advise you on small business finances.
When to schedule a meeting: Most people meet with their CPAs once per year. If your tax situation is a bit more complicated, you may need to meet with them more frequently. This may include people who are business owners, who own rental real estate, or who have complex investment portfolios.
Estate attorneys specialize in estate planning, which includes drafting wills, setting up trusts, and helping you develop an overall plan for how your assets will be distributed upon death or disability. They also make sure that the documents you create are in compliance with your state’s laws.
When to schedule a meeting: It is recommended that you check in with your estate attorney every three to five years to have your documents reviewed.
Insurance is one of those things that no one likes to think about until it’s too late; after all, insurance covers those things we hope never happen! But having an experienced insurance professional on your team can make sure you are protected from life’s unexpected events—from health care costs to property damage to unemployment—and help you feel more secure.
When to schedule a meeting: It’s good to check in with your insurance professional once per year to make sure that you are covering any changes in your life.
Last but not least is a financial advisor who can pull all these pieces together into a comprehensive plan for the future. A financial advisor looks holistically at all aspects of your finances and helps make sure that everything is connected and working together toward your long-term goals. This includes investments, retirement savings, debt management, budgeting strategies, and more.
When to schedule a meeting: I recommend meeting with your financial advisor twice per year. A lot can change in six months; you need to take advantage of the changes before they take advantage of you.
Having access to reliable professionals is key when it comes to managing your finances responsibly throughout all stages of life. By having ready access to a CPA, an estate attorney, an insurance professional, and a financial advisor, you can ensure that everything related to your financial future is taken care of. With the right team in place, there will no longer be any need for guesswork when it comes time to make big decisions.