It can be challenging to achieve your financial objectives. Fortunately, you donât have to go it alone â but when should you seek help?
Here are some of the key life events in which you might be able to benefit from the services of a financial professional:
First professional job â Eventually, you will land that first job, which will offer benefits and a 401(k) or similar employer-sponsored retirement plan. Since you may not have any experience with a 401(k), you may have several questions: How much should I contribute? What sorts of investments should I choose? When should I change my investment selections? A financial professional can help you review your plan and explain the aspects that may affect your investment choices.
Marriage â 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 professional 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 canât guarantee profits or protect against all losses.)
Children â Once you have children, youâll have new responsibilities â and youâll have some new financial issues that should be addressed. If something happened to you, could your children still have the same lifestyle and educational opportunities? Would they even be able to stay in the same home? To help ensure your childrenâs security, you may need to add more life and disability insurance.
While life insurance could help pay for your childrenâs education, you also should prepare for education costs as if you will be around. So you may want to consider an education savings investment such as a 529 plan. A financial professional can help you with your insurance and education-funding needs.
Retirement â Once you retire, you will face a variety of financial decisions, but hereâs one of the most important ones: How much money should you withdraw each year from your retirement accounts? To choose an annual withdrawal rate thatâs appropriate for your needs, you should consider several factors: how much you have in your retirement accounts, how much Social Security youâll receive, what other sources of income (such as part-time work or consulting) you might have, your age at retirement, your spouseâs projected retirement assets, your retirement lifestyle, and so on. It might not be easy for you to consider all these elements and then arrive at a suitable withdrawal rate, but a financial professional has the experience, training and technology to help determine a figure that could work for you.
These arenât all the life events that may 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. So, consider reaching out for the help you need, when you need it. Doing so could help make your life easier as you move toward your financial goals.
Submitted by Jahan Manasseh, Financial Advisor for Edward Jones, 53 Gardner Rd, Suite 2, Hubbardston, MA 01452.