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Do You Need a Financial Advisor? This Is How You Can Tell

Have you ever thought, “Do you need a financial advisor?” If you’re like most adults today, you probably have. But have you gotten around to this yet or have you procrastinated?

Financial advisors can help with a lot of concerns, including some you probably weren’t even aware you had.

In this article, we’ll share some ways you can know for sure if you need a financial advisor. First, though, we’ll go over the differences between a financial advisor and a financial planner.

Do You Need a Financial Advisor or a Financial Planner?

You might have asked as well, “Do I need a financial planner?” since these two jobs are very similar and overlap in many ways. According to Coryann Hicks of, the difference really comes down to the clients the person wants.

With one exception, the titles mainly are about marketing, with one exception, though: the CFP or Certified Financial Planner. These are financial planners who have passed an examination and been certified by the CFP Board.

In general, though, you should search for the financial professional you believe will be able to help you with what you need. So a little investigating of credentials and areas of expertise would be in order before making an appointment.

Click here if you want to find out about financial advisors and their different credentials.

Knowing When You Need a Financial Advisor

Our assumption here is that you’re interested in meeting face-to-face with a live human financial advisor, not an online or robo advisor–both of which are options.

Most of us could use financial advice for a variety of reasons and probably would be better off if we just made an appointment. However, there can be life events that can give you a sense of urgency in seeking out financial advise (advice).

Here are some of them:

1. You Have a New Income Source and Would like Advice on How to Invest It

It could be a new rental property, a side gig, an inheritance. or any number of other things. But you want to invest it before it’s all gone.

A financial advisor can help you figure out what would meet your needs based on your financial needs and life situation.

2. You Have Lost a Well-Paying Job and Need to Discuss Budgeting Strategy

You now have a part-time job (only 10-12 hours a week) and otherwise, are using savings to supplement your unemployment check. You need a budgeting strategy as well as some tips on saving costs.

Yes, a financial advisor can help out with this situation. And hopefully, you’ll be needing a return visit to discuss changes to your budget when you find a new job!

3. You Didn’t Get Hired and Now You’re Self-Employed

This might turn out to be a good option for you, provided you have the skills and self-discipline that are needed. We recommend not only a good financial advisor, but also a capable tax accountant.

4. The Stock Market Has Taken an Ugly Turn and You Need to Know What to Do

Many people will respond emotionally to sudden drops in the stock market. offers this advice:

“If you have a financial advisor assisting you with your investment decisions, they will be able to help you keep an emotional distance from your money so that you can make the best long-term plan for your money.”

This may sound obvious to a clear head, but many of us have made poorly thought decisions when seeing our prized stocks suddenly drop in price.

5. You Want to Buy a House – Can You Afford It?

Buying a house can be one of the most difficult decisions people make in their lives. For most of us, it involves borrowing a huge amount of money it will take decades to repay.

And if that doesn’t give you the jitters, what about all the money you’ll need to spend upfront, before and right after you move in–the real estate fees, the badly needed repairs the home inspector didn’t tell you about…

Your financial advisor can give you a heads up on what to expect and how much to set aside for it.

6. You Have Young Children and Want to Discuss Saving for College

You aren’t sure where this money is going to come from. Your and your wife’s combined income is making ends meet, but there isn’t a lot left over. You do know that it’s better to start saving now, though, even if it’s just a little.

A financial advisor can recommend certain types of accounts that are good for long-term savings goals, such as money for college.

7. You Have an Elderly Parent and Want to Discuss Senior Living Options

Welcome to the “sandwich generation”! You still have kids in college and now you have to help pay for Dad’s retirement living. He didn’t save enough himself. What are you going to do?

A financial advisor can help you figure out what kind of retirement living your family can afford and perhaps get your father started on a monthly budget.

8. You, Yourself, Are Getting Nervous About Retirement

This happens to many of us. Once we’ve taken care of our parents and lived with their choices, we start thinking very actively about our own senior years. And, yes, a financial advisor can help you with this too.

You probably have been saving throughout your career, but have you saved enough? What are your options if you need to save more? These are questions financial advisors are asked quite frequently.

What’s Next for You and Your Money?

Do you need a financial advisor? We hope you now see some ways you might benefit from one. Financial advisors aren’t right for everyone all the time. But for the most part, they can help ease the stress that comes with financial decisions.

Knowing when to get a financial advisor is an important decision too. Some people “just know,” but others wait far too long and regret it. Once you’ve finally said to yourself, “I need a financial advisor,” you’re on a good path.

But once you’ve decided, don’t delay making the appointment any longer. This person can help you right now!

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