New Year, New Finances: Why You Should Work With a Financial Planner

Special to The Truth

As 2024 gets underway, it’s time to set new financial goals and make a plan to reach them.

Whether you have a fixed, short-term goal, such as paying down debt, or you’re looking to draw up a comprehensive roadmap for your financial future, a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional can be integral to the process.

To find a professional you can trust and to get the most out of working with them, consider the following answers to commonly asked questions.

Can I trust my financial planner?

The credentials of a “financial planner” can vary widely. It’s best to ensure that your financial planner is a CFP® professional. Certified by CFP Board, CFP® professionals commit to high ethical standards and have made a commitment to CFP Board to act as a fiduciary, meaning they act in your best interests when giving financial planning advice. They must also acquire several years of experience delivering financial planning services and pass a comprehensive exam. These rigorous qualifications can offer you peace of mind that your financial planner is someone knowledgeable who has your best interests in mind.

Is financial planning for me?

A common misconception is that financial planning is only for those with a certain level of income or wealth, or for those who are nearing retirement. The truth is that financial planning is for everyone at every life stage.

For example, if you’re newly graduated and just starting your career, you may need advice on how to pay off student loans while saving for the future. A financial planner can help you prioritize these competing goals. Likewise, if you’re established, a financial planner can help you manage and safeguard your wealth for the next generation.

What value does a financial planner offer?

A CFP® professional will learn about your financial goals and needs and can develop a holistic financial plan tailored specifically to you. Their education and experience make them uniquely suited to help you choose investments that align with your time horizon and risk tolerance, to help you save money on taxes and to assist you in planning for the future – including for the unexpected. With a CFP® professional by your side, you can feel more confident in your financial future, whether you’re planning for college, retirement or growing your family.

How do I plan for my first meeting?

While you don’t need to have all your goals set in stone at your first meeting, being prepared is helpful. In addition to any paperwork that the advisor sent you ahead of time, gather copies of financial statements from your banks, brokerage firms and retirement account custodians, as well as tax, insurance and estate planning documents. Come prepared to discuss your income, expenses and debt. Finally, prepare a list of questions. This is your opportunity to find out about the feasibility of your dreams and goals.

How do I find the right planner for me?

Perhaps you are estate planning and have unique concerns due to family dynamics. Perhaps you’re launching a new business and need assistance with cash flow and budgeting.

If you have specific financial goals or challenges, it may be helpful to work with a CFP® professional who specializes in that area. You can use the “Find a CFP® Professional” tool at to search by specific planning services and your location.

As you set your financial goals for 2024, consider how a financial planner can help you.

Courtesy StatePoint