Why You Need a Financial Coach More than Ever
It’s no secret that we’re currently living through an unprecedented period of uncertainty, fear, and reactionism. In times like these, it’s easy to fall into the trap of letting those emotions impact how you manage your finances.
After all, we’re talking about your mortgage, loans, savings, retirement plan, investment portfolio, kids’ college funds, taxes, estate – everything that you’ve invested into your future.
These are all very real pieces of your overall financial picture, and figuring out how they all fit together to create fulfillment and peace of mind can feel like a never-ending exam in mathematics and law. Even if you’re only managing some of these financial components, the burden can contribute to significant stress in your everyday life.
That’s why you need a trusted, experienced financial advisor and coach… now more than ever.
Maybe your idea of working with a financial advisor involves long meetings about compounding interest and stock market trends. What many people may not understand is that a qualified financial coach differs from a financial advisor and is much more than a resource for calculating investment returns and explaining tax implications. The right partner can actually help you explore your true purpose for life and some of the underlying issues that may be slowing your ability to both identify and achieve your ultimate financial goals.
So, as you consider whether or not you truly need a financial coach, here are some expert insights to help you answer the question.
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Why Are Financial Coaches Important?
The 2019 Retirement Confidence Survey revealed some interesting statistics that illustrate many Americans’ mindset as it relates to their financial future:
- While 2 in 3 workers are confident they are doing a good job saving for retirement and know how much they will need to have saved to live comfortably, only 42% have actually tried to calculate how much money they will need.
- 6 in 10 workers say their level of debt is a problem, including 19% who say it is a major problem.
- 7 in 10 workers say their non-mortgage debt has impacted their ability to save for retirement, and over half say their ability to pay their bills or participate in employee benefits has been impacted.
- 8 in 10 workers think they will work for pay in retirement, although retiree experiences indicate that only 28% actually do.
- The majority of workers agree that preparing for retirement makes them feel stressed.
Now, keep in mind that as staggering as these statistics are, the current outlook for people’s financial future is even more dire.
Most people haven’t had nearly the amount of time studying financial matters to make fully informed and objective decisions regarding critical elements like investing, saving and planning for retirement. Most of us are hard-wired to make financial moves based on emotional inclinations, which can be a costly and highly counterproductive approach.
Competent financial coaches, on the other hand, have spent their lives learning and working in this field. They’ve developed the knowledge and experience to ascertain clients’ long-term needs, challenges and goals, as well as determine a strategic path to work toward achieving those objectives.
Regardless of your stage in life, a financial coach can guide you through a number of complex and/or unique financial scenarios. They can help you make sense of the intricate financial and life details that might otherwise leave you confused, anxious and frustrated, as well as separate your emotions, biases and unrealistic expectations from the process and clarify the best decisions to help yield fruitful results.
When Should You Seek Out Financial Advice?
As the old saying goes, “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”
The truth is, it’s never too early to seek financial advice from a licensed professional. This is especially true now, given the uncertain times we’re living in.
Maybe you’re just starting to build a family, your spouse passed away, or perhaps you’re in the throes of a divorce. You might be thinking about how you’ll pay for your children’s college education or wondering how to best manage their inheritance. Whether you’re planning for everyday life, nearing retirement, in retirement or have experienced a life-changing event, partnering with a professional financial coach affords you the insights, strategies and tools to help you connect your investment choices to what matters most to you.
Understand that no matter what financial decision you’re facing, discovering your true purpose for money can steer your approach and pave the way for long-lasting fulfillment. While money is important, it’s only one element of total wealth. There are also more personal concerns at play, like safety, security, comfort and independence. When you struggle, worry or suffer over money, it’s often because your financial choices don’t align with your inner value system.
A financial coach can help you dig deep to discover what money really means to you, which is a process of exploring your individual values and beliefs. When your financial decisions align with your values, you’re more likely to experience an authentic sense of satisfaction and contentment. This is how a financial coach can guide you toward living a more rewarding, less stressful life, and that’s not something you should wait on another minute longer.
What Kind of Relationship Can You Have with a Financial Advisor?
The type of relationship you choose should be based on your individual needs and overall financial goals.
Some financial advisory firms contract with clients on a one-time or as-needed basis so you can tackle specific concerns or design a simple financial plan. Others cater to long-term financial needs, getting to know you personally in order to be more effective at managing your financial accounts and investment portfolios.
Some of the services you can expect to get from a financial advisor and coach include:
Your financial advisor can help you navigate the murky waters of troubled times to help you understand the financial landscape and protect your investments.
Financial Planning and Advice:
Rely on an experienced team of financial planners to simplify your efforts, answer your questions, assess your personal situation and create a realistic plan that’s personalized for you.
Your financial advisor should take into account what’s happening in today’s markets to customize your investment approach and design a broadly diversified portfolio to target potentially higher expected returns, control costs and manage risk.
Get guidance, strategies and services to steer you toward and through a secure retirement, with objective advice and a lifelong game plan built around your values and goals.
Tap into a network of financial, business and legal experts to help you navigate your life or business transitions, estate planning, charitable giving and transfers to the next generation.
Whether you want to give during your lifetime or build a legacy for future generations, a financial coach can help you create a plan to carry your goals forward, allocate your money appropriately, reduce your taxes and fully align your assets with your values and intent.
Behavioral Finance:As investors, we never overcome our own humanity. Even if you prefer to think you’ve made investment decisions based upon logic, typically emotions such as trust, loyalty, hope, greed, and fear drive our investment decisions.
How Do You Find the Right Financial Coach for You?
A financial coach can help you sort out your needs, carefully explain available options and help you think about what’s best for you. More importantly, you need to know that the firm you select aligns with your principles. Because, ultimately, being able to make purposeful, informed choices and take timely, confident action in support of what really matters is one of the biggest drivers of long-term financial success.
Working with a financial coach who takes the time to understand your entire financial picture can help you uncover your deepest needs and concerns, and create a wealth strategy that’s perfectly suited for you. Look for a firm that will serve as your personal team, help you awaken your dreams, define your goals, review your assets, measure your risk tolerance and analyze your needs – one that will recommend only what’s in your best interest and stay with you every step of the way to implement, monitor and track your progress.
Once you find the right fit for you, make the most of your time together by ensuring that you prepare properly before an upcoming meeting. You’ll want to gather all the necessary financial documents and begin thinking about some of your basic goals so that your advisor coach can get the most accurate information to best position you to meet your unique needs.
Need help preparing for an appointment with a financial advisor? To streamline the process of assembling a comprehensive list of all information pertaining to your family’s current financial picture, download your free copy of The Family Inventory Workbook.
About Greg Hammond, CFP®, CPA
Greg Hammond is the chief executive officer of Hammond Iles Wealth Advisors, and co-founder of Planned Giving Strategies®. Greg leads a team of professional financial advisors providing customized wealth management and investment solutions for high-net-worth individuals, families, companies, and charitable organizations across the U.S.