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4 Questions to Ask Your Financial Advisor for the First Time

By: Jacqui Kearns, Chief Brand Officer, Affinity Federal Credit Union

Meeting with a financial advisor for the first time can be intimidating. This often stems from feeling that you’re financially unprepared. A 2018 survey1 shows that only about 25 percent of Americans have a written financial plan, and that nearly half of people who don’t have a plan believe they do not have enough money to warrant one. But that’s definitely not the case. On the contrary, having little money is more, not less, of a reason to invest more time and energy in financial planning and to seek out a financial advisor if necessary.

Financial Officer

When in Doubt, Here’s What Questions to Ask Your Financial Advisor

But once you’ve reached that point, what do you ask a financial advisor? Affinity’s financial advisors offer you strategies for managing your money now and for the future, covering areas ranging from investing to acquiring the most optimal insurance policies. So, here are four questions to ask your financial advisor, whether they are from Affinity or another reputable institution:

  1. What should my investment plan be? As with financial planning in general, too many Americans falsely believe they’re not wealthy enough to invest (around 55 percent, according to a recent survey2. But investing in an important part of long-term financial well-being – and ignoring its potential is essentially leaving money on the table. Not being a millionaire is no obstacle to starting on your investment strategy, but lack of financial savvy can be a barrier. So, when you meet with your financial advisor, make sure you ask about investing and how you can get started with what you have. You don’t have to be Warren Buffet to become an investor, and your financial advisor is there to help.
  2. How can I prepare for retirement? It’s estimated that about 42 percent3 of Americans are at risk of retiring with no substantial savings. Understandably, many people put off retirement planning for years or even decades because they have more pressing financial concerns, like paying the bills and rent or mortgage. But that’s a grave mistake. When you meet with your financial advisor, ask how you can begin preparing for retirement right away. It’s never too early to get started!
  3. How do I make sure my kids are financially secure? If you have children or are planning to start a family, your kids’ long-term expenses have to be essential to any financial plan. The cost of college is only one consideration; you also have to engage in estate planning early on to make sure your kids get whatever they’re entitled to when it comes to inheritance (not always the most feel-good of topics to discuss, but definitely necessary when it comes to financial planning). Ask your financial advisor about setting up plans for your children, even if they haven’t been born yet.
  4. What are the best insurance strategies to protect my family and me? Choosing the right insurance policy – whether for health, home, auto or business – can be tricky. There’s plenty of cheap plans out there that offer terrible coverage, and plenty of good plans that aren’t affordable. Affinity’s financial advisors can help guide you through the process of what is a crucial part of any financial plan: getting good value for money when it comes to insurance. You should be asking questions about all these types of insurance of your financial advisor, whether he or she is from Affinity or not.

Financial planning is a sometimes-daunting but always-necessary part of life. But a trustworthy financial advisor can make all the difference, from planning for retirement to setting up a college fund to investing in stocks or real estate for the first time. If you’re a member of Affinity’s Community Connected, don’t hesitate to contact an Affinity financial advisor today. And have these questions ready!

Smart financial planning starts with saving. Join our Great Savings Challenge and get started today!

1Retrieved from https://www.moneytips.com/most-americans-do-not-have-a-financial-plan-but-should/698

2Retrieved from https://finance.yahoo.com/news/55-americans-think-don-apos-090000970.html

3Retrieved from https://www.cnbc.com/2018/03/06/42-percent-of-americans-are-at-risk-of-retiring-broke.html

This information is for informational purposes only and is intended to provide general guidance and does not constitute legal, tax, or financial advice. Each person’s circumstances are different and may not apply to the specific information provided. You should seek the advice of a financial professional, tax consultant, and/or legal counsel to discuss your specific needs before making any financial or other commitments regarding the matters related to your condition are made.   - See more at: https://www.affinityfcu.com/tips-and-tools/affinity-connect-blog/2017/acronym-101-the-low-down-on-segs.aspx#sthash.HNRlWMk2.dpuf