by Kristy Como Armand
Whether you’re single, married, a parent, just starting out in your career, a seasoned worker or retired, having financial security is important at any point in life. There is a popular misconception that wealthy people are the only ones who benefit from a financial advisor, as they have more assets and more financial complexity. But the truth is, everyone – regardless of economic status – can benefit from a solid financial plan with the help of a professional.
According to Mark Eckard, Certified Financial Planner and LPL financial advisor with Abate & Eckard Financial Advisors, it is important to get unbiased, professional financial advice from an experienced consultant at each life stage, because you will have different needs when your circumstances change. “A single person with no kids who is just starting out in their career won’t have the same financial needs as someone who is married with kids and has been working for a number of years,” Eckard says. “A financial adviser looks at each clients’ individual needs and goals in order to craft a plan that fits them best.”
Eckard also recommends getting professional advice before making major financial decisions, such as buying a home, purchasing a car or sending a child to college. A study from Bankrate, a financial publishing company, showed households that get professional consulting on a regular basis before making significant financial choices do better than those that don’t get expert guidance.
A deterrent for some people is the possibility of getting stuck in a commitment to a financial firm. But Eckard says you aren’t tied down to a company if you just want to meet with someone about questions you have. Financial professionals are not just for long-term relationships, they can also help with one-time financial questions or visits.
Eckard says there are three stages people typically pass through during their lifetime, and each stage has a different financial focus. Wherever you land on the map, make sure you’re following these basic descriptions in your life stage:
Stage One: Basic Wealth Foundation
A focus on building financial security is important at this stage. This may include getting out of debt and building up an emergency fund.
Stage Two: Wealth Accumulation
This is the peak of a person’s earning years. He or she is accumulating revenue and saving for retirement.
Stage Three: Wealth Distribution
In this stage, a person is consuming his or her wealth, typically during retirement. It is important to have a sound budget that takes fixed income, Medicare, social security and the possibility of needing long term care insurance into the financial plan.
For more information, call 337-602-6480 or visit www.abateandeckard.com.
Securities and advisory services offered through LPL Financial, a Registered Investment Advisor. Member FINRA/SIPC.