Grab this Widget ~ Blogger Accessories

Financial Planning - It's Not Just For the Rich

Have you ever been offered the opportunity to engage in financial planning but thought that it would be a waste of money. If this is the case, think again about the benefits that having a Comprehensive Financial Plan can bring. Not only can you possibly save much more than what you might be paying for the plan, you can also gain the peace of mind in knowing that you have an action plan that should enable you to achieve all of your financial dreams.

A good financial planner should be able to show you ways where you can save lots of money through comprehensive planning. Be weary if an adviser is only showing you how you can make more money with different investments. True financial planning gains should come from improving cash management, obtaining additional income tax deductions and credits, finding lower cost insurance premiums, and reducing investment expenses. If a planner can't show you potential savings in your initial appointment, then you should look elsewhere.

Consider using a fee-only financial planner. A fee-only planner will have your best interests at heart and will help you find the best products for your situation. Be wary of those who are representatives of investment or insurance companies. While they might provide you with some degree of financial planning, you can never be sure that their advice isn't tainted. Keep in mind though that if an agent holds him or herself out as a financial planner and provides you with a financial plan, they cannot talk about their company's products in the plan. The plan should be written in generic terms so that you can take it to any other investment or insurance company for implementation. If they start talking about products and don't switch hats and tell you that they are now acting as a representative of the insurance or investment company instead of your financial planner, they are breaking the law. If you receive a plan from such an individual, take the time to get product recommendations from other investment or insurance companies. A true fee-only financial planner should be showing you how to save money by using low fee Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs) and no-load insurance products that do not pay agent commissions.

If you are happy with your current advisers and trust them, it's still not a bad idea to retain a fee-only financial planner. The planner can review your situation to make sure that the products you have are appropriate for your needs and that the fees you are paying are reasonable.

Additionally, the planner should act as your planning team quarterback. While it is unusual for your any of your representatives to talk among themselves, each of them could have important information about your situation that the other advisers don't have. Being able to share these perspectives could make a difference in the types of products and services they provide to you. This could save you money and avoid duplication of services.

While planning fees can range anywhere from $1,000 to $20,000 or even more if you go with a big name firm, you might easily make up the cost through savings or prevention of mistakes.  For those who would prefer to try to do it on their own, there is help on the way. Visit Free Financial Planning Advice to see how to build your own plan. Whether you pay someone to do your plan or invest your own time to build it, the benefits you gain are sure to give you peace of mind.