When you’re interviewing for a new job, it’s not only important that you’re a good fit for that company, but to feel as though they’re a good fit for you as well. They may ask you various questions to get to know you and determine if you’re suitable for their culture.
Think of vetting a financial planner (we recommend a Certified Financial Planner™) the same way.
At Simply Money Advisors, we often talk about the questions you should ask your planner before you decide to partner with them. But it’s also important they’re asking you questions. If they don’t understand your financial situation entirely, they may not be able to fully help you reach your idea of a secure financial future.
Here are some examples of the kinds of questions a financial planner should be asking you:
“What are your expectations of our partnership?”
Establishing expectations up front is extremely important, especially when you’re relying on your financial planner to give you encouragement and direction. This is a partnership and you want to feel as such.
If your financial planner isn’t communicating with you, it’s challenging to build any type of relationship. After all, you want to hear from them and know they’re available if you have any questions or life changes that you need to address. So be as clear as possible about what you expect moving forward.
“Tell me about your goals and aspirations.”
Most days, you probably hop in your car knowing exactly where you’re going. But if you don’t, you plug in an address into the GPS and it helps navigate you to the correct location.
Setting financial goals are no different. Without a clear direction, how do you know where you’re going? Your financial planner needs to understand what you’re trying to accomplish.
Do you want to pay for your children’s college? Are you trying to retire in Florida with no debt? Whatever your goals are, make sure your financial planner fully understands how you would like to spend your money.
“What’s your biggest financial stressor?”
Most financial planners will assess your risk tolerance. They want to determine your timeframe and how comfortable you are with exposure to riskier investments, like stocks.
However, your financial planner also needs to understand the money worries that keep you up at night. What gives you anxiety? What do you obsess about when it comes to finances?
Your financial planner is there to partner with you and walk you through this challenging journey. There are going to be many ups and downs. You want someone who can understand what frightens you and then put you at ease.
“What keeps you up at night?”
You may be thinking how does this question apply to your finances? The question shows your planner what your values are. What makes you tick.
Let’s say your family is your number one priority and you worry about their wellbeing on a daily basis. If your financial planner understands what stresses you out, he or she can help you develop a plan to eliminate your struggles.
In this example, they could do this by helping you find a better insurance policy or start investment accounts for your kids. They are plenty of solutions to help you have a better peace of mind.
“Where do you see yourself in the future?”
Short-term goals are just as important as long-term goals. Many times, it’s easy to think of financial planning as reaching an end goal, such a retirement. But there are many stops along the way.
Making sure your financial planner understands all your goals can help them develop a more suitable roadmap to help reach all your financial objectives.
The Simply Money Point
Not every financial planner will ask these exact questions and that’s OK; these questions can be asked in a variety of ways.
What’s truly important is that when you’re vetting a financial planner, he or she is also asking you questions. They need to understand your wants, needs, and goals to help you achieve them.
To learn how Simply Money Advisors can help ensure you’re able to live the life you want today while setting yourself up for a secure and sustainable lifestyle tomorrow, we invite you to talk with our team.