At my age, it doesn’t make sense to pursue a full-time advisor. First off, asset management tends to be for those with substantial holdings, and secondly, I’m pretty “healthy” financially as is. If you think about it in relation to doctor visits, it will make a lot of sense.
When you’re young, you don’t go any more than necessary. Occasionally you’ll stroll in for a check-up to make sure everything’s okay, but that’s about it. As you age, and you’re financial health becomes more complicated, it may make sense to go with something more regular.
There are those special occasions though when the advice of a professional is recommended – one of which is marriage! I’ve been scouting out resources online for newlyweds, but have been thoroughly disappointed with the results.
and the worst…
“PAY OFF THAT HONEYMOON!”
Aren’t these things you should have been working on before the wedding? Not to sound condescending, but if you weren’t, why would marriage change this?
Fortunately, I’ve found a few good tidbits. For example, I had no idea that your beneficiaries trumped your will. So even if it’s clearly spelled out in the will, your beneficiary designations will dictate the distributions.
Ending up making one comment, I was approached by Tim Maurer after the event. We ended up monopolizing each others’ time, discussing financial education, awareness, and other topics. I was presented with a fresh copy of his book The Financial Crossroads (which is still on the review list!), and we parted ways with me commenting that we’d be in touch.
Fast-forward, I pinged Tim about his firm before my wedding noting that I may be interested in getting some fee-only financial advice. I’ve met with advisors before*, but was not impressed. Some seemed to know less than I did while others offered advice I would go so far as to classify as “bad”.
*TIP: Many will offer a free “consultation” before taking on new clients.
If you have your ducks in a row, and ask specific questions,
then generally you can get the information you need without having to pay for it! ;)
In case you aren’t aware, the fee-only advisor is the only way to go – especially for younger individuals/couples who need succinct advice. Why pay for more when you only need an hour or two? Check out the National Association of Personal Finance Advisors (NAPFA) which focuses specifically on fee-only services.
While Tim’s character has helped to facilitate my decision, and I honestly feel his dedication to his profession and helping clients, ultimately this came about because of the marriage. I am absolutely terrified of making some sort of irreversible decision about our finances costing us significantly.
Although that may seem silly, I don’t know what to think considering this is my first go around. Plus, now is as good a time as ever to get a “checkup” on our performance and make any major changes to get back on track.
If you’ve been married before, is there something you wish you knew from the start?
What tidbit would you give us in our quest to join our lives together financially?