Empowering Your Wealth: The Role of a Financial Advisor in Driving Financial Success
A financial advisor can help you take control of your money. From budgeting to savings strategies, from reducing debt to retirement planning, an advisor can help you create a road map for financial success.
Create a Retirement Plan
Whether you are just starting or nearing retirement, there is always time to start saving for the future. And with the power of compound interest, the sooner you start, the larger your nest egg could grow.
A financial advisor like Chuck Roberts Stifel can help you create a plan that considers your expected income sources in retirement, including your Social Security benefits, pension payments, and annuities1, as well as the income you’ll receive from investments. They can also consider the potential risk of outliving your savings and develop mitigation strategies.
Lastly, they can advise estate planning and help you find long-term healthcare and insurance solutions that fit your budget. They can also help with tax strategies, such as maximizing deductions, using loss harvesting on securities, or utilizing the qualified charitable donation tax break.
Create a Financial Plan
A comprehensive financial plan can help you map out how to reach your goals within the context of your actual income and expenses. It also can include strategies for addressing tax issues and helping you prioritize debt repayment. You can create a financial plan on your own or seek guidance from a financial planner, and online services like robo-advisors make accessing assistance more affordable and convenient than ever.
The first step is to gather the facts, which means adding up what you own (including physical assets such as vehicles and real estate) and subtracting what you owe. The result is your net worth. You can then establish specific financial goals and determine a time frame for reaching them.
Some may be short-term, such as saving for a home in three years, and others could be longer, such as going back to school to obtain an advanced degree that will increase your future earning power.
Manage Your Investments
Whether you’re saving for retirement, a child’s education or paying off debt, financial advisors help you prioritize your goals and develop savings strategies that keep them within reach. They can also manage your investment portfolio and ensure it aligns with your financial goals, risk tolerance and lifestyle.
A robo-advisor can be a smart way to save money, but it’s important to understand the fees and services offered. Many “advisors” are brokers incentivized to sell high-fee mutual funds.
Empower’s account minimum and management fees are higher than those of some competitors, but it has a team of advisors to work with you and is held to fiduciary standards. Their diversified portfolios offer low fees, tax management and disciplined rebalancing. They even provide tools to determine if you are saving enough a year for retirement, how much your portfolio is over-allocated and more.
Create a Cash Flow Plan
A financial plan is important, but having a cash flow plan is even more crucial. It helps you keep your money coming in ahead of your expenses and allows you to take control of your finances.
Developing a cash flow plan is easy, but it is time-consuming. An online forecasting tool can make creating and updating your cash flow plan much easier.
To create a cash flow plan, list your anticipated income and expenses. Next, subtract your expected cash inflows from your due cash outflows to get your projected cash balance at the month’s or week’s end. You can then use this information to prepare for future events and stay on top of your finances.