MDDCCUA Credit Union's Consumer Guide To Financial Management

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It’s never too early to start planning for your financial needs for every stage of your life.

Prime Time for Financial Planning?

Many of us assume that the services of a financial adviser are most appropriate for people who have more money than they know what to do with, and those who can’t make it from one paycheck to the next.

But say you stand somewhere in between. You meet all your expenses, you have your debts under control, and you’ve set aside a cash reserve that would carry you through several months should a financial emergency arise. Beyond that, you have additional money that you’ve begun to invest to build your financial future.

Does this mean you’ve reached a point in your life when you could benefit from professional financial planning services?

A financial planner can evaluate your overall financial situation–your budget, savings, investments, retirement plans, taxes, estate planning, and insurance–and recommend strategies that will help you reach your financial goals.

To decide if seeing a financial planner would be a wise move for you, Sharon Danes, a professor of family social science at the University of Minnesota, St. Paul, suggests asking yourself seven questions:

* Am I confident about making financial decisions?
* Am I knowledgeable enough to begin my own long-range financial planning?
* Do I know enough about my investment options to work effectively toward my short-term and long-term objectives?
* Do I expect my present income and investment approach to provide for my retirement years?
* Am I comfortable with my level of debt?
* Is my household income less than $50,000 a year?
* Do I have enough time and knowledge to devote to analyzing my family’s financial situation?

If you answered “no” to some of the above, you may be a candidate for professional financial planning advice, Danes says.

It’s wise to check the education, experience, and credentials of any financial planner you decide to hire.

Even if you do use a financial planner, you still need to stay on top of what’s going on with your finances. Be sure you understand the planner’s advice. Ask questions.

Courtesy of CUNA

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