(Wait! Before you go any further... be sure to check out the audio version of this show!)
What can a Fee-only financial advisor do for you?
It turns out quite a lot!
Sure, you could DIY. However, the research and execution of a financial plan can take up your valuable time. Most teachers want the ease of working with a good planner.
Whether you are a new teacher or someone who is in midcareer, a teacher-focused fiduciary. Like myself, who understands your needs will fit the bill.
We do a whole lot more than you could ever imagine!
First Things First
Yes, your credit score is important.
But it may not be the thing you need to focus on right now. My job is to help you frame your thought processes so that you can think about the things that really do matter to you.
Your finances aren’t a checklist type of situation. They are about you create the targets that will help you live the life you’ve always dreamed about.
As a fee-only financial planner, our job is to help you sort out your thoughts, set your target, and hit your goals.
What is a new teacher?
A brand spanking new teacher is from just got your certificate to you’ve been in the classroom for three years.
Starting out, some individuals might be tempted to take the DIY approach when handling all the new financial decisions. For others, that causes too much pressure along with all of their new professional duties and balancing their personal lives. The decision will depend on your personality and comfort level.
How do I want to spend my time?
What is important to me?
What is my focus?
Choosing to use a fee-only financial planner can be valuable for a new teacher because there are so many decisions that need to be made and options to choose from!
Now you don't need us, because we're not a barrier to access.
Where we really can help our clients is setting up a budget, cash flow, emergency savings, and organizing debt pay down. We can answer questions about how to create a plan to eradicate your debt.
Part of the debt is student loan debt. You have different options for dealing with student loan debt, among them PSLF. The questions are how does that work with your taxes, and other debt that you need to pay down?
We can also help you understand and choose your benefits. That includes your Flexible Spending Account (FSA). This account allows you to save money pre-tax and use it for medical expenses.
There are a lot of moving pieces to the puzzle, that’s where a fee-only financial planner can help!
What if you are in mid-career?
Let’s say you’ve been an educator for eight to ten years….
I think this is a good time to check in with a fee-only financial planner and make sure the trajectory of your finances is on target for a comfortable retirement.
Does it look like there is a problem?
You have time to “right the ship”, so to speak. It’s better to do it by mid-career than wait until you are even closer to retirement. Waiting only means more work and stress for you.
Not to mention that right now, your schedule is packed with work, children (and their activities) and aging parents.
Did you buy a house early in your career? Are you thinking about it now? Or buying a larger house because of a growing family? That will mean weighing mortgage options and asking questions around what your options are there.
It also might be time to switch to pre-tax contributions for a portion of your money. Asset allocation becomes important.
Let’s say you're in a target-date fund, which is heavy in stocks. If the market falls it might not matter if your $6,000 fell to $5,200. However, if your $50,000 falls to $30,000--it’s a different story.
You may decide a fee-only financial planner can help you think through some of these decisions, and you’d be right!
What are some other things you may have questions about?
Is your 4013 (b) set up correctly?
What can you do to help your parents?
Should you save for children’s college or your retirement?
Another step in the right direction is to have your estate plan in order.
It’s always important to have an estate plan and name your beneficiaries. However, during these middle years, you’ll want to make sure these are in place for your family’s sake.
A fee-only financial advisor can help take some of the “load” off your mind.
The mid-career stage decisions are very important.
There are so many things to consider!