Taking the uncomfortable first steps toward creating a long-term financial plan.
Vice president and chief investment officer, First National Wealth Management
For many of us, the prospect of planning our financial futures can be daunting. As more immediate-seeming expenses demand our attention — car repairs, tuition, or fixing that leaky roof up at the camp — preparing for retirement, and our family’s long-term financial needs often gets put on the back burner. “While planning for the future may seem overwhelming, once clear and precise goals are established, things naturally flow from there.” says Matthew Weaver, vice president and chief investment officer for First National Wealth Management. Weaver helps clients take the uncomfortable first steps toward creating a long-term financial plan.
When is the right time to start retirement and estate planning?
It’s a lot earlier than most people think. You want to start saving for retirement as early as possible, in your early 20s. As you reach major milestones like marriage and parenthood, you want to start thinking about the legacy you want to leave behind. By the time you’re in your early 40s, you want to have beneficiaries for your assets identified and a plan for achieving any long-term charitable goals.
There are so many free online resources — what are the benefits of working with a professional financial advisor?
Only a trained and experienced professional can understand what trends and events will have a long-term impact on the market and on your assets. Often, we see investors who try to time the market or end up panicking and moving money in reaction to short-term corrections when they would have been better off staying put. That can create a lot of needless anxiety and stress. A professional financial advisor can evaluate your asset allocation on a regular basis to make sure it will meet your future needs and make any necessary adjustments as your work, family, or health changes. What’s more, a financial planner can work with your tax accountant, insurance agent, attorney, and other professionals to make sure your estate plan dovetails with what’s in your will, medical directive, and other documents.
What type of financial planner do I need to manage my retirement and my estate?
Work with someone who is a certified trust and financial advisor (CTFA), certified financial planner (CFP), or a chartered financial analyst (CFA). These licensed professionals can assist with both estate planning and investment management. A fiduciary’s work isn’t so much about picking one stock over another but about getting the asset allocation correct and managing risk to help a client achieve long-term goals. A fiduciary typically charges a fee and does not earn a commission.