How a Financial Planner Can Help You Meet Short-Term and Long-Time Goals

Allen Insurance and Financial’s Abe Dugal explains how to find the financial advice that best suits your needs.

Financial expert Abe Dugal, Allen Insurance and financial
Abe Dugal. Photo by Dave Waddell

Abe Dugal, of Allen Financial in Camden, understands that for many people, talking about money can be a challenge. He also realizes that, for some, their relationship with their financial planner may be one of their longest. For these reasons, he prefers a term like “coach,” or “partner,” to explain how he and the other members of the Allen team serve their clients. How can you find your own trusted advisor to help manage your goals? Abe has some answers.

How do I find the right financial planner?

It starts with trust and rapport. You should work with someone who can hold you accountable and who you feel comfortable trusting to work on your behalf. The easiest place to start is referrals from friends and family. I always encourage people, if they’re unsure, to meet with more than one advisor to see who they genuinely like and who can help them achieve their financial goals.

What sort of qualifications should I look for in a financial planner?

Someone who is an Investment Advisor Representative — a requirement the industry sets forth to provide financial advice for a fee — will act as a fiduciary and put your interests above their own. Ideally, the person will also have the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM designation, which is something most of our advisors have. It’s always a good sign when there are some letters after someone’s name, because that means they’re lifelong learners and are committed to staying current on regulations and topics that might be important to their clients.

Front row: Michael Pierce, JD, CFP®, financial advisor and company president; Trisha Hill, coordinator; Brian Beaulieu, ChFC®, AIF®, financial advisor. Back row: Abe Dugal, CFP®, financial advisor; Sarah Ruef-Lindquist, JD, CTFA, financial advisor; Tom Chester, CFP®, AIF®, CPFA®, financial advisor; Gene Newton, financial paraplanner; Chris Beaulieu, financial advisor. Photo by 5ive Leaf Photography

What are some examples of short-term and long-term financial goals?

To define it broadly, a short-term goal is something that needs to be funded within less than 10 years. That could be funding education or purchasing a new home. In terms of long-term financial goals, we first think of retirement, or what I prefer to define as the transition out of your career. Your goals should address what you want your lifestyle to look like in that period of time. For those who are very fortunate, it goes beyond that, to starting generational legacy planning.

How can a financial planner help me balance these goals?

It can be a challenge. I’m a firm believer that, if you’re working hard, that work should be rewarded in ways that are beneficial to you in the present because nothing’s promised in the future. But you can’t ignore the future entirely. With competing goals, we look at prioritization with the dollars that you have, which are finite. It’s a balancing act, but it can be done. A financial planner can help you think through what is most important, and then give you a plan of action.

Securities and Advisory Services offered through Commonwealth Financial Network®, Member FINRA, SIPC, a Registered Investment Adviser. Fixed insurance products and services are separate from and not offered through Commonwealth Financial Network

To learn more about how Allen Financial can help you meet your goals, visit 31 Chestnut St. Camden, ME 04843.