1. You’re starting a family
Ask an advisor: When should we start saving for college?
An advisor can walk you through such issues as when you might like to start saving for your child’s college education and how you can keep your retirement savings on track while providing for a growing family.
2. You’re buying or selling a home
Ask an advisor: How much debt can I take on?
Long before you begin house hunting, an advisor can offer help as you wrestle with how much debt you can take on, how much money to deploy as a down payment, and how you’ll be able to keep your other important financial goals on track. If you’re selling, an advisor can be a good source of ideas about using the equity you might have built up in your home to help you pursue other goals.
3. You’re getting divorced—or remarried
Ask an advisor: How should my investments and other assets be divided?
Will you have enough income to support your lifestyle? How will your investments and other assets be divided? You may very well need to change your financial strategy to keep your goals on track.
Remarrying? Do you have an estate plan for the two of you that provides for the financial security of the other should one of you die? Are there children from a previous marriage you’d like to leave an inheritance to? Can life insurance play a role in your planning? How might your marriage affect your Social Security benefits?
4. You’ve received an inheritance or windfall
Ask an advisor: Should I pay down debt? Invest more? Retire early?
A sudden influx of cash or assets raises immediate questions about what to do with it. A financial advisor can help you think through the ways you could put that money to work toward your personal and financial goals. You’ll want to think about much could go to paying down existing debt, and how much you might consider investing for a more secure future.
5. You’re approaching retirement
Ask an advisor: How can I avoid outliving my money?
As the length of time you’re likely to spend in retirement continues to grow, it’s more important than ever to have expert guidance in preparing financially for that next phase of your life. Five or 10 years before you retire, it can be helpful to ask yourself such questions as: What steps should I consider taking now so that I won’t outlive my money? When should I claim my Social Security benefits?