You may think a financial planner is someone who helps you save for retirement. It might surprise you to know that your planner or advisor can do much more, and some of it is not so obvious. Julie Seberras, Senior Manager of Wealth Planning Support at TD Wealth, talks with Kim Parlee about some of the more surprising ways a planner or advisor can help you.
And these are the top five things a planner advisor can do for you that might surprise you. Julie, let's jump right in. Let's start with number five. Planners can help you think about some of life's toughest events-- some of the stuff you don't want to talk about.
- Absolutely, Kim. Death and disability are some really tough topics that nobody wants to think about. However, having a plan in place to protect you against these events is critical, especially if you have dependents. So what might surprise you is that your advisor and your planner is able to help you think through these things, whether it be an estate plan, insurance, or a little additional savings. Now, creating the strategy is just the first step-- people often procrastinating in implementing these recommendations-- so things like booking an appointment with your lawyer to draft the will or power of attorney. Your planner can help you take those additional steps, keep you accountable, and make sure you put the plan into place.
KIM PARLEE: Number four, that they can see the future. Now, we don't mean they're clairvoyant. But really, they can just see the consequences of your financial actions.
- Absolutely. A strategy may make sense on the surface. However, there may be some additional considerations to factor in. So what might surprise you is that your planner has their finger on the pulse of all the rules and regulations. And they're able to apply this to your plan to determine if there's any unintended consequences.
So an area where this happens are things like estate planning and triggering taxes. So in estate planning, you may be gifting assets or changing ownership. And there may be taxes that need to be paid as a result of this. So your planner will able to take you through what are the outcomes of these strategies? Not only in the present time, but also as rules and regulations change, your planner will be able to adapt your plan to what's going on in the current environment to make sure that your plan is implemented as intended.
KIM PARLEE: OK, number three on the list-- they can make you behave. And the idea, I think, here is that planners and advisors can sometimes see common behaviors that you have that you may be self-sabotaging your own finances.
- Yeah. Money is emotional. And seeing how a tough day in the markets has impacted your savings or your retirement nest egg can make you feel compelled to take action, such as selling off your investments. What might surprise you is that your planner can help you identify your investing blindspots, your biases, things that may cause you to sabotage your plan just because that is your intuition. And so not only can the planner help you manage this through behavioral coaching, they'll help you stay anchored in the long-term plan and reframe your thinking so that you're staying on track to those goals.
- Now, number two-- this one's interesting-- helping with marital bliss. We know spouses can fight about money. And you're saying a planner advisor can actually help declare the winner.
- Well, a planner must remain objective. However, they can try to get everybody on the same page. So what might surprise you is that your planner can facilitate a discussion that really surfaces what's important to everybody-- your own unique goals, and priorities, and values. And from there, they can help come up with some common goals and objectives that you're working towards as a couple.
Everybody has what I call their money personality. And this is often based on your own experiences with money dating right back to childhood. Some people are inherently spenders. Some people are inherently savers. And these differences can often cause stresses in relationships, even leading to divorce.
And so it's really important to have the dialogue. And that's where the planner comes in. So it really gets them on the same page, working towards those common goals and objectives.
- That's a big one. All right, number one on the page here is planners aren't there just to help you preach about savings and things like that. But they actually help you understand the trade-offs in what you want to do.
- So money is a finite resource. And we may not have enough money to achieve all of the goals that we've set out. So what might surprise you is that your planner is able to help you surface what's truly important to you, as well as potentially where you're willing to compromise and give a little. So we all know that person that can tell you exactly how many years, months, and weeks until their retirement age. And these are the type of people that, if they need to make a trade-off, you're not asking them to adjust their retirement age. We're going to take a look at other factors, such as your retirement income goal, or are you willing to save more. So then you give a little and you take a little so that you are able to achieve what's most important to you.
KIM PARLEE: Julie, thanks so much. That's Julie Seberras from TD Wealth.