Managing your finances can be like putting together a puzzle; all the pieces need to fit in order to be rewarded with the “big picture.” Working with one or more of these financial professionals can help put the pieces in place.
Tax advisor. Tax advisors provide tax advice and assistance to consumers. Tax advisors can help you to navigate tax laws, prepare complete and accurate returns, and develop a strategic tax plan.
Credit counselor. If you are struggling with debt payments, credit counseling can help. You should contact a credit counseling agency at the first sign that your debts are becoming unmanageable. Things to look for in a quality agency include history, quality, accessibility, knowledge and good customer service. Money Management International (MMI) has all of these important qualities and more.
Financial planner. Whether you are just out of college or entering retirement, most everyone can benefit from the help of a trusted financial advisor. Professional financial planners do more than offer investment advice. A financial planner may also be able to help by analyzing employee benefits, discovering insurance needs, and developing a system to manage cash flow. Financial planners can also help with estate planning and may have relationships other professionals, such as accountants or attorneys.
Lawyer. Lawyers can help consumers by preparing important legal documents such as a living trust. An attorney can also be very helpful if you need to consider bankruptcy or want to challenge a wage garnishment. Couples facing a complicated divorce can also benefit from an attorney’s advice.
Lawyers can also assist consumers when a violation of the law has occurred. For example, if you feel that a creditor has violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act you may be able to sue for harassment. Working with an attorney can help you to understand your rights.
Before working with any financial professional, be sure to check their credentials. Ask specific questions about their history and areas of expertise. Finally, be sure that you are comfortable with the advisors you choose; ideally, you will be financial partners for life.
Read the Weakonomist's blog on assembling the best financial team.