To the Middle Class: Financial Advisors Aren’t Just for the Rich

By Bethany Hickey

Financial advisors, fiduciaries and certified financial planners sound like services only rich people need — but that’s simply not true. These financial experts can help anyone with investing, maintaining financial stability, growing wealth and getting on the right path to retirement. And they’re not as expensive as you might think.

Financial wellness is for everyone

I can understand the thought process behind, “I don’t need a financial advisor, because I don’t have a lot of money.” But consider switching your mindset to, “I need a financial advisor because I want to grow my wealth.

A financial advisor is more of an umbrella term for different consultants, and they can do a lot of things. They can assist with taxes, retirement planning, windfalls, investments, estate planning, life insurance, debt payoff or general money management. There are even AI and algorithm-driven advisors available for the tech-savvy, such as robo-advisors.

Even if you’re years from retirement or haven’t invested at all, a financial advisor can help you plan for your future regardless of whether you’re middle class or among the mega-rich.

Common types of financial advisors and cost

The main differences between different financial advisors are their specialties, certifications and fees. There’s also no standard fee for financial advisors — some may charge an hourly fee, earn commissions or fees for specific services. And finding a good financial advisor might require some shopping around and understanding your needs.

Double-check an advisor’s credentials

Since “advisor” and “coach” are such umbrella terms, it’s a good idea to verify someone’s certifications and background before you choose them as your financial advisor. Anyone can give you financial advice, but you’ll want someone with the education, accreditations and experience to back it up.

You can verify a financial advisor’s accreditations, licenses and certifications with these sources:

Do I need a financial advisor?

Not everyone needs a financial advisor, but if you make money and plan on retiring someday, that’s a good enough argument right there to consider one.

A financial advisor is most helpful if you …

  • Don’t have a retirement plan, are close to retirement or want to retire early.
  • Don’t have time to budget or organize your finances.
  • Recently received a lot of money through a lottery or inheritance.
  • Need help investing or managing assets.
  • Have complicated taxes.
  • Are struggling to pay off debt.
  • Had a major life event such as marriage, birth of a child, marked change in income, etc.

Bottom line

The ultra-wealthy aren’t the only people benefiting from the help of a financial advisor. Someone in their early 20s still working through college or climbing the corporate ladder may not need a financial advisor just yet. However, once you start approaching retirement age, have children or inherit a large sum, they’re definitely worth considering.

About the author: 

Bethany Hickey is a personal finance writer at Finder, specializing in banking, lending, insurance, and crypto. Bethany’s expertise in personal finance has garnered recognition from esteemed media outlets, such as Nasdaq, MSN, Yahoo Finance and AOL. Her articles offer practical financial strategies to Americans, empowering them to make decisions that meet their financial goals. Her past work includes articles on generational spending and saving habits, lending, budgeting and managing debt. Before joining Finder, she was a content manager where she wrote hundreds of articles and news pieces on auto financing and credit repair for CarsDirect, Auto Credit Express and The Car Connection, among others. Bethany holds a BA in English from the University of Michigan-Flint, and was poetry editor for the university’s Qua Literary and Fine Arts Magazine.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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