For Mark Roberts’ Use: When you purchased your car, you probably researched gas mileage, safety ratings, and special features. You compared one vehicle to another, and chose the best value for your money. Then, you asked for insurance quotes from several different providers, and selected a policy that offered the best protection. You perform regular maintenance on your vehicle by taking it to the dealership or another qualified auto mechanic.

You do all of these things because a car is a major investment, and you want to protect it. Yet when it comes to your life savings, you might feel tempted to manage your money yourself. But generally speaking, this is a bad idea. There are four major reasons (and probably many others) that everyone should consult with a financial advisor.

Get a long-term view. It might seem relatively simple to manage your own money right now, but what about the future? There are many decisions that appear easy at the time, but later on you realize you should have gone a different direction. A skilled financial advisor can help you identify long and short term goals, anticipate potential problems, and create a plan to address your specific needs and priorities. It’s a lot like taking your car to the shop regularly. Maybe it’s not making a funny noise now, so you think everything is okay. But regular maintenance can actually prevent more costly problems down the road.

Prepare for retirement. It might be hard to picture your retirement now, but pretty much everyone wants or needs to retire someday. It’s better to begin preparation now, rather than trying to put together an income plan at the last minute.

Spend (or save) a windfall wisely. You might think that a large sum of money will never fall into your lap, but it happens more often than you imagine! Unfortunately, many people make well-intentioned but poor decisions with large amounts of money, and the cost can be great. If you’re already working with a skilled financial advisor, he or she will already be familiar with your goals and risk tolerance. It will be much easier to make wise decisions about an unexpected windfall, and use it to support your long-term dreams.

Safeguard your plans. If you have a general financial plan already, it’s a good idea to run it by a professional. We can help you pinpoint any potential problems, or identify additional opportunities that you might not have known about. In the worst-case scenario, we will tell you that you’ve done an excellent job! And of course, we will likely help you improve upon your plan in some way. So give us a call, and we will sit down to talk about your long-term financial vision, make a plan for success, and help you get to where you need to be.