Family Financial Planning Tips

Over Christmas break, we had all three of our kids in the back of the minivan as we were driving home from dinner. My husband and I started talking about vacuum cleaners. We chatted animatedly about these cleaning machines and how we use them in our home for a good ten minutes before our oldest son {who is 20} grumbled {and I can only assume also rolled his eyes} and said: "remind me never to get old." The other kids had obviously tuned us out, but they joined in on the heckling and started talking about how very boring we are and how lucky our oldest son is to be away from home at college because he's no longer privy to our "boring" adult conversations. Lucky him.
Truth is, we've been having a lot of "boring" adult conversations for many, many years. My husband and I got married young {I was 19, he was 20} and started having kids shortly thereafter. We bought our first house when we were 21 and 22 respectively. I chose to stay at home with the kids after college graduation and by 26 we had three kids, one income, a mortgage, and a minivan.  

Family Financial Planning Tips

We've lived on a shoestring budget for decades. Mostly out of necessity, but also because we have plans for our future. One of the first blog series I did was called "living well on less" back in 2012. The theory is: if you practice at something for 10,000 hours, you can become an expert in that thing. We've been planning and practicing for more than twenty years, so I think we've got some street cred.

Why we wanted to take a look at our long-term financial plan

In all our years of marriage, we haven't once carried a balance on a credit card. We've been fortunate to pay cash for all of our cars, have our kids in private school, take yearly vacations and dress in name-brand clothing-all while staying debt free. We are pretty resourceful on a whole. And like I said, we had plans for our future.
We wanted to be able to travel with our kids and show them the world. We wanted to be able to help them with their college education and we wanted to make a plan for retirement so that we are able to fully enjoy it.
This started with making smart money decisions on our own. We all know kids are expensive, but one thing they don't tell you is that the older they get, the more expensive they get. Those expenses started snowballing {culminating with private college tuition} and we decided that as wise as we had been for all these years financially, it was time to start meeting with a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™  professional. It was another set of eyes and ears that could make sure we were on track to meet the goals we had set for ourselves.

How to know when it's time to start planning

A financial plan will help you organize how you handle money so you can meet your goals. You'll have less stress and more success if you have a solid plan. Your financial goals will change over time and with your life circumstances, so whether you are just starting out or nearing retirement, start planning where you are. You've got financial goals in mind {even if it is as small as wanting to afford an annual vacation or as large as buying your own home}, so why not start achieving those goals?

How to find the right CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional-

It's easy! This website will help you find a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional in your area

It's important to find a CFP­® professional because not every financial planner is certified. I could technically use the title financial planner if I wanted to, but a real CFP­® professional is required to have more than 4,000 hours of financial planning experience. They must pass a CFP® Certification Exam that tests their ability in real-life situations and it's hard! 
They are also required to put clients' interests above their own when providing financial planning. This is the most important thing to me because I know my CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional isn't trying to sell me something or make a plan that benefits him more than it will benefit our family. I can trust him and his advice.

I'm good with money, why do I need a financial planner?

You guys, this is us! I would say that we are good with money but you can only be so good on your own. You really do need the help of a professional. Our CFP® professional has so much experience and is able to educate us on things we never would have thought of. 

Who can benefit from a financial planner?

All of us! Friends, it's a good solid investment in your future. Sometimes the financial help you need goes beyond any book or article you could read. Meeting with a financial planner can give you the personalized help you need to create a plan for your future. 
What are you waiting on? Find a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Professional in your area today!

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post, written by me, in partnership with The CFP Board. All opinions are 100% my own. 

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