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Should you hire a financial planner? | Money Smart

A Messiah University finance professor explains when hiring a financial planner is beneficial.

MECHANICSBURG, Pa. — Getting married? Buying a home? Retiring? If you have some big financial decisions ahead, it may be time to hire a financial planner. 

"I think a lot of it depends on where you are in your stage of life," Dwayne Safer, an assistant professor of finance at Messiah University said. 

He says a financial planner can be helpful for almost anyone. 

“The way I like to look at a financial planner is sort of as a fitness instructor," he said. "So, even if you’re a body builder, you have an instructor who’s going to make sure you stay the course.”  

However, a financial planner may not be the best decision for someone very early in their career. There are things you should consider when deciding if a financial planner is the right fit for you, like where you're at in life and what assets you have to offer.

“Once you are a little further along in your career and you’re starting to accumulate assets and it doesn’t have to be much. It could be 20, 30 or 50 thousand dollars, thinking about a home, that’s when you should really start thinking about a relationship with an advisor," Safer said. "Maybe you’re getting married, maybe you’re having children. Those are usually events you feel you may need a financial advisor to bring in expertise you don’t have."

Safer recommends choosing a financial planner early on in your life so your planner can walk through life's financial journey with you.

Safer also said when picking a financial planner, it's important to choose someone who is a certified financial planner. You can always look up a potential financial planner on the through the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

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