Finding Trustworthy, Professional Financial Help

Sun, May 4, 2014

Budgeting, Financial Advice

You do not have to be a financial expert to make smart financial decisions. Understandably, some people do not learn financial lessons from their parents. As since general personal finance isn’t taught in most public schools, getting the financial education you need requires doing your own research.

By researching, you might learn the best ways to budget, save and manage your credit cards. But financial education doesn’t stop here. As you move forward in adulthood, you might have questions about buying a house, getting a mortgage or planning for retirement. There is good news. The help you need is readily available — but you have to ask for it.

1. Buying a house

If you’re a first-time homebuyer, you probably have questions about the buying process from getting a mortgage loan to choosing the right house. There is no rule that says you have to work with a buyer’s agent. But given your lack of knowledge, having a professional by your side makes sense. This person can guide you through the buying process from start to finish. Not only can this person act as your real estate agent and negotiate the contract for you, he or she can recommend good mortgage lenders, an insurance agent, and a title company.

To locate a trustworthy real estate agent, contact a few local real estate companies and interview two or three professionals. It is important to ask questions. This way, you’re able to work with a realtor who’s knowledgeable and understand your needs.

2. Handling tax issues

There is nothing more stressful than a tax issue with the IRS. Whether you’re being audited, or the IRS believes you owe additional taxes, you need a trustworthy professional by your side. It might be easier to turn a deaf ear or delay getting help for a tax problem. However, the IRS doesn’t disappear, and “prolonging the issue only makes matters worse,” according to the tax attorneys at Authority Tax Services.

Using a professional for tax issues can provide peace of mind and quick resolution. These professionals will look into the facts, determine the best approach and then negotiate with the IRS on your behalf.

3. Retirement planning

Your employer may offer a 401(k) plan, but you shouldn’t put all your eggs in one basket. Opening an individual retirement account is an excellent way to supplement your 401(k). This ensures that you have enough money to get through your retirement years.

If you don’t understand your option, don’t be afraid to consult a professional. To get answers to your questions about retirement planning, contact your bank or work with a certified financial planner. This professional can discuss all available options with you and answer your questions. You’ll also have follow-up appointments, at which time your planner can make future recommendations.

4. Life insurance

Whether you’re single or have a family, life insurance is important. Some people assume that life insurance is only for people who have spouses or dependents. However, as a single person, you may have debts, such as a student loan or credit card bills. These debts must be repaid if you die. Also, money from the death benefit can cover the cost of your funeral and burial.

Rather than purchase a random policy online, speak with a licensed insurance agent or a financial planner. This professional will discuss the differences between a whole life and a term life policy, and help determine your insurance needs.

 

You may feel that you can handle any financial situation on your own — and sometimes, you can. But when you’re dealing with a serious matter, or if you’re overwhelmed, working with a professional offers the knowledge and experience you need. 

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