Life happens. Often.
Just these past couple of years, our family has dealt with medical emergencies for 3 out of 4 family members.
We are also facing sending our second child to college and re-evaluating our retirement.
Now, I consider myself a smart person. I own my own business and I love to learn.
I also know when I need assistance from someone who is more qualified than I. While I may be a science enthusiast, I still go to my doctor for checkups and when something is wrong.
Likewise, when it comes to your finances and planning for important things like college, retirement, healthcare costs and buying a home, a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERâ„¢ professional is the way to go.
So, what exactly is a CFPÂ® professional?
CFPÂ® professionals are required to pass a very rigorous test in order to be able to call themselves a CFPÂ® professional. And getting certified is tough; nearly half of all applicants fail.
These are professionals who have proven that they understand real-life scenarios and how they affect your investments, retirement funds, college savings or estate planning.
While anyone can call themselves a financial planner, only highly qualified people can use the title of CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERâ„¢ professional.
Check out these 5 reasons you should work with a CFPÂ® pro today.
1. Healthcare Costs & Unexpected Illness
Did you know that the average family of 4 will spend $28,000 on healthcare costs in 2018, according to the annual Milliman Medical Index Report?
When the median household income in the US is a little over $61,000, youâ€™re looking at basically half of that in healthcare and medical expenses.
When an unplanned illness hits, the last thing you need is to be worried about money.
A CFPÂ® professional will work with you to design a plan that helps you budget for medical expenses, planned and unexpected.
2. Buying A Home
A home is the single most expensive thing most people will purchase in their lives.
If there was one thing we learned from the 2008 financial crisis, itâ€™s that many people made the mistake of purchasing a home they couldnâ€™t afford and later ended up losing them.
A home purchase also includes a lot of hidden fees that many new home buyers arenâ€™t familiar with.
Youâ€™re not just responsible for the mortgage, you also pay taxes, insurance and other expenses.
CFPÂ® professionals can be great resources for helping you figure out how much home you can really afford, and how much you should budget out for the other expenses that come along with that purchase.
3. Affording College
Most of us want our kids to go to college.
In the Latino community, it is the holy grail of moving up on the socioeconomic ladder.
However, the average college tuition for a 4-year University is $152,000, according to College Data.
Most families donâ€™t even know where to begin to plan for this expense and end up getting loans that leave the graduates saddled with lifelong debt just as they are starting out in life.
Working with a CFPÂ® professional will help determine how much you can save, which savings methods are best for you and what other adjustments you can make to better save for your childâ€™s education.
4. Saving For A Vacation
Travel feeds my soul.
It is one of the most important gifts I think I have been able to give my kids.
It opens them up to history, other customs and cultures, and builds wonderful memories.
However, vacations are expensive and take careful planning.
The average family of 4 spends about $5,000 on vacation per year, according to Credit Donkey.
While budgeting for a vacation sometimes feels impossible to achieve, a CFPÂ® professional can help you get there by finding the best ways to maximize your budget.
5. Saving For Retirement
Retirement used to feel like it was forever away. But now that Iâ€™m in my 40s, itâ€™s starting to feel a lot closer. I wish I would have started planning for it in my 20s, but I wasnâ€™t as informed.
Luckily, I started working with a CFPÂ® professional in my 30s and continue to do so to plan out a comfortable retirement.
If youâ€™re not sure how much to save, the general consensus is 15%, which would be $22,500 per year based on a $150,000 annual income.
With all of the other expenses in life, saving for retirement takes some strong planning, and a CFPÂ® professional can help you figure it out.
Iâ€™m a big fan of YOLO (You Only Live Once).
For me, itâ€™s about planning things out well so that I have the peace of mind to live my life with purpose and zest.
When I am stressed, I canâ€™t let myself let go, have fun and enjoy it all.
Financial planning helps to decrease your worries. By working with a CFPÂ® professional, you will be able to prioritize your expenses so that you can achieve what you need.
This post is sponsored by CFP Board. Opinions are my own.