If you’re considering hiring a financial planner, you may be asking yourself if it’s the right time. Maybe your financial situation changed recently, is likely to change soon, or you’re ready to allocate your money differently but don’t know where to start. These are all good reasons to consider hiring a financial planner. Besides knowing when to hire someone to help with your finances, there are some steps you can take to prepare for your first meeting. Let’s talk about when to hire a financial planner and how to prepare for your meeting.

How Do You Know If Hiring a Financial Planner Is Right for You?

Before choosing to hire a financial adviser, it’s helpful to understand what one can do for you. A financial adviser is a professional who advises clients on decisions related to wealth management and personal finance. Advisers can specialize in different areas of finance, so understanding your needs and what you hope to get from hiring a financial planner can help you choose the right specialist for the job. Here are a few examples of what a financial planner can do for you:

Meet. The primary job of a financial advisor is to meet individually with clients to assess their current financial situation, understand their goals, answer their questions, and advise them on allocating their finances to support their short-term and long-term goals.

Plan. During the meeting, the financial planner works with their client to create a comprehensive plan that outlines how the client can manage their money to achieve their financial goals. For example, they may help clients prepare for retirement, make insurance decisions, manage inherited wealth, or develop a college fund for their children.

Answer. If you have questions about your finances and can’t answer them on your own, then hiring a professional to sit down and work with you can be a great way to gain insight into financial management while having your individual concerns addressed.

Invest. A financial planner can work with you to determine the best strategies for investing your money to grow your wealth. If you want to invest your money but don’t know where to start, meeting with a professional can help you strategize effectively and identify the right level of investment risk for your portfolio and financial goals.

Along with understanding what a financial adviser can do for you, it’s also important to know what you can get out of hiring a financial planner based on your current situation. If you enjoy managing your finances and, you have the time needed to complete research, then you might prefer to plan your own finances. However, for those who have less financial literacy, little time to learn investment strategy, prefer a second opinion, or are facing a significant change to their financial situation, then hiring an expert may be beneficial.

How Do You Prepare for a Meeting With a Financial Planner?

When preparing to meet with a financial professional for the first time, there are some steps you can take ahead of the meeting. Being prepared can help you get your most important questions answered and your biggest concerns addressed. Here are some tips to consider when preparing for your meeting:

Know what to expect. Knowing what to expect from an initial meeting is important for knowing what information to prepare to get the most from your time. In a first meeting, the financial planner is likely to walk you through their planning process, ask you questions about your goals, review any financial documents you can offer to assess your situation, and discuss your concerns and questions.

Plan talking points. Before your meeting, outline some key talking points you wish to discuss. For example, write your questions, concerns, and areas of interest ahead of the meeting so you can get the information that’s most important to you.

Identify your goals. Outline your financial goals for the planner. Being specific about your goals can provide vital information that helps the planner determine the best course of action to help you achieve what you need.

Research in advance. Always do your research before your meeting. Educating yourself about the basics of financial management may help you have a more productive conversation with your adviser while researching key areas of concern related to your goals can provide you with the foundation of knowledge needed to make good financial decisions in collaboration with your advisor.

Kiplinger.com, Investopedia.com