The term “financial advisor” is often misunderstood as someone that handles your finances for you. While this certainly isn’t the whole truth, financial advisors do play a crucial role in helping you achieve certain financial goals or even bring out-of-control finances to a hault. Keep reading to learn more about what a financial advisor does and how you can benefit from the services of these professionals.

Creating a Budget

Budgeting and money management aren’t everyone’s strong points. In fact, many Americans struggle with creating and maintaining an effective budget to help curb spending and get their credit score back on track. With the help of a financial advisor, you’ll be able to create a plan with the advice of an expert in finance; ensuring that your plan is not only well-crafted with professional advice, but that you’ll be able to easily follow through with it.

Sometimes it can be difficult to remove ourselves from our own little world and take an unbiased look at our finances. We’ll often make excuses for extra spending or for missing payments, which can lead to further financial trouble later on.

An advisor will take an honest, non-biased look at your finances and paint a true picture of what you’re looking at. This can be the wake-up call you need to get yourself in order and your money under control.

Debt Management

If you’re drowning in debt, you’re probably having some difficulty formulating a plan to get yourself out. This is a problem for millions of Americans, with an estimated $13.2 trillion in household debts last year across the country. That’s trillions of dollars of debt owed by working-class citizens.

A debt-free life is the best way to live; without the continuous financial and emotional strain of always owing someone else money for one reason or another. Debt comes in many forms, and not all debt is necessarily “bad debt”, but all debts share common ground: they must be repaid at some point.

With a long-term financial plan in place, your advisor can show you just how much you could benefit from making yourself debt-free. They’ll help you plan a budget, allocate resources to more pressing debts, and give yourself a sense of direction when you’ve got debtors coming at you from all sides.

Retirement Planning

If you’re planning for retirement, a financial advisor can help you choose the right avenues in which to invest your retirement funds, as well as help you formulate a long-term plan to help keep you on track with saving as much money as possible every year before you retire.

The earlier you start saving, the better. If you seek out financial advice early on in the retirement savings process, you’ll be better off down the road when you get closer to crunch-time. Most Americans retire in their early sixties, and it’s estimated that you should have at least $100,000 saved up by the time you turn 40.

Not sure how you’ll meet that goal on your own? Cue the advice and guidance of an experienced financial advisor.

Never underestimate the power of expert advice in your corner; it may just mean the difference between retiring comfortably and going back to work at 75.

For more help finding the right financial advisor for you, use the Careful Cents site to compare the best financial advisors in Illinois and elsewhere in the country.

Estate Planning

Many of us don’t want to consider death as the ultimate outcome, but the fact is, none of us makes it out of life alive; so why leave your assets to chance when you finally pass from this world? Estate planning can provide your loved ones with guidance on what to do with your assets when you pass away.

Whether you own a multi-million dollar company, or simply have a nicely-sized savings account and a house that’s paid-off, estate planning helps iron out the details and makes things less stressful in the event of your death. You wouldn’t want everything you’ve worked so hard for in life to fall into the hands of your sister Karen, would you? After all, you two have been bitter enemies since day one!

Estate planning is a necessary component of your overall financial plan and something that an experienced advisor can certainly help you out with.

Do I Need an Advisor?

The decision to hire a financial advisor, of course, depends on personal needs. If you feel like you’re saving plenty for retirement and have your debt under control, you may not think you need any help. The fact is, anyone who is saving money long-term or has debt to address can benefit from a second set of eyes, especially the professional eyes of a financial advisor.

Financial advisors, of course, don’t work for free, so if you’re on a paper-thin budget as it is, hiring one might not be feasible.

Consider the cost of such a service before enlisting an advisor’s help, and try to have all of your financial records organized and ready for your first meeting.


Financial planning isn’t something you want to leave to chance. Hiring an advisor will help you take an unbiased look at your finances, and formulate an effective plan to help you reach every one of your short-term and long-term financial goals.