Matt and I have a friend, Michael, who is a Financial Advisor. I’d recently contacted him for information on a college savings plan, a 529, for our baby. He was happy to talk to us about it, and mentioned that we would not only give us options, we would get a financial review with strategies for us. It sounded like a great idea and we looked forward to our meeting which we had on Monday.
Michael began with asking if either of us had met with a Financial Planner before. As a Financial Planner there are more rules that govern recommendations he can give us so that they must be in our best interest as opposed to someone who is only a Broker Dealer who does not have the same regulations. He is actually a Financial Advisor who is a Broker Dealer, which is common. Although I had worked for the corporate office of a securities firm that managed Broker Dealers and Financial Advisors, I had never met with one as my advisor, nor had Matt.
Michael had said it would be fun as it was our first time. We talked about us as a team and shared expenses, our income from our jobs, bank accounts and other forms of assets or investments we may have. Michael discussed with us several parts of our future financial picture including saving for baby’s college, our retirement and even rainy day funds.
We also were told to consider spending overall choices including what purchases were truly needs (i.e. basic food and shelter) vs wants (i.e. pricey dinners out or entertainment), as well as how we could save money on certain monthly expenses such as cable and Internet services.
Based on our answers and goals he will be putting together a report of strategies for us along with a few recommendations for 529s. As many have diffenet sorts of fees it will be important to set the right one up when the time comes.
This meeting was really helpful to us. I even took it to heart and called our car insurance company to check that we were getting the best rates and learned they were still charging as if we were at our former jobs, both a distance away from where we work now. It was great to the rates adjusted accordingly and already begin saving.