I’m excited to introduce to you Caleb Turbett, a financial advisor with Northwestern Mutual! Caleb and I met through his wife, Kelly, who happens to also be my site’s guest fitness contributor! Kelly is all about physical fitness, but Caleb’s focus is on financial fitness, and both are extremely important whether you’re retiring or just starting your family!
I met with Caleb a few times to learn about what he does, and was so impressed with him and his approach to helping people with their finances that I’m actually now a client of his. In this introductory article, Caleb discusses this very subject – meeting with a financial advisor and what you should expect. I know many people don’t have a financial advisor for a variety of reasons, such as simply not knowing what to expect – for example, what does it cost? (For the record, it shouldn’t cost anything!)
Thank you to Caleb Turbett for this guest post! – Lisa
Personal Finance 101: What to Expect when Meeting with a Financial Advisor
Working with a financial advisor for the first time can be daunting. Most people wonder, why would they want to meet with me, I don’t have any money? Or I’m saving through my 401(k) and have a company match, I must be on track for retirement. Or they just want to sell me life insurance, but I’ve got that through work.
My wife and I had these same thoughts going through our minds when we first agreed to meet with an advisor. An old high school friend reached out to me because one of my buddies told him we had just had our first child. My antenna was up, he was only going to try and sell us life insurance. I do want to protect my wife and new daughter but how would we afford that?
How Our Advisor Helped Us
We worked with our advisor for 4 years, added a second daughter to our family and we went from living paycheck to paycheck to actually making financial progress. What we were able to accomplish during that time was:
- Protecting against the nightmare scenarios: we know we will never have a GoFundMe page
- Working on the things that keep us up at night: our advisor helped us with debt management and basic budgeting, so we can spend our money guilt free and we built up an emergency fund
- Putting money towards our hopes and dreams: while we didn’t save a ton, we were able to put money towards the things that were important to us that we were willing to talk to our neighbors about including our vision around retirement and whether or not we wanted to help fund our kids’ education
While our balance sheet did improve over our time together the most impactful thing that this person did for us was he made us BOTH meet with him twice a year to talk about our goals and the progress we were making. During our time working together he also started to challenge me on if my current career trajectory could allow us to achieve all our hopes and dreams and the answer was simply NO.
He then asked me numerous times if I could ever see being a financial advisor myself and I said no several times. Probably for the same reasons I was hesitant to become a client in the first place, it was something I didn’t know anything about and how would my family and friends perceive me. Then I really reflected on the IMPACT that he had on our lives and how some simple planning has forever changed the trajectory for our young family, so I said yes, I want to IMPACT families too and it’s been the most rewarding thing I have done in my life!
Why Americans Need a Financial Advisor
According to CNBC in March 2018, 65% of Americans save less than 10% of their income and 19% save nothing! And CNN Money in May 2018 did a study that 40% of Americans can’t cover a $400 emergency expense without going into further debt! Reuters just posted an article a few days weeks ago and in a poll that was referenced money was the most uncomfortable subject of all to broach – outranking sex, and even death.
Why is this? I don’t believe that Americans don’t want to save money, they just don’t know how, and the task seems daunting. The reason why most retirees’ wealth is in 401(k) plans is because their employer made it easy for them to check a box and save for retirement. What if you don’t have a work plan or should I be savings anything outside of work?
Do Americans want to leave their loved ones needing to set up a GoFundMe page? Of course not, but if money and death are 2 of the most difficult things to talk about for people then it makes sense why you see so many.
If you have had an advisor reach out in the past and thought you don’t have any money to invest or want to get out of debt first, see if you can find their number and return their call. If you don’t know who to call a great way to start is ask a friend or family member who they work with. Or if nothing else give me a call, I would be happy to hear your story!
What you should expect through the process:
- Discovery meeting: the advisor should be asking you intimate questions that you might not even ask each other. You should also be judging if you want to partner with this person long term. Let your guard down and be open and honest, this should feel very safe and they can’t help if they don’t know your entire story.
- Recommendations meeting: if the first meeting felt like a good fit you should have a second meeting scheduled and the advisor should present specific recommendations. These should include protection against those nightmare scenarios and focus on the things that keep you up at night. If the plan can take care of those two items and cash flow still allows then the hopes and dreams goals can be worked on too.
- Implementation: assuming you determine through the first two meetings that you wish to become a client, the advisor should lay out clear expectations of the onboarding process and how cash flow should feel during this time.
- Review: you and the advisor should be genuinely excited to get together a few times a year and talk about the progress you are making!
A great financial adviser should make you and your goals a priority. They should also keep in touch regularly and aim to keep you on track with your goals. Life changes all the time and your plan should adjust too!
Now is the perfect time of year to get started or update your financial plan. So, get a plan now that will make you feel good about your finances in 2019!
Click here for Disclosures http://calebrturbett.nm.com/disclosure