We share personal information with professionals in many areas of life: doctors, lawyers, dentists. However, we’re often reluctant when it comes to revealing all the personal details of our finances.
Embarrassment, nervousness, fear, privacy. These are just some of the reasons people feel anxious at the very thought of talking to a financial planner. However, failure to seek professional advice could result in much more than a red face—it could put your financial future at risk.
Reluctance to engage the help of a financial planner often stems from embarrassment about exposing our spending habits, lack of savings or financial disarray, a fear of being sold something we don’t understand, or a belief we don’t have enough money to warrant a planner.
But avoiding financial planners will likely mean your financial affairs will never be in order, cautions Ron Harvey, a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® professional and Senior Financial Advisor with Investment Planning Council in Ottawa. “The problem doesn’t simply go away because you want it to,” he says. “And just like seeing a doctor or dentist, it’s always better to find and fix a problem sooner rather than later.”
So how can you overcome anxiety and pave the way to a more secure financial future?
The key is finding someone you can trust—a professional who can help you achieve your goals, whether they include a trip you’ve always dreamed of, paying for a child’s education, or retiring with a comfortable lifestyle. You need to be able to share all of your information with a planner so that they have a big-picture view of how various areas of your financial life impact each other.
Here are Ron’s top tips for overcoming your anxiety so you can get on the road to financial well-being:
- Forget judgment: Your financial planner has seen it all—they’re not judging your money woes, spending habits, or how much you have or haven’t saved. They’re focused on helping you take control of your finances, starting with where you are right now.
- Get in sync: Consider the values and personality of your planner. If he or she is aggressive and you’re passive, the relationship may not work. Regardless of personality type, don’t be afraid to ask questions and be sure you understand the responses. At the end of the day, both you and your planner need to agree on your priorities and you need to be able to sleep at night with the decisions that are made.
- Avoid the jargon-ator: Experts sometimes use terminology that isn’t easily understood by those outside of the industry. A good planner will take the time to explain what they mean and will welcome your questions. Find a financial partner who listens, appreciates what you want to achieve, and clearly explains how they’ll help get you there.
- Focus on the end result: It’s common to feel self-conscious about sharing personal information with a new professional. But while you might feel a bit uncomfortable at first, working with a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER professional is the best way to reach your financial and life goals. And isn’t that worth taking the plunge?
To find a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER professional in your area that will help guide your financial future, use our Find Your Planner tool.
For more on calming money worries and getting started with the right planner, read 5 tips to fight anxiety about money, How financial stress can affect your life and health and 10 questions to ask your planner.