Whether you are just starting out in your career and need to know how to best spend your money -- or you are a mature adult with multiple investments -- hiring a financial planner is a smart way to ensure the money-related decisions you're making are sound and justified. Financial planners are true experts at everything from budgeting to investing, and a good one can make a huge difference in whether you're able to eventually retire on time or whether you end up in debt and broke by age 40.
To find the right financial advisor for you, try meeting with a few of them and conducting an "interview" of sorts. Watch out for these three signs that a certain advisor is the one you should hire.
They give you multiple options.
A good financial advisor understands that the same approach does not work for everyone. So, when advising you about your next financial steps, they should present you with multiple options rather than just telling you that you must do x, y, and z. They may explain why one option is better than another, but they will ultimately leave the choice up to you.
They listen to your reasoning.
If you tell the advisor that you cannot cut down your food budget because your family is gluten-free, for example, they should listen to your reasoning and find ways to work around it. If you tell them you would rather wait to pay off a certain debt until next year because you might be facing a layoff, they should be open to this suggestion, too. Steer clear of anyone who wants to simply tell you what to do without your input. The advisor's job is to guide you, not command you.
They explain how and why to do things rather than just telling you what to do.
Ultimately, meeting with a financial advisor should be a learning experience. You should leave feeling confident that you know what you want to do, how to do it, and why that is the right move. If the advisor recommends a certain step, they should clearly explain why they are making that recommendation. Avoid anyone who assumes you won't understand the "how and why" or cannot explain this information to you in a way that you understand.
If you find a financial advisor who offers you multiple options, works with you rather than against you, and explains everything clearly, keep them! They're one of the best.