Navigating Important Family Decisions With a Financial Advisor

(StatePoint) Recent historic economic downturns and significant unemployment numbers and job losses have created considerable financial worries for families across the country. Health and safety concerns about returning to schools, childcare facilities, and office settings have only added to the uncertainty and stress that Americans are currently feeling.

Many families now have to make multiple important decisions with the potential to impact their personal and financial situation. If you are one of them, remember that you do not have to make these choices alone – there are many qualified experts, including professional financial advisors, who can help. Financial advisors, such as Certified Financial Planner professionals, can help you understand and fully evaluate the short- and long-term impacts of your choices in the following areas.

• Employment: You may not be thinking about a job change because of your child’s needs, but you may still be worried about the stability of your current position. A CFP professional can work with you to ensure you have enough of a savings cushion to protect your finances in the event you are laid off, furloughed, or have your hours cut back. They can also help you determine whether you should consider alternate sources of income.

• Healthcare: Open enrollment for the health insurance marketplace begins in the fall, which is also when employers typically give employees a chance to change their plan for the coming year. CFP professionals can help you choose a plan that minimizes your costs while maximizing the benefits of savings plans like Health Savings Accounts and Flexible Spending Accounts.

• Retirement: Economic downturns raise many questions about retirement planning. Should you cut back on your investments or withdraw money from existing funds to boost your cash flow? Should you delay your retirement plans? A CFP professional will help you answer these questions and avoid panic-driven decisions.

• Education: With return-to-school plans continuing to change, many parents must decide how their children will learn during the 2020-21 academic year. Some are choosing to leave the workforce, transition to part-time jobs, or freelance so they have the flexibility to support virtual or hybrid learning plans. A CFP professional can help you evaluate how a change in your work status will affect your family’s income and recommend strategies for cutting costs and managing savings.

• Childcare: Parents without school-aged children – or those with kids too young to care for themselves before and after school – must also choose how to handle childcare needs. Is your usual daycare facility open, and are you comfortable sending your children? Should you enroll them in a center with fewer children or consider hiring a nanny? Before you make a final decision, consult with a CFP professional about how your choice fits into your financial plan.

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Seeking advice from a qualified professional can help relieve some of the stress of these major decisions and ensure you are considering all possible angles.

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