Having a financial planner is very much like seeing a shrink. It gives the impression that you might be having a problem. But unlike seeing a therapist, you should not wait until you think you have a problem to start planning your finances.
Still in denial
In a recent survey, it was found that more than 65% of Malaysians feel that they can manage their own finance. With more than 1 million bankruptcy cases in Malaysia, the reality might prove otherwise. Planning your finances should start as early as possible so that you have enough to bring you through the rest of your life. But if you need any sign to tell you to start engaging one, below are some you could consider.
Family planning or marriage
This is the time when you are changing your spending style. When you were single, you only need to be concerned with one income and working on your own model. Getting married is when you now have double income (or single depending on the situation) and your expenses will also double. This must be heavily considered especially when you are planning to have children in the near future. It would be best to engage a financial planner at this point to:
- Help organize your income and expenses
- Deliberate which investment markets would be most suitable for your family
- Plan your insurance payments for everyone
In Work-related situation
This can be in several scenarios. You could:
- Just landed a new job with a higher (or lower) salary
- Got a promotion with a better package
- Relocating to a new country (for work purposes)
A financial planner at this stage will help you to reassess your financial situation so that you can better manage your income. You might have a higher salary now so you might want to relook into how to spend your money. If you are moving to a new place, you might not need your car anymore so would it be a good idea to sell it?
Consolidating your debts
If you are deep in debts, getting a financial planner might mean extra expenses but it might give you a whole new perspective on how to manage your debts. This is more crucial if you have a family because it would mean understanding where all your money is going and how you can cut down on expenses. What you need now is sound advice that you can adopt in the next few years to help you get out of your debt situation.
Starting out in your career
This is the golden question. Do you really need a financial planner since you are still so young (probably before 30 years old)? You should do this because it gives you a perspective of what to do in the short, middle and long-term futures. By putting your future income into good investment markets, you are preparing for what is to come. This will also give you better insights into family planning as well so you know when is a good time to start a family, change jobs and other big life decisions.