Please note, the following is a guest blog post in partnership with Pam Krueger, founder of Wealthramp, an SEC-registered referral service that connects consumers with rigorously vetted and qualified fee-only financial advisors.
This past year has been a strange one to say the least. But, as we turn the corner and hope the worst is over, now is the time to turn to your taxes and take a serious look at how you’ve fared financially over the past year.
Maybe you started a side hustle and are wondering what expenses you can deduct, or whether you qualify for extra write-offs, such as the childcare tax credit. You may be trying to decide how much you might be able to add to your 401(k) or whether to start a Roth IRA, or how much money to set aside in an emergency fund—especially after the past year filled with unexpected expenses for many.
Or, it might be time to seriously consider how you’re investing the money you’ve saved. You may also have to figure out how to budget for new expenses, such as extra childcare if your children are going to school remotely, or how to pay college costs now that you can no longer deduct interest on a home equity loan except to improve your home.
With so many new financial issues and questions popping up, you may come to the conclusion that it’s time to get extra help. A fee-only, fiduciary financial advisor can help you with all these questions and more at any life stage. You can also work together to create a plan to meet your goals and maximize all the tools to help you achieve better financial health—whether it’s making the most of the valuable triple tax advantage and investment opportunities from a leading-edge health savings account (HSA) like a Bend HSA, deciding between making Roth or traditional 401(k) contributions, taking advantage of extra tax breaks and savings opportunities if you have any freelance income or calculating how much you should be setting aside in savings—including in your HSA—to help reach your long-term financial goals.
There are usually two situations that motivate someone to start thinking about working with a financial advisor:
Something positive is happening in your life or you simply realize you’re starting to get ahead and you want advice to help you stay on track financially and make the most of all your new opportunities. You may have recently gotten married and want advice on merging your finances, or you’ve started a new job and want help making the most of your new benefits. Or perhaps you’ve finally paid off your student loans or received an inheritance and want to work with a financial advisor to help you make the smartest decisions with your extra money.
Something is causing you to be afraid financially. Maybe you lost your job, your spouse lost income or you’re in debt, or you worry about not being able to reach your long-term financial goals. Regardless of what’s causing you financial stress, an experienced financial advisor can help you reset your financial priorities, protect your income and make an achievable plan for your future.
I know it can seem counterintuitive, but paying a fee for financial advice can be well worth the money when the advisor knows about strategies to help you qualify for extra tax breaks and make the most of all your employee benefits, as well as educate you about your stock options, reduce the expenses on your investments and guide you to make smarter overall financial decisions. It’s a small price that pays dividends when it comes to your long-term financial health.
Similar to choosing the right HSA provider, it’s critically important to work with a fiduciary financial advisor (legally held to the fiduciary standard) who is “fee-only.” In other words, the advisor isn’t a sales rep working at a brokerage firm or selling annuities for an insurance company. The advisor needs to work only and directly for you, the client. This collaboration can truly help you reach your financial goals—and sleep better at night, too.
For help finding a fee-only fiduciary financial advisor who I’ve personally vetted, visit wealthramp.com. And to find the best HSA to help you in your journey to better financial health, look no further than Bend.