Don't underestimate the calming effect of having a formal financial plan, even if you're already saving and investing regularly.
In a recent study cosponsored by the Consumer Federation of America, 50% of those with a prepared plan felt on track to meet their goals, vs. 32% of nonplanners.
For around $1,000, you can arrange a one-time session with a financial adviser to review your situation and recommend a course of action. Typically included: a portfolio review, a budget and cashflow analysis, an insurance once-over, and a retirement savings plan.
Look for a planner who charges a flat fee or an hourly rate ($150 to $300 is standard); expect the process to take three to four hours. Find candidates through adviser networks (fpanet.org, napfa.org, garrettplanningnetwork.com).
Come to the meeting with clear goals and a list of your assets and liabilities. Your adviser will need that info to devise your plan; you don't want to waste an hour on the clock on basics you could have prepped at home.
If you have an extra $10,000, options abound for you to boost the value of your home, give to charity or take off on a cheap European vacation.
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