Updated 10/10/2011 05:17 PM
Financial Planning For The Average Joe
Financial planning is important for everyone, no matter the income bracket. NY1's Tara Lynn Wagner filed the following report.
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There are some who don't pursue help with their financial planning because they don't think they make enough money to need it.
But certified financial planner at Fogel Neale Michael Markiewicz says while many people are interested in getting help, they never think it's the right time to start.
"They're concerned that they don't have sufficient wealth at this point in their life which would warrant a full financial plan," says Markiewicz.
That's because he says people mistakenly think financial planning is all about retirement and asset management. Most don't realize it also includes the every day basics.
According to Markiewicz, budgeting, cash flow planning and bill payment are all things included in a good financial plan.
Given that broad umbrella, experts say everyone could use some level of financial planning. Alexa von Tobel of LearnVest.com says the process usually begins with a series of questions.
"Do you have the right accounts? What are you doing with your cash, with your credit cards, your credit scores," says von Tobel. "It's really looking at your overall financial situation, figuring out where you personally want to go in the next five years, 10 years, 15 years."
But finding the answers may require professional guidance, which traditionally doesn't come cheap.
Von Tobel says the average financial planner can cost about $250 per hour.
Which is why she recently launched the LearnVest Advice Center.
For a fee, subscribers can access an array of online courses as wells as a staff of CFPs who answer questions directly via email.
Subscriptions start at $5 for a one day pass.
"I don't believe financial planning is a luxury," says von Tobel. "Every single person in America should have access to financial help and financial advice. Whether you're rich, young, old, poor - doesn't matter. You deserve access to financial help."
For those who prefer face to face contact, Markiewicz says there are lower costs options too.
He says asking a local firm if they can recommend other professionals in the office who likely work alongside the financial planners, but don't cost as much, is a good idea.
"If a client needs a particular type of service and we can have a bookkeepers or accountants here do that, under my guidance and supervision, then certainly the cost is going to be less," says Markiewicz.