This post is sponsored by CFP Board. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. #LetsMakeAPlan
My husband and I have been saving up for years and finally last year, we took our hard-earned money and purchased our very first home. This was by far one of the biggest and scariest financial commitments we have ever made and one we took very seriously. Our biggest fear was that we would get in over our heads and we just wanted to be 100% sure that when we chose our home, we wouldn’t be living outside our means. Whatever stage of home buying you may be in at the moment… whether you’re just starting to think about it or actively looking, I highly, encourage you to consider meeting with a CFP® professional. If you are not quite sure what one is or how they can benefit you, consider reading further into this article.
What is a CFP® Professional?
A CFP® professional is there to help you… from budgeting, to planning for retirement, to saving for education, to managing your taxes. Financial planning means much more than just investing and a CFP® professional is trained to manage it all because they have completed extensive training and are held to rigorous ethical standards when they work with you. They understand the complexities of the changing financial climate and know how to make financial planning recommendations in your best interest.
But be careful when seeking a financial advisor! Most people assume that all financial planners are “certified,” but this isn’t true. Did you know that just about anyone can use the title “financial planner”? Those who have CFP® certification are a trusted source for financial planning because CFP® professionals are required to complete extensive training before obtaining the certification. Once they have fulfilled CFP Board’s rigorous requirements they can call themselves a CFP® professional.
- They are also required to have 4,000 or more hours of financial planning experience. This hands-on experience guarantees that CFP® professionals have practical financial planning knowledge, so you can count on them.
- They must pass the comprehensive CFP® Certification Exam, which tests their ability to apply financial planning knowledge to real-life situations.
- They are required to put clients’ interests above their own, and to provide their financial planning services as a “fiduciary” — acting in the best interest of their financial planning clients. Not all financial planning designations require these ethical standards.
- They are trained in 72 separate financial topic areas ranging from investment planning to estate planning.
The ultimate message I want to leave you with is that you need to make sure that you do your homework and that the person you choose to help you with your finances is fully qualified to do so. If you’re looking for a financial planner, I recommend that you check out www.letsmakeaplan.org to learn more about how a CFP® pro can help you.