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Octogenarians that responded to the New York Life survey said that in timing their retirement they focused on their financial situation more than their age or health. This may seem somewhat basic but these octogenarians said they wished their finances had allowed them to retire sooner when they were still healthy and active. This would have given them more years to enjoy their retirements. For that matter, it turned out that money isn't everything to these people. Their top priority was to live longer and be in good health. Sometimes what people really want is time and not money.
Regardless of this, financial planners say that today's younger generation should find a financial planner that could help them make better financial choices. Several of the octogenarians said this is something they wish they had done when they were younger. As one of them noted, I didn't really think to do this. That was not very practical of me, really. And it's not only the younger people that need good financial advice as older people can also sometimes need advice.
How a financial planner could help
Whether you're in your 20s and just beginning to plan for retirement or in your middle 50s a financial planner could help you and in some ways you might not have ever considered. The primary way they do this is, of course, by helping you identify goals and spending priorities. This can be helpful because many of us have a hard time identifying what's important. If you sit down with a financial planner he or she will help you look at your future needs, determine your goals and spending priorities.
Second, a financial planner could educate you about the different financial options and products. In this case, he or she functions as a kind of teacher to help you better understand financial options and products.
One you might not ever thought of is that a financial planner can provide a dose of reality. There are times when we get too pessimistic thinking that we won't ever be able to achieve our goals. But a financial planner would help you create realistic timelines and maybe even modify your expectations so you don’t end up too far off base.
Finally, a financial planner can help keep you on track. It's not necessary that you have to keep working with a financial planner but it could be a good idea to check in with one from time to time. She or he will hold you accountable for your money decisions and remind you that you need to say no to certain spending decisions. They may even give you advice about your debt relief options in case you still have a lot of debt. Checking in with your financial planner occasionally can help keep you on track with your retirement plan and knowing the fact that you will eventually have to face your financial planner can be a real motivation to stick to your plan.