How To Assemble a Financial Team to Help Manage Your Personal Finances

If you are overwhelmed by putting together your financial goals and plans, you may decide to assemble a trusted financial team. Working with one or more of these financial professionals can help put the pieces in place, so that you can meet your goals and plan for the future.

Tax advisor 

Tax advisors provide tax advice and assistance to consumers. Tax advisors can help you to navigate tax laws, prepare complete and accurate returns, and develop a strategic tax plan. While consumers can file their own taxes, many consumers benefit from hiring a tax professional who is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).  
 

Credit counselor

Credit counselors help consumers develop a plan to tackle debt. They can also help you create a spending plan. Credit counselors advocate smart consumerism and believe strongly in the value of saving. You should contact a credit counselor at the first sign that your debts are becoming unmanageable. When you visit with a trained counselor there is no obligation and the initial appointment is free. 

Financial planner 

Financial planners are professionals who offer investment advice. A financial planner may also be able to help by analyzing employee benefits, discovering insurance needs, and developing a system to manage cash flow. By hiring a fee-only personal financial planner, you can be guaranteed the planner isn’t getting commissions for recommending specific products.

Lawyer 

Lawyers can help consumers by preparing wills as well as other important legal documents. An attorney can also be very helpful if you need to consider bankruptcy. Couples facing a complicated divorce can also benefit from an attorney’s advice. Lawyers can assist consumers when a violation of the law has occurred. For example, if you feel that a creditor has violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), a lawyer may be able to help.

Before working with any financial professional, be sure to check their credentials. You may choose to ask your friends and family if they have any trusted financial partners that they recommend. Ask specific questions about their history and areas of expertise. Finally, be sure that you are comfortable with the advisors you choose; ideally, you will be financial partners for life. 

  • The Consumer Federation of America (CFA) is an association of nonprofit consumer organizations that was established in 1968 to advance the consumer interest through research, advocacy, and education. Today, nearly 300 of these groups participate in the federation and govern it through their representatives on the organization's Board of Directors.
  • The National Council of Higher Education Resources (NCHER) is the nation’s oldest and largest higher education finance trade association. NCHER’s membership includes state, nonprofit, and for-profit higher education service organizations, including lenders, servicers, guaranty agencies, collection agencies, financial literacy providers, and schools, interested and involved in increasing college access and success. It assists its members in shaping policies governing federal and private student loan and state grant programs on behalf of students, parents, borrowers, and families.

  • Since 2007, the Homeownership Preservation Foundation (HPF) has served as a trusted, neutral source of information for more than eight million homeowners. They are partnered with, and endorsed by, numerous major government agencies, including the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Department of the Treasury.

  • The mission of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD works to strengthen the housing market in order to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes; utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; and build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination.

  • The Council on Accreditation (COA) is an international, independent, nonprofit, human service accrediting organization. Their mission is to partner with human service organizations worldwide to improve service delivery outcomes by developing, applying, and promoting accreditation standards.

  • The National Foundation for Credit Counseling® (NFCC®), founded in 1951, is the nation’s largest and longest-serving nonprofit financial counseling organization. The NFCC’s mission is to promote the national agenda for financially responsible behavior, and build capacity for its members to deliver the highest-quality financial education and counseling services.