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If you want to ensure a comfortable lifestyle in your retirement years, now is the time to get serious about your finances. Some adults focus little attention on personal finances in their 20s or 30s. They might spend money unnecessarily, put off planning for retirement and acquire a ton of credit card debt. However, there are benefits to becoming financially fit at a young age. But, where do you start? As an average Joe, the thought of hiring a financial planner may seem far-fetched. You might think, “financial planners are for people who have money.”

This couldn’t be further from the truth. A financial planner is beneficial regardless of your income level. As an average Joe, you may be unfamiliar with ways to achieve financial freedom. You might have a savings account with your bank, in which you deposit funds into this account on a regular basis. How do you know if you’re saving enough? Additionally, are you on the right path for retirement? Financial planners can provide answers to these questions and more. Professionals, such as Charles E Phillips, have a broad knowledge of various areas of personal finance, thus they’re qualified to help you plan for the future.

Here are ways that a financial planner can help you:

• Help you plan for retirement. A financial planner will ask questions to assess your long-term goals, and based on this information, determine how much you need to maintain your lifestyle after retirement. Your planner may recommend saving strategies, such as investing in a 401(k), opening an individual retirement account, as well as other investments like money market accounts and certificate of deposits.

• Create a plan to help you pay off debt. Paying off debt puts you a step closer to financial freedom. A financial planner can assess your debts, including your mortgage, auto loan and credit cards, and help devise a realistic pay off strategy. This not only helps your credit, but frees up cash to increase your personal savings.

• Analyze your insurance needs. Too little insurance can devastate your finances. Dying without enough life insurance can impact your family’s livelihood. And if you don’t have disability insurance or long-term care insurance, a medical emergency can drain your life’s savings. A financial planner can determine your insurance needs based on your present income and health condition.

Whether you have questions about debt or investments, your planner is available to help you decipher the confusion. You’re trusting this person with your finances, thus it’s important to choose a skilled professional. Don’t trust any financial planner. Ask friends, coworkers or family members for recommendations, and then schedule free consultations with various planners. Ask questions about rates, fees and other services. Select a planner who understands your needs and goals.