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Mar 14 2011 12:00AM

Question


I am living paycheck to paycheck. I pay certain bills and my husband pays certain bills. We are both up to our eyeballs in debt. Would it make any difference if I seek help from a financial planner? I don’t even know if I can afford one.

Answer


FPA member Jonathan Moyer, CFP®, at MFB Wealth Management, Inc. said the following: “I want you to know that I empathize with your situation. I am sure that it is very frustrating to work so hard and yet feel like you are only treading water with no hope in sight. I want you to know that there is hope, and it may be easier to realize, and more cost effective, than you know.

“I believe you have taken the first step by seeking answers to some of your questions. I would encourage you to continue this process by sitting down with a financial planner who has experience with situations similar to yours. Sometimes the solution to your problems can be as easy as meeting with a competent professional, verbalizing the issues and concerns, and brainstorming possible solutions.

“Often, the solutions become self-evident through this process. I understand that costs are a concern; however, considering the amount of debt, the possible damage to ones credit rating, and the emotional turmoil involved, fees often become a secondary concern. The question then becomes, can I afford not to consult with a professional? I believe that most advisers would not charge anything for an initial consultation to determine whether they can help you. Additionally, some advisers may charge as little as $50 a month to help you create a plan that works for you and to provide ongoing dialogue to ensure that the plan remains feasible and attainable. Therefore, I would encourage you to take the next step and seek help from someone you can trust, and who has the training and experience to help you.”

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