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What If You Need Help?

What if you have created a personal wealth-building plan and have read through the discussion on implementing the plan, but you can't get over a nagging fear that you may have forgotten something? Because of this fear, doing nothing may feel more comfortable than moving forward. But, remember our rule: "Don't procrastinate!"

If you feel uneasy about implementing the plan, don't forget those professional advisors who stand ready to help you: lawyers, accountants, financial planners, stock brokers, bankers, insurance agents. You can seek help on a particular part of the plan, or a particular question, or ask for a general review of your plan.

If you do so, don't worry about asking the questions that are on your mind. If you have gone through the process suggested here, you already are better prepared, and know more about the topic, than the vast majority of people who step into the planner's office.

Be aware that some planning professionals — including some highly qualified and competent professionals — may be skeptical or even hostile to a financial plan prepared by anyone other than themselves.

Warning

It is important to realize that many financial planners are compensated, in whole or in part, by selling you various financial products, such as mutual funds, annuities and insurance. As a result, they may craft a plan that is based on the products that will earn them the most commissions. This is not to say that these professionals cannot provide you with an excellent plan--it is to caution you to be wary about being pressured to purchase products that may not be the best fit for your plans. The National Association of Personal Financial Advisors is one organization that can help you find a "fee-based" planner in your community (one who does not earn commissions based on product sales.)

If this is the case with a particular planner, you should be able to find it out during your initial meeting (which the planner will often offer free of charge). If the planner you see is unwilling to talk about your plan, but insists on creating a plan for you using his or her own planning system, you have a choice: (1) you can find another planner who is more willing to work with you and consider the planning that you have already done, or (2) you can stick with the planner who is only willing to work within his or her established procedures.

Even if you decide to go with the second type of planner, the work that you have done so far will not be wasted. By going through the process suggested here, you will have organized a detailed listing of your current holdings, and will have created specific, measurable goals. Both of these exercises should help you to more quickly and efficiently answer your planner's questions about these topics.

Your efforts in investigating what you will need to reach your goals, how to get there, and how to implement the plan will also help you to evaluate your planner's recommendations.