"By assessing clients' needs and options, I can help them be better prepared for what lies ahead," said financial advisor Vicky Tomaro, president of V. Tomaro & Associates (http://www.vtomaro.com/
For 33 years, Tomaro has worked with singles, couples, and families, providing traditional financial planning as well as mediation support services. Usually consumers seek the help of an advisor when they've experienced a major life event, such as a divorce or death of a spouse, or they've received an inheritance. But Tomaro believes the time to meet with a financial advisor is when you get your first full-time job. "Every day you work, you are getting closer to retirement,"
Tomaro offers the following advice on some of the most pressing concerns consumers have about financial planning.
What should people expect in an initial sit-down with a financial advisor?
The initial meeting is an opportunity to get to know each other and see if you can work well together. Because money is personal, it's important to establish a comfort level. It takes honesty, care, and understanding to build trust in a relationship, and a good financial advisor should be willing to invest the time and effort to build a relationship.
What are some common money mistakes?
Many people don't understand risk. When investing on their own, people tend to react emotionally - buying high and selling low. With so much information out there, people tend to react too quickly but what they really need to do is stick to a long-term plan.
Some people feel they can't afford invest, when in fact, they can't afford not to. For example, there are advantages to investing in a 401K retirement plan regardless if there is a company match. The sooner you start participating in a retirement plan the better your future financial security. A good advisor can help you take positive action regarding your finances.
After the financial meltdown of 2008-2009 many people have lost faith in investing. Why should they bother with a financial plan now?
Fear can make people lose sight of their long-term goals, but it's important to focus on those goals and stay the course. A financial advisor can help clients to understand short-term volatility and changing news and remind them about the benefits of staying on track to get results.
What is a realistic financial plan?
Many times people see the rewards of long-term investing and begin saving too much too soon. The plan falls apart because too much stress is placed on the budget. The best way to maintain a long-range investment plan is to invest a small amount of money on a regular basis. This way people can maintain the plan through the changes that occur in a person's lifetime.
Do people going through a divorce need to talk with a financial advisor?
Yes, the earlier the better. Even those who are just contemplating divorce need to look at their financial situations and understand how divorce will impact their income, lifestyle, home, and retirement planning.
Divorce breaks one household into two and it can be a very emotional process. A financial advisor can set realistic expectations and educate clients while guiding them through the difficult decisions that need to be made to reach a fair settlement.
By using my mediation skills with couples experiencing a divorce, I encourage a balanced and equal discussion about finances. When the parties involved are not intimidated or overwhelmed they are more likely to be realistic and agree to a settlement.
What other financial decisions can an advisor assist with?
Just about anything that has to do with money. Recently, I've had a lot of discussions concerning refinancing mortgages. I can also review a client's debt and lending issues and make recommendations to consolidate or restructure to help lower interest rates. I discuss a broad range of financial topics. Anyone who has a decision to make regarding saving, spending, or borrowing can benefit from meeting with a financial advisor.
For more information on V. Tomaro & Associates, visit http://www.vtomaro.com/