The decision to hire a professional to help navigate the uncertain terrain of your financial future is not a choice to take lightly. Do you go with the industry veteran that has seen the ups and downs of the market and has a slew of letters behind their name to prove it?
Or do you look for someone who can better relate to the current state of your finances -- someone your own age, who understands how best to repay your student loan debt and gets your desire to prioritize spending on travel?
Over the past several years, the financial planning industry has seen an increase in the hiring and development of young talent to keep up with the growing needs of people looking for more than just retirement planning. And there are serious benefits that come with hiring a young financial advisor if you’re ready to take this step.
Here’s why finding a younger financial advisor -- someone who is in the same generation as you are -- can help you reach financial success.
They Can Better Relate to Where You Are in Life
When choosing a financial advisor, one of the primary factors you need to consider is experience.
Not experience in the traditional sense of choosing someone based simply because they have worked in the industry for decades. Experience that comes from a person who has faced similar financial challenges and milestones to what you’re currently facing. Experience that cannot be taught by webinars or continuing education courses.
Finding a financial advisor that is close in age and shares a similar financial perspective to yours provides a unique opportunity to work with someone who ‘gets it’. They are familiar with the ins and outs of student loans. They understand the desire of working toward financial independence over retirement planning. And as a result, their recommendations are designed for you to live a life you love -- instead of a life based on societal expectations.
They Aren't Dismissive of Your Challenges
The traditional financial planning model places a high emphasis on accumulating investable assets and preparing for retirement.
But if you’re younger and facing issues like underemployment, economic uncertainty, or crippling debt, cash-flow planning and budgeting are far more important than running a Social Security analysis or planning for a retirement that is more than thirty years away.
For millennials especially, living expenses and debt repayment are high atop the list of financial priorities. Couple that with a lack of disposable income for investing and there is very little that is “traditional” about the state of most young adults financial affairs.
A financial planner your own age understands the issues you’re facing and knows that you need a comprehensive plan of action to get your financial life in order before worrying about a retirement that’s decades away.
These planners are less likely to dismiss those challenges as independent variables that only affect a small group. Instead, because they share a similar sentiment, they can better guide you through the planning process and prepare a strategy that addresses your specific needs.
That’s not to say you’ll never talk about saving for the future -- but these conversations look far different with someone who helps Baby Boomers plan for retirement and someone who understands your desire to enjoy your life now while also saving what you need to have a secure future.
They Appreciate and Respect Your Goals
For many, the financial freedom to do what you want, such as pursue higher education, travel, or start a family is a higher priority than retirement planning or home ownership.
And while societal expectations may try to imply that there is one tried-and-true path toward attaining wealth, you probably aren’t buying it -- and neither are your peers in financial planning.
Life just looks different today than it did 30 years ago. The idea of working at one company for an entire career, just to receive a gold watch and sail off into the sunset, is not even on the radar for most people in their 20s, 30s, and 40s.
The same goes for homeownership. You may prefer the flexibility of renting over the responsibilities of buying. Older advisors on the verge of their own retirements were part of the generation who believed owning your home was the cornerstone of the American Dream, who may preach that “renting is throwing money away.”
Young advisors are usually more open to exploring alternatives and understand that attitudes have changed. We simply don’t look at things the same way anymore, and communicating these mindsets and beliefs to someone very much stuck in an old way of thinking can be a challenge.
Your goals are just that -- your goals. And working with an advisor who understands your unique perspective and respects those goals goes a long way in creating a long-lasting relationship of mutual trust and support.
They Add the Right Kind of Value
Hiring a young advisor provides the opportunity to engage with a professional that specializes in working with people just like you. Rather than try to convince you to conform to an antiquated traditional planning model that is not applicable to your financial needs, a young advisor can add value to the areas of your financial life that need the most attention like cash-flow analysis or career management advice.
You deserve comprehensive financial planning, and that doesn’t come from a few modifications to an existing service model designed for an older clientele. It comes from an advisor workforce of your peers that is personally familiar with the financial challenges that you face.
Receiving sound advice is critical to your ability to build wealth over time. So, if you haven’t already, start now and seek out a qualified financial advisor that understands your concerns and challenges, and can help guide you through them both now and for years to come. Your financial future is counting on it!