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Ensure your financial future is in safe hands: A checklist for your choice

It’s the perfect time to evaluate your personal financial plan and identify the areas where your strategy is doing well and where it may need some change. A strong personal financial plan is an important part of developing and maintaining your long-term financial security.

Some individuals are comfortable developing a plan themselves, but in today’s world of economic complexity and insecurity, it is recommended that you seek professional guidance. Whether you choose to go it alone or work with a professional, you need to understand the process, the terms you’ll encounter and how different options will produce different results.

Choosing a financial planner or adviser is one of the most important decisions you’ll make. You’re trusting someone with your money, so make sure you feel comfortable with your decision.

Finding a match

Take your time and do your research in choosing the right professional. Read the websites of professionals in our area to learn about their philosophy and background, then schedule meetings to interview two or three of those you might want to work with.

Referrals are a great way to start. Get the names of professionals from friends, neighbors, family or business colleagues. If you are considering someone who is unfamiliar, ask the professional for several references and check them.

During the interview, don’t be afraid to ask tough questions. This is your money we’re talking about. Some topics to cover might include the following:

• Areas of specialization

• Professional designations

• Registrations or licenses

• Education

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