I’m generally someone who prefers to do things for myself whenever possible. I like feeling in control and knowing I can handle unexpected situations that come up without being dependent on someone else. A lot of the time, this drive is a good thing. It’s helped me understand the internal workings of this website a lot better and has saved me money around the house when things have broken and I can figure out how to fix them myself.
On the other hand, there are some times when consulting an outside expert is extremely helpful. It may be that they possess knowledge that is both helpful and extremely specialized. Or maybe their skill set is stronger in an area that is a weakness for us. And sometimes just having another point of view is helpful. I‘ve learned that when it comes to making coding changes on this site, I’m much better off asking for help from someone who knows what they are doing – I can do a lot of damage by making a mistake and will wind up having to hire someone to fix it anyways.
When Jay and I bought our house and started a family, we realized that planning for our financial future was something that we wanted to be very involved in, but also wanted some expert help with. We got our wills and estate planning done and set up a series of recommended appointments with a financial planner that was from the investment firm my husband’s company provides.
The first few meetings we had were pleasant at least. We were meeting with someone fairly high up in the firm and he was respectful and polite but I felt like he was kind of pushing us toward the choices that he thought we should make He hadn’t spent any time getting to know us or our situation, so I was curious how he had decided one these options. My gut feeling was that there were probably two or three different scenarios that got recommended to most customers.
My face after meeting with a financial advisor who didn’t seem to see me as an equal partner in my family’s financial decisions…
Our third meeting, we were met with a new advisor. He directed the majority of his comments and questions toward my husband, barely even making eye contact with me. Even when I asked a question, he would direct the response toward Jay. I started to fume inside which did not help the whole exchange-of-information-thing that was supposed to be happening. Needless to say, I was not in hurry to schedule another meeting!
When SUM180 asked me if I’d like to give their service a test drive as part of this sponsored campaign, I thought “what the heck?” nothing to lose, right? I logged in with what I would describe as skeptical optimism. About halfway through the initial survey, I realized this was going to be different. For one thing, they weren’t only focusing on retirement accounts and how much I had put away even though I had indicated that’s where most of my question were. They asked about monthly budgets, other outstanding debts, and what non-retirement assets we had. I loved that they were looking at the whole picture and not just one sliver of it.
My face after using SUM180 and feeling like what I had to say mattered…
When I received the financial plan back from SUM180, I was pleasantly surprised. Rather than just a list of things to do going forward, there was a sort of summary of where we were at this point. They let us know where we stood in relation to most Americans in relation to our income and savings. and even offered a pat on the back for the things we had been doing well. It then went on to offer suggestions about how we might continue to save to ensure that we would have enough to cover expenses upon retirement.
I loved that I got to fill out the survey in the comfort of MY home, on MY schedule, without anyone ignoring what I had to say. I loved that the survey and plan took into account our whole financial picture, not just a portion of it. I loved that the plan recapped our whole picture and highlighted the parts that were already working as well as the places where we could do some work. And I love that the whole thing is available to anyone for just $129 year. Want to have a consultation with an actual live advisor? That option is available too – for just $199 a year!
As a special introductory offer, readers of this blog will receive 50% off a SUM180 subscription when you use the exclusive promo code SIMPLE50. This offer is good through December 2016.
This post has been sponsored by SUM180. I was provided with product at no charge to sample in exchange for my review. The options expressed in this post are my own. I am in no way affiliated with SUM180 and do not earn a commission or percent of sales.