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Financial Planning is More Than Just About Investing Money

The value that a professional financial planner (CFP® or ChFC®) can add to a person’s life is not fully understood by all.  The value goes far beyond just telling a client where to invest their money.  Money is attached to so many different aspects of our lives and can be the vehicle by which we reach our goals.  The parts of financial planning that are more commonly known are retirement planning, investment planning, insurance planning, college planning and tax planning.  Here are examples of additional areas where a financial planner can also add value.

Emotional support– As humans our emotions are tied to everything we do.  A financial planner listens and counsels clients every day in all areas of life including non-financial matters.  Some examples of where emotional support is provided are after the death of a loved one, during a divorce and before, as well as during, retirement.

Estate Planning– It is very common for people to not know if their estate planning is complete or what they need to do to complete it.  What estate documents are needed?  How often should estate documents be reviewed and updated?  Who will receive assets upon death?  Can assets be protected if long term care is needed in the future?  Is a trust advisable?   A financial planner can assist a client by recommending an attorney to complete estate documents, as well as work alongside them as needed to retitle assets, etc.

Automotive Financing– Should a new car be financed or paid for in cash?  Should money be taken out of investments to pay for the car?  Is it best to lease or buy?  A professional financial planner can provide the best course of action for the individual based on their specific situation as the answers to these questions will be different.

Home Mortgage-Can I afford this house, taxes and maintenance?  Should I make a down payment and if so where should the funds come from?  Should I payoff my current mortgage or should I keep it?  Should I refinance my mortgage?  A CFP® or ChFC® lay out the different scenarios surrounding home ownership along with the pros and cons.

Connecting with Services– Can you recommend a tax professional or an attorney?  Can you recommend someone to help me with choosing the Medicare part D and/ or supplement? As professionals involved in their community, professional financial planners are a great resource when it comes to getting people connected to services and other professionals they are in need of.


The author of this article, Courtney Arria, CFP® is a LPL Financial Advisor at Urist Financial and Retirement Planning, Inc., located in East Syracuse, New York.   Courtney Arria is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ practitioner and Registered Representative with LPL Financial.  She is dedicated to building personal connections with clients, which leads to a clear understanding of their financial needs and how she can help them to pursue their financial goals. She strives to simplify clients’ finances in order to educate and empower. Courtney can be reached at 315-445-2147 or  Company information can be found at

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.