‘Somehow we live test to test.’ We make over $200k a year, but owe $100k on a HELOC loan, have never learned how to save money, and feel like we’ll never be able to retire. Do we need professional help?

Do you need a financial advisor?

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Question: My wife and I are looking for help. We’ve never really learned how to save money, and we’re really bad at it. We both come from poor families living on government subsidies. She and I both make over $100k a year now, but somehow check it out in person to check. We refinanced our house and took out two HELOC loans that we owed $100k. At this rate we will never be able to retire. What should we do — and who can help us? (Are you looking for a new financial advisor? This tool can help connect you with an advisor who can meet your needs.)

Answer: The first step in this process is becoming aware of your problems and admitting that you need help. You are doing exactly that, and we applaud you. As to whether you need an expert to help you, the answer is yes. Here are a few options, including a DIY option, to help you decide what might be right for you.

Having a problem with your financial advisor or considering hiring one? Email your questions or concerns to [email protected].

You may want to think of a financial or money coach or a financial therapist to get to the root of your spending problems. “Many people are spending money without realizing it,” says Lauren Lindsay, certified financial planner at Beacon Financial Planning. And a financial coach or financial coach can help you do that, especially someone who specializes in cash flow systems and processes.

Kaleb Paddock, certified financial planner at Ten Talents Financial Planning, says: “A financial coach will help you automatically earn money, prioritize your most enjoyable expenses and help You pay off your debt as well as take control of your money. Obviously, financial and money coaches are not financial planners or advisors. Financial coaches are not typically certified as a trustee nor are they affiliated with a financial institution — so instead of telling you how to invest your money, they’ll focus on helping you understand the facts. Personal finance basics. “If a money coach sells insurance, offers to manage investments, or offers any specific investment advice or insurance recommendation, they are not an earnings coach,” says Paddock. money.

Looking for a new financial advisor? This tool can help connect you with an advisor who can meet your needs.

Financial coaches can be found in many places, but a good starting point is the Association of Financial Counseling and Educational Planning or the National Council of Financial Educators.

Another alternative is a financial therapist, who can dig a little deeper and address some of the underlying issues that may be contributing to your tendency to live beyond your means. “You know you have a problem and have a vague idea that it could be because of the way you were raised and raised,” says Danielle Harrison, a paid certified financial planner with Harrison Financial Planning. how your respective family manages finances.

As such, says Harrison, “A skilled financial therapist can work with you to further explore your stories, define your current money scenarios, and rewrite them together. Traditional financial planning will not work until the underlying behaviors are addressed first.” To find a financial therapist, visit the Financial Therapist Association’s Find a Therapist tool and search for professionals with the Certified Financial Therapist (CFT-I) designation.

Of course, working with a financial planner can also be beneficial – especially when you feel you have no path to retirement. A planner can help you weigh your debts and make smart investments for your future retirement. But keep in mind that you’ll need to control your spending and your feelings about money, or these strategies may not work.

Looking for a new financial advisor? This tool can help connect you with an advisor who can meet your needs.

You can do this yourself, too: If you learn best from books, experts recommend reading Ramit Sethi’s “I’ll Teach You To Be Rich,” The Boggarts’ Guide to Investing. by Mel Lindauer, Michael LeBoeuf and Taylor Larimore, and “Rich Dad Poor” by Robert Kiyosaki. Plus, there are many free online courses available including Finance for Everyone, How to Save Money: Making Smart Financial Decisions (a University of California, Berkeley hosted course) and Planning Purdue University secure retirement.

However you decide to tackle this issue, there are some important things to remember about your situation. Like many people, you’ve learned how to make money, but you still don’t know what to do with it, says certified financial planner William Holliday of Elite Wealth Management. “The most important thing is to understand that any dollars spent today are dollars that cannot be spent tomorrow. Also, dollars spent today cannot earn more dollars, which means one dollar spent today could be equivalent to two, three, or four dollars that cannot be spent tomorrow. ,” Holliday said.

Because this sounds more like a behavioral issue than a financial one, Holliday recommends using your current income to cover essentials like household expenses and debt payments. “The next step is to see where you can reduce costs, what is essential, and what can you survive without? Once you’ve made up your mind, you can eliminate those discretionary purchases and use that income to reduce debt faster,” says Holliday.

Looking for a new financial advisor? This tool can help connect you with an advisor who can meet your needs.

Another thing to consider is whether you can make even more money. “By not increasing debt, eliminating expenses, and possibly increasing income, your net worth should increase,” says Holliday. Indeed, it all starts with looking at your behaviors, which is a process that requires patience, discipline, and possibly some sacrifices.

It can also be helpful to pay yourself first by putting money into savings if possible, before you start spending, so that you prioritize your savings. “Remember that you have control over your money, not the other way around,” says Lindsay.

Having a problem with your financial advisor or considering hiring one? Email your questions or concerns to [email protected].

Questions edited for brevity and clarity.

The advice, recommendations or ratings expressed in this article are those of MarketWatch Picks and have not been reviewed or endorsed by our trading partners.


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