Financial Planning for the Modern Family: Yes, It Exists!
Do you need some good news? I have some for you! The financial planning industry is trying to catch up with the times! This is huge. It’s a slow process, but I’m telling you, we’re generally moving in the right direction. Gone are the days of only catering to middle-aged white guys with millions in investable assets. Well, those days aren’t completely gone, but still, progress! The industry is transforming to more accurately reflect, represent, and assist modern America. Here are a few facts (which may seem obvious to all of you) that the financial planning world is currently coming to terms with:
Not all families look the same. The financial planning industry mainly focuses on affluent white families led by a grey haired or balding man with a wife and 2.5 children. Incredibly, blended families, unmarried couples, families with one mom or one dad, wealthy families, middle-class, and low-income families all have various personal finance challenges that absolutely need to be addressed. Can you even believe it? Helping the middle-class? What a neat concept!
Women are important and shouldn’t be ignored. Wait. What? Women make money, spend money, and invest money? Yes! Twenty-first century women are professionals, well educated, and sometimes *gasp* the breadwinners. Financial planners are now attempting to be cognizant of the unique challenges women face when it comes to money (wage gap, maternity leave, re-entering workforce after raising kids, etc.). There are many planners *yes, hi, hello* who specialize in helping women make the most of their hard-earned money.
LGBTQ+ couples make and spend money like everyone else. Oh my Gawd, you’re telling me gay couples live in houses, need insurance, want to put their kids through college AND retire!? Hold the phone! Did anyone tell Mike Pence yet? There are now several financial planners who specialize in helping members of the LGBTQ+ community plan their financial futures. Does anyone know if RuPaul is in the market for a new financial planner? If so, please pass my name along.
Young people benefit from financial planning advice as much, or more, than older adults. Of course there are financial challenges in every decade, but the financial planning industry traditionally has ignored the challenges people under 50. Think about it: we make most of our biggest life decisions before age 50 (marriage, houses, children, career, college, etc.). For too long the finance industry ignored guiding adults through these major life changes and purchases because it wasn’t as profitable as helping older clients. Young adults need better guidance through these complex issues. Finally, planners are focusing on more than the investment portfolio and actually helping people make more informed decisions at an earlier age.
If you are part of any of the previously mentioned groups and could use some specific and tailored financial advice, please know there are planners out there who want to help you. Don’t for a second think because you’re family or life situation looks a little different than the “wealthy caucasian man with a wife and 2.5 children” that you are not entitled to solid financial advice. And if you’re currently working with someone who doesn’t give you customized advice or care about your unique life, please fire them.
Here’s a couple places to find specialty financial planners:
XY Planning Network (I’m an associate member):
In the “find an advisor” section, you can filter your search according to your unique situation. Hooray for inclusivity!
Again, you can filter your search to meet specific criteria! Awesome!
I know telling you about advances in the financial planning industry is the good news you were dying to hear. You’re welcome, world.