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In this episode, one woman describes the importance of working with a financial advisor to improve her finances — even though she's not rich.

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Through weekly video essays, "Making It Work" showcases how *real* people have upgraded their personal or financial lives in some meaningful way. Making your life work for you doesn't mean getting rich just for the sake of it. It means making the most of what you have to build a life you love, both in your present and in your future. And while managing money is a crucial life skill for everyone, there's no one "right way" to go about it — you have to figure out what works best for *you,* full stop.

Based on an article by Alicia Goodwin:

Video by Grace Lee

The Financial Diet site:

Making It Work is sponsored by CleanMyMac X.

Click the link in your description to download and improve your mass performance. I can remember the first time I stumbled into a financial advisor's office with my husband and nearly apologized for wasting his time.

We had recently moved countries, had no money to her name, and had nothing to offer this F. A. We met a few times after that, but I always felt guilty about taking up this poor guy's time.

Even after my husband and I came into a little bit of money, he didn't seem too impressed with the amount and laughed it off. Slightly humiliating. I was convinced that financial advisors were only for people who had money.

They helped the rich get richer. And because we were nowhere near close to being rich, that meant they were not for us, or so I thought. Since moving to the UK, we needed to find an FAQ who would work with us on all our USA financial needs.

I'm American and my husband is British. Our finances are complex and probably always will be. I decided to approach it differently this time.

Instead of apologizing for not being rich, I started to think, hey, you can help me get financially stable and I'm hiring you to do so. Now, remember financial advisors should be free to consult with. They make their money by gaining a small percentage of what their clients eventually including you choose to invest in.

They manage your accounts with hopes that they will get a small cut of your financial wealth in the future. They are invested in seeing you succeed. It is of benefit to them.

Remember that you are the boss, they are there to work with you and for you. First, I wrote down a list of all the questions I could think of. I wanted to know exactly how much money we should have saved before looking at investing.

I wanted to know how tricky things would be for my husband and me since we are citizens of different countries. I brought all my queries. They answered what they knew, directed me to the right place if they didn't.

And then ask them questions of their own. A good financial advisor will not only manage your potential wealth, they will also take concern in your personal circumstances. They might ask if you have life insurance and an estate, things of that nature.

That is precisely what ours did. They took an interest in our life and even remembered my daughter's name when we had her Zoom call. They spoke about my family as if they knew them.

And had an interest in their well-being. I was impressed they were hired. When looking for a financial advisor, ask around.

See if anyone has won they would recommend. I went off the advice of my mom and grandmother. They had great experiences.

So I interviewed the one they recommended. We clicked, and I'm honored to say I am the third generation in my family to be working towards financial stability with this company. Now, there's no shame if you're first in your family to do this.

That is amazing. If that is you and you cannot find a recommendation through family or friend, use Google. Look up reviews of people in your area.

And then go on financial advisor interviews. Don't dive in after the first meeting. Communicate your situation and feel out how each F.

A responds. Are they encouraging? Do they make you feel hopeful about your financial future?

Do you sense a bit of judgment or shame? Do they have ideas on how to better utilize the accounts you already have? Look out for these things and see what you get from each.

A good financial advisor will hear your financial goals and help you strategize how to reach them. They will guide you in setting up a plan that moves you towards financial freedom. I recommend that you state some of your life values in your first meeting as well.

For example, having an Education Fund for our kids was important to my husband and me. We wanted to find someone who values family too. Whatever values you hold close to your heart, it may help to find an F.

A who does the same. Then you can work together long into the future and find a common ground of trust that will take you into retirement. Lastly, when interviewing your F.

A, find someone willing to put the work in. Even though our efforts could not find someone to do our taxes, they wanted to be a part of the process. They will be in the meetings with us to make sure we are doing the right thing, and that everything is beneficial for our finances.

Even though they do not have all the answers, they want to learn so they can better work with us long term. You'll be able to sense it. Follow your peace.

Your F. A is out there and waiting to work with you. Once you have found a Financial Advisor that you trust and want to move forward with, I recommend you be as transparent as possible.

Give them an honest estimate of your debt. Let them know how much surplus income you have after your bills, even if it is not very much and you still decided to order Domino's. This will give them the best information about how they can help you move forward.

So in short, here are a few things to keep in mind when trying to find the F. A that best suits you and your needs. Remember, that financial advisors should be free to consult with.

They make their money with you by gaining a small percentage of what you choose to invest in. When looking for an advisor, ask around for referrals. You can ask friends, family or even search on Google and read reviews.

When getting ready to interview an F. A, write down all the questions you can think of. Don't be afraid to ask anything.

A good financial advisor will hear your financial goals and help you make your dreams come true. Be specific with your goals as possible. Be transparent about your life values and your financial and goals in the very first meeting.

Financial Advisors are for everyone. Remember that you are the boss, they are there to work with you and for you. One of the best ways to save money in the long run is to take care of the items you already have, especially expensive electronics.

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