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How To Find A Financial Planner When Battling Medical Debt

Being diagnosed with any illness affects you and your family, but also your wallet. Perhaps you are well versed in your financial situation, as well as your options in paying for medical-related expenses, however, if you are not, being unaware can lead you down the road to bankruptcy. If you are not aware of where to start with managing your money in this financial hardship, there are options for you, for instance, seeking the advice of a financial planner.  

Help From a Financial Planner

You have already been surrounded by many medical professionals, of whom you have formulated a bond. You have discussed your health, your options, your concerns, your fears. The same sort of bond can be formed with a financial planner to assist with regaining control of your financial situation.

You now need the “big picture” approach where you can examine your financial health. Examine your entire financial make up. Look into everything related to your job, from benefits to your bills.  Financial planners focus on the “big picture” because they look at overall finances, all of your money matters. Your financial make up will include your bills, income, benefits, taxes, insurance, investments, etc. You will work with your financial planner to formulate goals for your future and how to financially prepare for this time in your life. You will be shown your options and, perhaps, identify other sources of income to assist in bill paying. Research has shown that those individuals who outlined a plan for their finances, saved twice as much as those without a plan.  It is important to express all your concerns to your planner, as these individuals dealing with your money may not be wholly informed as to your health situation.  

Questions to Discuss With a Planner

Prior to agreeing with one financial planner, you should have in mind a few other names of individuals with whom to discuss your money matters, as well as spoken to each and every one of these planners.  Money is always a topic that affects people in different ways yet alone when you are battling an illness or has extraordinary debt related to a hospitalization or illness. It is good to keep in mind that your planner should respect you and your concerns, and form a plan designed for you.  During your initial visit, ask questions. This is what they are here for, to listen to your concerns. Prior to this, have a few written down and bring with you to the meeting. Here are a few examples of questions you may want to ask your financial planner:

  • Describe your investment style or philosophy.
  • Do you feel comfortable dealing with a health related issue?
  • Describe the financial planning process you would take me through.
  • Can you describe your typical client?
  • Are you familiar with all aspects of medical coverage, disability benefits, life insurance, accelerated benefits, and settlements?
  • What types of plans do you provide?
  • How will you review my finances?
  • How often should we meet?
  • How do you decide how my money should be divided?
  • What type of investment strategy would you recommend for someone in my situation?
  • How are you paid and how are your fees determined?
  • Do you have references?
 

The Next Move…

Depending on how you feel after meeting with the planner, you may decide to go through with this plan and use the planner to help with your financial needs. If you do use the planner, it is important to remain involved with your monetary needs; do not turn over all responsibility, as you will need to guide your funds. Using a financial planner can definitely be an option to remove yourself from debt; however, one can only do as good of a job with the information they receive. Therefore, it is important to be open to them and provide all information about your finances, as accurate as you can provide. It is your money and your debt.

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