Middle ground between credit counseling & financial advisor?

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
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psteinx
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Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2007 2:24 pm

Middle ground between credit counseling & financial advisor?

Post by psteinx »

A relative is having financial difficulties, and has been having them to varying degrees for years.

She has a high income, but makes poor financial decisions. We will likely be helping her out, perhaps in multiple ways.

One area I'd like to explore is to see if we could find for her a sort of personal financial coach (i.e. consultant/advisor). Not me, but a 3rd party who she could provide financial details to and get good, independent advice. Probably someone a bit like what I understand Dave Ramsey or Suze Orman to be at a national scale, but local to her and reasonably priced. (My wife and I might be willing to pay for this service on the relative's behalf for some time). I know we could just buy her a few books, but I think ongoing consultation, face to face, with a real, live, skilled human being would likely be much more effective in this case.

On this forum, there is a lot of talk about traditional financial advisors. Good or bad, they provide advice about mutual funds, insurance, retirement, and so on. While a LITTLE bit of that is necessary and relevant for this relative, really what she needs is good day to day and month to month saving and spending habits.

Another type of service, sometimes legit, sometimes scammy, is where a 3rd party tries to negotiate debt relief, navigate the bankruptcy process, and so on. Again, it is POSSIBLE that debt relief or even bankruptcy may be in the picture for this relative, that's not really the main thing she needs, nor does she want to file bankruptcy.

I view it as a bit like an overweight person, who knows he needs to improve his diet and exercise, but needs some help with the mechanics (what types of diet and exercise are likely to be effective), plus a healthy dose of atta-boys and encouragement. In the weight loss industry, these kinds of services are, I think, pretty widely available. Is there something like this in the personal financial industry? How might such advisors be located and/or screened?
chaz
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Re: Middle ground between credit counseling & financial advi

Post by chaz »

Let her read the forum wiki - much good info.
Chaz | | “Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons." Woody Allen | | http://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/index.php/Main_Page
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White Coat Investor
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Re: Middle ground between credit counseling & financial advi

Post by White Coat Investor »

Why not hire an hourly financial planner? It doesn't sound like she needs investment management so much as financial planning- budgeting, saving, debt reduction etc.
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Topic Author
psteinx
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Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2007 2:24 pm

Re: Middle ground between credit counseling & financial advi

Post by psteinx »

Well, aren't financial planners generally more geared to managing the savings/investments you have, rather than focusing on your living expenses?
Minot
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Re: Middle ground between credit counseling & financial advi

Post by Minot »

Debtors Anonymous.
The Wizard
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Re: Middle ground between credit counseling & financial advi

Post by The Wizard »

Sounds like more of a psychological issue with money handling.
So what you want is a Fiscal Psychologist...
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Billionaire
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Re: Middle ground between credit counseling & financial advi

Post by Billionaire »

What kind of poor financial decisions is she making?
retiredjg
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Re: Middle ground between credit counseling & financial advi

Post by retiredjg »

This is radical, but is this situation bad enough that someone should be appointed as guardian over her financial affairs?

I've seen it done and it worked. The person in question was bi-polar and simply could not manage his more than adequate income. He spent it all and then got way into debt with check loans. Every week. Something had to be done or he (and his family) would have been financially ruined.

Not suggesting you should be the guardian. Not suggesting this is easy either. But if the situation is bad enough (something more than just making poor choices), it should be considered.

In this case, they also used debt counseling/negotiaing - the free kind, not the scammy kind. Debt was scheduled to be paid off in 5 years, but the guardian managed to pay it off in about 4.

Good luck!
Boglemama
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Re: Middle ground between credit counseling & financial advi

Post by Boglemama »

It's very nice that you want to help your relative. Does she want to help herself? She has to be the instigator of this life change or there's no point in you wasting your energy. Same holds true for all major life changes. Do YOU want her to change or does SHE?
Laura
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Re: Middle ground between credit counseling & financial advi

Post by Laura »

I have never used anyone here but perhaps someone from the American Association of Daily Money Managers would be helpful.

Laura
The views presented are my own and not necessarily those of the Department of State or the U.S. Government.
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