Retirement · June 23, 2020

What Does a Financial Advisor Do to Help You Reach Your Goals?

If you've been wondering what a financial advisor does, you're not alone. Many people often assume they don't need an advisor unless they think of themselves as wealthy or have complicated investment portfolios. But personal financial advisors are valuable allies no matter your income or where you are in your financial journey.

What does a financial advisor do?

Financial advisors fill several different roles, providing objective advice on the full range of financial topics that matter to you. In addition to offering insights on how to invest and save, they can provide strategic consultation on how you can achieve all your financial goals. Here are a few areas in which these advisors can help you optimize your financial wellness.

Debt management

Few areas of money management are more overwhelming than debt, especially if you're struggling to get out from under high-interest accounts. A financial advisor can provide invaluable input to help you decide which accounts to prioritize. They can also help you build a big-picture strategy for tackling your debts to ensure you're moving toward your goals efficiently.

Retirement planning

Even if your employer offers a 401(k) plan, retirement planning can be complicated. A financial advisor can help you determine how much you'll need to live comfortably in retirement and then recommend savings and investment options to help you reach that goal. You can use our 401(k) calculator as a reference.


A financial advisor can help you build an investment portfolio based on your values and your appetite for risk. You can tell them you only want to invest in specific types of companies, such as those owned by people who share your ethics or who contribute a portion of their profits to the community. Fiduciary advisors are legally obligated to recommend only investments that will benefit your specific circumstances, so be sure to ask about your advisor's fee structure.

Insurance decisions

Understanding the ins and outs of your insurance coverage can be taxing, but a good financial advisor can help you make sense of your plans. They can also offer insights into which types of insurance you need to shield yourself from potential liabilities. As your family's needs evolve, an advisor can update their recommendations to make sure your loved ones' interests are protected.

Tax strategies

Perhaps you prepare your own tax return every year, but you're not sure whether you're claiming all of the deductions to which you're entitled. A financial advisor may take a look at your taxes and spot tax break opportunities of which you weren't aware. They may also recommend strategies for reducing your tax burden, particularly if you're gifting large amounts of money or other assets to family or charities.

Goal planning

Whatever your goals are, a financial advisor can help you find a way to meet them. Maybe you want to fund an account for your children's college funds, or you want to set aside a 20% down payment for a home. Your advisor can develop a plan based on your income and help you understand which investments will help you along the path and how much you'll need to save each year to hit those milestones.


If you're struggling to manage your income, meet your monthly financial obligations or build toward the future, an advisor can help you create a workable monthly budget. You can work together to create a spending plan that reflects your bills, debts, savings goals and other financial priorities. When money management feels overwhelming, they can help you regain control.

Plan for your future with a personal financial advisor

Whether you are struggling to create a budget, want to ramp up your investments or need help putting together a long-term wealth creation strategy, a financial advisor can be a great asset. You don't need to be a well-established business owner or have a wealthy background to benefit from working with an advisor. You simply need to have an interest in and commitment to improving your financial circumstances.

Find an advisor who you trust and who can work with you as your finances change. As you earn more money, raise a family or change careers, you'll need to adjust your strategies. And you'll want input from someone who knows you, your values and your aspirations so you can build the right plan for your future together.


A few financial insights for your life

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This information is provided for educational purposes only and should not be relied on or interpreted as accounting, financial planning, investment, legal or tax advice. First Citizens Bank (or its affiliates) neither endorses nor guarantees this information, and encourages you to consult a professional for advice applicable to your specific situation.