Planning for your financial future is the backbone of financial planning. Without the right tools, you won’t be able to plan what to do next and you may be at a loss as to where to start. Most financial planners focus on specific areas of the budget, like investing or estate planning.

When choosing a planner, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure financial planning will go well. Here are a few tips to choose the right planner:

First, make sure that the firm can offer you the number of years you expect to have the firm working for you. You will want to make sure the firm is licensed by the proper board so you don’t risk investing in a company with a past that may put your money at risk. If you’re considering a “no-cost” firm, you will want to make sure the firm is up front about how long it will take you to accomplish the goals you have set. If you can afford to pay extra, you will want to ensure the firm offers a full year or even half year commitment. You will be able to see an outcome within the timeframe you gave them.

If you choose a financial planning firm that won’t tell you how long you will need their services, you are probably being taken advantage of. Also, ask if they can show you examples of successful clients and how they achieved financial success. Ask them about testimonials that have been posted by previous clients who went through their services. Look into the background of any professional to ensure it has a good track record of success. For example, if the professional was convicted of fraud and that is in their past, you should consider not hiring them.

Check for any certifications that the financial planning firms offer. You want a firm that has a focus on financial planning for seniors, people with disabilities, or someone over the age of 60. Find out if the firm is also licensed to practice. Many financial planners have experience working with smaller companies and are able to work with smaller accounts.

Another check list is getting their credentials. It is very important to verify whether or not they have the proper license and qualifications to practice as a financial planner. In addition, if you have questions about their experience or credentials, ask. Your financial advisor should be willing to answer your questions about their experience, credentials, and why they are qualified to work with you.

Lastly, make sure that the financial planners are willing to listen to your needs. You want to feel comfortable with the person you hire and you want them to know that you will be open to changes. Financial planning is all about change. You will eventually find yourself changing how you budget, invest, and use money. Therefore, it is best to work with someone who can communicate with you and your goals in the process.

Financial planning is always changing. You want to have someone that is going to listen to your ideas and help you set goals for your future. Finding the right professional for you will result in a successful and seamless transition from your current financial situation to your financial future.