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GCUA report Expect the year of the financial planner
DULUTH, Ga. (1/6/12)--The recovery of the economy has been a slow process and many consumers now realize they can't wait forever to firm up their long-term financial goals. That's why credit unions can expect 2012 to be the year of the financial planner, said the Georgia Credit Union Affiliates (GCUA).

This year financial planners likely will broaden their appeal, said GCUA's newspage, "Consider This." Many people turn to financial planners to help them invest, while others don't because they assume financial planners help only people with substantial funds to invest. This year, even consumers with tight finances and the middle-class aspirations may turn to financial planners for assistance, said GCUA.

Everyone needs financial coaching, Phillip Lambing Jr., independent sales manager for Waverly, Iowa-based CUNA Brokerage Services Inc., told GCUA. Common areas he sees consumer seeking help with include retirement planning and college education planning, but he adds planners can also assist with things like life protection and long-term care.

A financial planner helps consumers determine the level of risk they are comfortable with when investing their money and can help clients establish specific goals. "Planning for college isn't specific enough," he said. "Do you need to save enough for a state university or an Ivy League education?"

According to CDC FCU Senior Vice President Australia Hoover, financial planning is an important part of the credit union's mission of promoting financial health. Many members seek financial planners in response to major life events such as a first job, first child, children leaving for college, retirement planning, estate planning or long-term care.

Individuals should contact a planner when they need a partner to help them navigate their financial roadmap, Hoover told the league. "There are so many options available to consumers today and without help, it can be confusing. No amount of money is too small to consider talking with a planner."

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