I've been working in the financial services industry for many years. I've been in the life settlement brokerage business with Ashar for almost a decade, and before that, I was an insurance executive for 18 years. So you could say I'm pretty comfortable with how finances work - not just in the professional sense, but in the personal sense, too.

You might think that would mean that I don't need a financial advisor. If I've got all this experience with financial products and services, why would I need someone to help me manage my own personal finances?

Well, there are a lot of reasons. In fact, I wouldn't dream of moving toward retirement without the help of a good financial advisor - and in my opinion, no one should. Here are five reasons you should work with a certified financial advisor. There are plenty more, of course, but these will get you started.

  1. You're approaching retirement age. If you're nearing the age when retirement becomes a reality, working with a financial advisor can be a hugely beneficial investment in your future. An advisor can help you answer the all-important retirement questions like:
    • How much money will I really need to retire comfortably?
    • How will I pay for long-term care, should the need arise?
    • How should I handle withdrawals from my retirement accounts?

    A good financial advisor can help you go over your retirement plan, if you've made one, or create one if you haven't. The benefits of this advice will not only be a more secure financial future, but greater peace of mind.

  2. You're worried about discussing your financial plans with adult children or other family members. Talking about money with family members is right up there with talking about what you want at your funeral - nobody likes doing it. However, it's very important for everyone involved that someone knows and is able to carry out your wishes, should that become necessary.
  3. A financial advisor can be a great help in this situation. First of all, an advisor can help you ensure that you've gone through every eventuality that you should consider, so that you have a coherent, solid plan for your future.

    And second of all, your advisor can even help mediate that conversation between you and your children, spouse, or other relative, if needed. The presence of an unbiased third party may make the conversation easier.

  4. You don't know whether you're saving enough money. With savings, investments, and retirement accounts, it can be hard to know for sure if you're saving enough to securely provide for yourself and any dependents. A financial advisor can walk you through various scenarios and give you hard numbers to aim for.
  5. You have an important goal or vision that you want to achieve during retirement. Many retirees these days are finding that they don't want to live the traditional retirement lifestyle. Instead, seniors are starting businesses, beginning encore careers, and more.
  6. If this sounds like you, a financial advisor could be an invaluable partner in helping you achieve your dream. He or she can help you figure out how much money you need to save or invest, as well as look at ways to supplement your retirement income (a life settlement is one possibility that many people aren't familiar with).

  7. You need help sticking to your financial plan. Most of us can do pretty well at coming up with a plan of action. It's the follow-through that can be difficult, even for those of us who are financially savvy.
  8. Having a financial advisor who will regularly review your progress and help you make necessary adjustments can go a long way toward ensuring that you actually stick to the plan you set up. And that's not to mention the fact that he or she will also help you create that plan to begin with, putting you that much closer to meeting the financial goals you've outlined.

Working with a financial advisor is a solid investment in your financial health and security, especially if you're nearing retirement age. Besides helping you make sound financial decisions, a good advisor can clue you into options - like life settlements, among others - that you may not have come across on your own.

To learn more about what a life settlement is, read our overview here.