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July 7, 2021
Financial Advising Explained: Why Financial Planning is for Everyone
Financial advising isn’t just for wealthy people.
But, according to a CNBC poll, just 17% of U.S. adults use professional financial advising services, with only 4% of Americans ages 18-24 and 7% of Americans ages 25-34.1 As part of membership with Grow, you’re entitled to a complimentary consultation with a financial professional and have access to continued investment services if you choose.
We talked with CFS Financial Advisor Nicholas Schaaf, CRPC®, a member of our Investment Services team available through CUSO Financial Services, L.P., who shared some advice for anyone on the fence about seeking financial advising services.2 He answered some of the most common questions our members have regarding financial planning services:
Who can benefit from meeting with a Financial Advisor?
Anyone can benefit from financial planning at some point in their financial journey, and many people wait too long to start thinking about their long-term plan. Everyone’s first goal should be to have an emergency fund of 3-6 months of expenses available. (Not there yet but want to start budgeting and saving? Learn more from your friends at Grow about budgeting basics.)
Once you’ve surpassed that point, let’s meet to talk about what you can do with your money going forward. It doesn’t take a lot to get started — an emergency fund and the ability to put away a consistent monthly contribution. Members who aren’t quite there yet but are interested can still set up a complimentary consultation, and we can talk through what your savings plan should look like to reach your goals.
What should someone expect from their initial complimentary consultation?
The first meeting is really to get a better understanding of where you are currently and where you want to go. Many people save but haven’t thought about when and how to spend. My goal is to get you thinking about what you would really like to accomplish with your money. For some, it is financial security. Others may have their goals planned out but are not sure how to achieve them. Some may be self-employed or have no retirement plan through their employer, and for those folks, we can start a conversation about retirement planning. Truly, anyone can benefit from professional financial planning.
What are common concerns that keep people from seeking financial advice?
“I don’t want to be sold.” We don’t sell. We lay out options that fit with your goals after gathering enough information to make a recommendation. Read more about transparency in financial advising.
“I’ve heard the fees are high.” The fees, if any, are laid out and explained before you’d sign anything or make any official decisions regarding investments. There are no fees whatsoever for meeting or planning, so I definitely recommend taking advantage of the complimentary consultation. We can discuss your financial plan and decide what’s best based on your individual goals.
And the best reasons to work with a CFS Financial Advisor? We are non-proprietary, so there are no “CFS” investments. This allows us to present options from a variety of companies with a variety of investment types. We are also fully licensed, so you don’t have to go to an insurance agent for life insurance, another agent for an annuity and a third advisor for mutual funds or a managed account. Your CFS Financial Advisor can explain and present them all as possible solutions.
Questions? Contact a CFS Financial Advisor.
Grow has contracted with CUSO Financial Services, L.P. (CFS) to provide investment services, and your CFS Financial Advisor will help you build a plan that meets your needs. The advisor will look at your current spending, saving and investing, learn about your goals and priorities, make objective recommendations and support your efforts moving forward through the implementation and management of your plan.
1 CNBC & SurveyMonkey poll: Financial Literacy Week 2019.
2Non-deposit investment products and services are offered through CUSO Financial Services, L.P. (“CFS”), a registered broker-dealer (Member FINRA/SIPC) and SEC Registered Investment Advisor. Products offered through CFS: are not NCUA/NCUSIF or otherwise federally insured, are not guarantees or obligations of the credit union, and may involve investment risk including possible loss of principal. Investment Representatives are registered through CFS. The Credit Union has contracted with CFS to make non-deposit investment products and services available to credit union members. For specific tax advice, please consult a qualified tax professional.
How to Find Your Routing & Account Numbers
When you make a payment online, by phone or on a mobile device, you may be asked for our routing number and your checking account number. Credit unions and banks use these numbers to identify accounts and make sure money gets where it’s supposed to be. You’ll also need to provide your routing and checking account numbers for:
- Direct deposits
- Electronic checks
- Military allotments
- Wire transfers
Where to Find Your Routing & Checking Account Numbers
Your personal checks include both our routing number and your account number, as shown on the Grow check example below.
Don’t have a Grow check? No worries.
Visit any Grow store and ask for a Direct Deposit Form. It lists both your routing number and checking account number.
Making a Loan Payment
When it comes to making payments, we try to make it as painless as possible to pay your loan every month. We have several different ways to pay, including convenient online options.
You have two ways to pay online by transferring funds from another bank or credit union.
- Grow Online Banking (Preferred payment method for any loan)
This is the simplest way to pay your loan. You can make one-time payments or set up automatic recurring payments in Grow Online Banking. Once you log in, select “Transfer/Payments” from the menu. If you’re not enrolled in Grow Online Banking yet, you can set up your account in just a few minutes.
- Debit Card or ACH (Available for auto, personal and home equity loans and HELOCs)
Note: ACH and debit card payments are not available for credit cards or most mortgages, except HELOCs.
We accept ACH payments with no additional fees or Mastercard® and Visa® debit cards with a convenience fee of $4.95. To get started with an online ACH or debit card payment, select Pay Now below.
Pay by Mail
You can also pay any Grow loan by check through the mail. Please remember to include your account number and Grow loan number on the check. (For credit card payments, please do not write your 16-digit credit card number on the check, which can cause a delay in processing the payment.)
Address for auto, credit card and personal loan payments:
Grow Financial Federal Credit Union
P.O. Box 75466
Chicago, IL 60675-5466
Address for mortgage and home equity payments:
Grow Financial Federal Credit Union
P.O. Box 11733
Newark, NJ 07101-4733