Lawyers are not just for criminals... Everyone needs an attorney at some point in time, whether it be for estate planning, buying and selling real estate, divorce, and so many other things where legal paperwork is involved. Although you may not need a lawyer right this second, it is good to have someone with experience (in that specific field) that you trust to represent you in some of your biggest life decisions.
Tip: For any kind of real estate transaction (or, divorce where there is real estate involved), be sure to go with someone who actually understands real property!!! We have seen some disasters where the attorney did not understand property and the paperwork has been very screwed up.
Tip 2: You get what you pay for! I once saw a meme on Facebook that summed it up perfectly- "If you think it's expensive to hire a professional, wait until you hire an amateur." Sometimes it is best to leave things to the "experts", and get it right the first time than cutting corners and spending double trying to fix it.
The thought of doing my own tax return stresses me out. Similar to #1, sometimes, it is just easier to write a check and let a qualified professional do the job. This is exactly how I feel about doing my taxes... I do not have an accounting background and do not want the IRS to come after me, so I feel more comfortable letting my accountant figure it all out for me so I can have peace of mind.
3. Financial Advisor
I am a firm believer in investing and saving for retirement. I have been investing since 18. I highly recommend you meet with a financial advisor and start investing asap if you don't already (even if it is just $20/month- something is better than nothing!). It can be very overwhelming and intimidating to think about retirement, let alone meet with a stranger to discuss your finances. I have gone to church with my financial advisor since second grade, so I know I am in good hands and that he will not try to scam me. If you are new to this area, I highly recommend reading Dave Ramsey's The Total Money Makeover. He explains complex financial concepts in simple terms.
Whether you rent or own, having a good realtor to represent your best interests and seal the deal will ensure that everything is in order so that you don't have to stress about all of the nitty gritty details. Instead, you can focus on paint colors and how to decorate, the finer things. :-) Moving is a very exciting and emotional time. In addition to someone with experience, look for someone you are compatible with and that listens to (and validates) your needs and wants. I went to look at my house on a spring Friday afternoon and fell in love with the deck area that cascaded into a pool. I envisioned summer barbecues and backyard pool parties, but then when reality set in, I started to panic about the cost of insurance and maintaining the pool... So, I freaked out to my realtor and we counter-offered that they take it out, which they did. I bought it two years ago and am still here!
5. Trusted Mentor
Mentors are so important to professional growth and development, especially to those of us relatively new to the (professional) workforce. I have several people I can call on to ask for advice or bounce ideas off of in confidence, and always appreciate their time and honest perspective. If you are new to the workforce and are looking for a mentor, ask people that you admire in your respective field to coffee, and ask what steps they took as well as what advice they have. Trust me, it is so awkward (and you will feel like a total stalker), but nine times out of ten the person is genuinely flattered and willing to help someone just getting started. Plus, you never know what that first meeting could lead to- an interview, a job, a lifelong friendship... the worst the person could say is "no", and it is their loss!
Tip: Don't forget about your college career center. They can help point you in the right direction and connect you with the right folks!
Thanks so much for stopping by! I would love to know your thoughts or if you would add anyone to this list!