Financial planners must master nearly 100 financial topics to obtain the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification. Volunteers at the Financial Planning Clinic are qualified to discuss a variety of financial topics and those topics fall in the categories listed below, followed by a set of sample questions related to that topic.
GENERAL FINANCIAL PLANNING
Purchasing a Home – Should I buy or rent? What type of mortgage should I get? Debt Management – How do I reduce my overall debt? Building a College Fund – How do I finance my child's college education? Savings Goals – How much money should I have in my emergency fund?
Job Loss and Job Change – How do I financially plan for a job loss? Foreclosure Assistance – How can I avoid losing my property to a foreclosure? Change in Marital Status – How do I financially plan for a divorce?
Investment Strategies – How do I maximize gains and minimize taxes? Asset Accumulation – How should I diversify my portfolio, given my risk tolerance? Generating Investment Income – What investment vehicles should I consider to generate income? Real Estate - Should I invest in real estate?
Building a Retirement Fund – What retirement vehicles should I consider when building my nest egg? 401(k) and 403(b) Plans – How do I pick the investments for my 401(k) or 403(b) plan? IRA Accounts – Should I choose a traditional or Roth IRA? Social Security – How much will I receive in Social Security benefits when I retire?
INCOME TAX PLANNING
General Tax Return Filing – Should I file my taxes as single or married? Tax Reduction Strategies – What tax deductions can I take? Charitable Contributions – How do I maximize the tax advantages of my charitable contributions? Small Business Taxation – How can I position my small business to minimize my taxes?
Building an Inheritance – What estate planning vehicles should I consider when building an inheritance? Wills and Trusts – Should I set up a will or a living trust? Estate Tax Strategies – How do I reduce my estate taxes? Incapacity Planning – How do I appoint a Power of Attorney?
Life Insurance Coverage – How much life insurance do I need? Disability Insurance – Do I need additional disability insurance? Long-term Care Planning – What kind of long-term care insurance should I consider? Property and Casualty Insurance - How should I insure my home?
Managing Health Insurance – Does my family have adequate health insurance? Health Savings Accounts – Should I open a Health Savings Account (HSA)? Incentive Stock Option Plans – How is my investment income taxed?