More than two-thirds of U.S. workers are feeling stressed about their financial future. Minnesota's financial planners want to help.
In years past, the Financial Planners Association of Minnesota conducted a popular one-day event at the Wilder Center in St. Paul. But as with other events, the in-person gathering is off because of the pandemic.
Instead, planners will offer free 30-minute consultations, done by phone or Zoom. The planners are restricted from following up unless consumers request it.
"This year we're opening up the event to meet people where they're at," said Tiffany Walker, a certified financial planner at Captrust in Minneapolis. "Anyone with access to the internet or phone can take part. It's open to anyone across Minnesota, and it's not restricted to just one day."
People can book meetings from Monday to Saturday. Registration is done online and then participants can sign up for one-on-one consultations and pretaped video workshops.
Consumers without online access can call the Financial Planners Association of Minnesota at (763) 781-1212.
The in-person sessions at prior Financial Planning Day events were 20 minutes, but the virtual sessions have been extended to 30 minutes.
Consumers can show planners relevant information via screen sharing if desired. Organizers suggest having a list of questions and access to any relevant financial documents before the meeting begins.
More than 30 certified financial planners donate their time to participate. The group is expecting a record number of participants this year because of the virtual option.
"Some people have a hard time thinking this kind of service applies to them in their lives," Walker said. "But a financial planner can be a sounding board for a problem we deal with every day whether it's temporary job loss, getting out of debt or helping senior citizens find income."
Greenwald Research found that the two-thirds of workers who worried about their financial future worried the most about not having enough retirement or emergency savings.
Last year the most common areas of interest in the one-on-one sessions at Financial Planning Day also included having enough savings to retire.
Also, people asked about buying or selling a house, how to start saving, debt management and retirement strategies, among other topics.
This year, the group sessions will be online all week at mnfinancialplanningdays.org and include creating a spending plan, debt management, Social Security basics, Medicare basics and investing basics.
Consumers with limited resources in need of more extensive financial counseling can go to www.fpamn.org. There also is a list of resources for those families affected by COVID-19, as well as free personal finance templates and worksheets.