Accredited financial counselors: Who we are and what we do

SDSU Extension
Farm Forum

BROOKINGS — A recent survey conducted by the Association of Financial Counseling and Planning Education, which focused on retirement in the state of Ohio, showed that only 41 percent have a financial plan. But the truth is, this statistic isn’t unique to retirement or Ohio.

“Americans have a lot of mistrust when seeking financial advice,” explained Lorna Saboe-Wounded Head, SDSU Extension family resource management field specialist. “Worrying that a financial professional may be working for a commission or a financial gain.”

However, if citizens work with an accredited financial counselor, Saboe-Wounded Head said they don’t have to worry.

“An accredited financial counselor is like a financial driving instructor: they don’t care what car you buy or drive; their job is to teach you how to drive safely, responsibly and independently,” she said. “Accredited financial counselor professionals bring a strong focus on personal finance and are all accredited by the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education.”

Saboe-Wounded Head added that the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education is one of the oldest and most respected organizations offering financial counseling and coaching certifications.

“Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education is unique because it strives to ensure that individuals and families, like yours, can navigate what we’ve called the ‘alphabet soup’ of financial designations you’re likely to encounter while shopping the extensive menu of professionals offering financial advice,” said Saboe-Wounded Head. “In this way, Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education ensures that people have access to the highest standard of financial advice that fits their needs, at any stage of life.”

An accredited financial counselor considers the client’s complete financial life when administering advice, and they draw on a wide range of financial expertise to do so.

“Let’s face it, most Americans need to get their financial feet on the ground before taking the stock market by storm,” said Saboe-Wounded Head. “Accredited financial counselor professionals are the perfect guides to getting you to this goal … and beyond.”

More about accredited financial counselors

• An accredited financial counselor does not sell financial products but, rather, focuses solely on providing unbiased financial education and guidance specific to your unique situation and needs.

• An accredited financial counselor assists individuals and families in the complex process of financial decision-making, including creating budgets, getting out of debt, modifying ineffective money management behaviors, and even helping prepare for retirement.

“No matter where you are on life’s continuum, it’s possible to develop the skills and knowledge needed to realize your goals and achieve financial security,” said Saboe-Wounded Head.