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In a rare event I happened to see the big boss walking down the hallway toward our part of the building at work. One of the customer service representatives working in our department saw an opportunity. She had been struggling with many debts and thought the big boss would be a great person to ask for advice on handling overwhelming financial issues. First, we admired her bravery for approaching the big boss. At this company approaching the big boss was subtly discouraged. Secondly, it did make sense though. Here was a man who must of been a millionaire. He drove expensive vehicles, went on long exotic vacations, and wore nice clothes. He appeared to be very successful and thus, should know a lot about managing financial issues.
I watched as the customer service representative quickly explained her financial plight to the big boss. The big boss kindly stood there and listened, holding his mug of coffee, and rubbing his chin in thought. His advice to the customer service representative was that considering the number of issues she was facing she should go see her personal financial advisor. She politely thanked him and he continued on his way through the department.
The problem, as the customer service representative put it, was that the big boss didn't understand she barely had enough money left over for groceries, let alone a personal financial planner!
Now, in the big boss's defense his advice wasn't all bad. Getting help with problems that are outside your area of expertise is a wise move. If your leg is broken you go see a doctor, if your car axle is broken you go to a car repair specialist, and if your finances are broken it is in your best interest to see a coach that can help you. However, what the big boss didn't understand is that to many people hiring a personal finance coach is a luxury that simply isn't affordable. Fortunately, there is a great starting point that is accessible to anyone. The web offers a library of excellent resources that can help you walk through many money issues. One thing you don't want to do is just give up. That will only have more extreme negative consequences. Conduct a study online for websites that address your particular issues.
By the way, many colleges and universities look for volunteers that will allow classes to evaluate their problem and recommend solutions. In the case of personal finance a college may be teaching a graduate class in personal financial planning, estate planning, tax strategy, or insurance issues. The students in that class are often required to demonstrate what they've learned, prior to qualifying for graduation, by working through real problems with real people. No one is paid for this, but both the class and you would benefit from this exercise.
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