News and Commentary

Financial Advisors Can Help Guide You Through Major Life Events by Shane Phillips, CFA, CAIA, CFP ®

Growing a family, buying a home and retiring from your professional career are exciting life events that people talk about but few plan for. If you put off planning for these happy occasions, imagine how little time you devote to preparing for life’s unfortunate realities, such as losing a job, becoming disabled or passing away, leaving family members without the emotional and financial support they need.

Following are four major life events that financial advisors can help you navigate through to help you achieve your long-term financial success.

Getting Married

Saying “I do” requires a change in your financial plan to address the shared goals of you and your new spouse. You both must be on the same page about money and spending, considering that financial disputes are a leading cause of marital stress and divorce. Talk with your spouse about your wishes and desires and work together to establish a plan for achieving your shared goals, which may begin with purchasing a home.

Becoming a Homeowner

Buying a house, apartment, or townhouse is a tremendous investment that, for most people, represents their most significant asset and possibly their first experience using debt to finance that purchase. When you have a home with a mortgage, you should consider how you and your spouse will keep up your mortgage payments if one of you loses a job or passes away. Additional consideration should be given to how your financial circumstances will change in the future with children.

Expanding your Family

When accounting for inflation, the average cost of raising a child from birth to age 18 in 2023 is more than $331,000, according to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. College comes with additional living costs and tuition, which in 2023-2034 averages between $11,260 per year at an in-state school to $41,540 per year at a private university, according to the College Board. While you may use a tax-advantaged 529 plan to save for a young child’s future education, you will also need to consider how you will set aside those funds while also saving for your future retirement.


Retirement may seem like a lifetime away when you first get a job and begin a family. However, the earlier you start planning and saving, the more likely you will afford the retirement lifestyle you envision for yourself in the future. Remember that as you age, your health may deteriorate and require medical expenses that can quickly deplete your retirement savings and sabotage your plans for your golden years.

The more you delay planning, the less prepared you and your family members will be to manage through these life experiences and preserve wealth over the long term. Instead, consider working with experienced financial advisors who can initiate the planning process and help to ensure that the strategies you employ today continue to address all of the critical details that are most important to you and your family over your lifetime.

To learn more about how you can prepare for some of life’s most common and financially significant events, listen to Provenance Wealth Advisors Relatable Finance podcast at

About the Author: Shane Phillips, CFA, CAIA, CFP®, is a senior portfolio manager and financial advisor with Provenance Wealth Advisors (PWA), an Independent Registered Investment Advisor affiliated with Berkowitz Pollack Brant Advisors + CPAs and a registered representative with PWA Securities, LLC. He can be reached at the firm’s Fort Lauderdale, Fla., office at (954) 712-8888 or

Provenance Wealth Advisors (PWA), 200 E. Las Olas Blvd., 19th Floor, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33301 (954) 712-8888.

 Shane Phillips, CFA, CAIA, CFP®, is a registered representative of and offers securities through PWA Securities, LLC, Member FINRA/SIPC.

 This material is being provided for information purposes only and is not a complete description, nor is it a recommendation. The information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee that the foregoing material is accurate or complete. There is no guarantee that these statements, opinions or forecasts provided herein will prove to be correct.

Any opinions are those of the advisors of PWA and not necessarily those of PWA Securities, LLC. While we are familiar with the tax provisions of the issues presented herein, as Financial Advisors of PWAS, we are not qualified to render advice on tax or legal matters. You should discuss any tax or legal matters with the appropriate professional. Prior to making any investment decision, please consult with your financial advisor about your individual situation.

 * Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and federally registered CFP (with flame design) in the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete the CFP Board’s initial and ongoing certification requirements.

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Updated on December 18, 2023