Financial Planning Day aims to help get people on the right track

BARRINGTON, R.I. (WPRI) – A majority of Americans admit they don’t have a long-term financial plan and because of this, a local organization is offering free financial planning.

Heather Ferro is a family therapist. For years, she’s relied on a financial planner to help her make important financial decisions, like buying a new house.

“It’s really more like a partnership,” Ferro said. “I have the ideas of where I want to go. She has the advice on how to get there.”

Most people aren’t as organized. A Gallup poll found that less than 30 percent of Americans prepare for a long term financial plan.

“Some people come in and are actually doing very well and just don’t know it,” said Donna Sowa Allard, a Certified Financial Planner. “Other people know that they’re not doing so well and are ready to take some action to correct it.”

Sowa Allard is part of the Financial Planning Association of Rhode Island. The organization is preparing for its first ever Financial Planning Day, where anyone can meet one-on-one with a certified financial planner for free.

“It could be debt management, saving for retirement, is my portfolio balanced properly?” Sowa Allard said. “Some people will have estate planning questions. I mean, nothing is out of bounds.”

Ferro thinks it is a great opportunity for people to get some unbiased financial advice. She says she is on track to reach her financial goals.

“You don’t go to the financial adviser and they just make you wealthy,” Ferro said. “I don’t think it works like that. You have to follow good advice and set goals for yourself and with some discipline.”

Financial Planning Day is on Oct. 14 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the Central Library in Cranston.

It is important to arrive prepared with any recent statements or documents that may help the financial planners understand your situation.