Seeking financial planner for lower income
February 12, 2021 9:49 AM   Subscribe

I am looking for a fee-only financial planner to help me figure out what to do with my limited income and savings and how to try to establish some financial security. I make about 65% of my local AMI, only just enough to support myself and my disabled adult son, pay my bills, and deal with student loans and credit card debt, but very little left over for savings. I am 60 years old and I don't own my home but would dearly like to.

I am very new to even the limited financial security I have now. Due to severe poverty in my 20s and early 30s, a very spotty job track, an ex-husband who screwed me financially, and awful credit until just about 4 years ago, I never dealt with credit cards or even meager savings until now. I also have to think about how long I'll be able to work because of my age and what planning options are available to me.

There are lots of pieces of the puzzle, and I'm not equipped to figure it all out. I looking for professional financial planners to work with lower income clients--not ones who specialize in investing. I've been googling, but it's very difficult to find any real info--names--among all the ads. I live in the Boston area, but obviously remote options are fine.
posted by primate moon to Work & Money (4 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I think you may get better results using the term "financial counselor" rather than "financial planner". Financial planners, as you found, are often focused on investments and wealthier clients, but financial counselors are more focused on low-income clients and navigating spending, debt, credit, taxes, housing, and other pieces of your financial picture.
posted by mosst at 9:57 AM on February 12 [2 favorites]

Roxbury Center for Financial Empowerment (a government service). I hate the thought of your spending money on a planner when the kind of advice you need is probably quite different. Bonus: they will probably be able to direct you to any additional resources available to people at your income level that you may not be aware of.
posted by praemunire at 11:00 AM on February 12 [5 favorites]

Some other key words you might try for searching:
Financial education
Financial Literacy
Charities offering financial education in Boston (or literacy)

When I search for things like that, I see some organizations for low income people. Mostly with help for getting out of debt, but they also have classes on different topics related to finances.

That Roxbury Center in the comment above looks like a good choice too.
posted by CathyG at 1:12 PM on February 12

Other Boston area orgs that offer financial counseling/coaching:

JVS Boston

Codman Square Neighborhood Development Corp

Jamaica Plain NDC


posted by yarrow at 6:48 AM on February 14

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