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How a money coach can help

At Money Matters, depending on the complexity of the situation, the average cost ranges from $1,500 to $2,500. At Money Mentors, the cost is $100 per session, with special rates if you plan on booking a series, which is encouraged to experience the full benefits of working with a coach.

"It's a really good investment in order to move financially forward because it will give you so many gains in the future," says Watson.

Do your homework
But before hiring a money coach, be sure to do your homework. "If they're working with an organization, you need to look at the credibility of the organization and the money coach themselves," says Watson. She suggests checking to see if both are certified with the Better Business Bureau, where you'll be able to see if there are any complaints against them or anything to be aware of.

As well, it's important to look at credentials. At Watson's organization, Money Mentors, all money coaches need to have taken an accredited financial counseling course. At Money Coaches Canada, coaches are required to have some financial experience either as a financial planner, at a bank or to have or be working towards their certified financial planning designation.

In terms of their background, many money coaches are ex-financial planners, says Walkington, herself included: "They were in the industry, saw the need, saw how great it is to help people, provide advice and help them move towards their goals. It's a very satisfying and rewarding career."

Aside from assessing their background and experience, before you commit Walkington recommends asking potential money coaches about how the process works, what sort of information they'll be looking for and what kind of advice they'll be suggesting. "Each money coach may have slightly different specialties or expertise, so you may want to get to know the money coach you're thinking of working with," she says.

But above all, Walkington says her clients come to her because they didn't really know where else to go. "I think there's a lot of people out there who need financial advice and financial education but they're not necessarily getting it from the right sources either because it's not the right fit or because they don't feel comfortable with the relationship," she says. "So when they find a money coach, it's the right fit for a lot of people."

Vanessa Santilli is a writer in Toronto.

-- Posted January 14, 2011
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