This is especially true for women who are new to being directly responsible for their financial futures. As a mother, a soon-to-be grandmother and a certified financial planning professional, I can’t stress how important it is for women of all ages to take this journey.

Back to basics

Start by understanding the basics of your financial situation. How much do you have left to spend each month after necessary expenses? What sort of debt do you hold?

Next, consider your options for saving such as employer retirement plans, your overall feelings about investing and where you want to be in the next 20, 30 or 40 years.

"Your needs are going to look much different from that of your parents, friends and sometimes your spouse. Your advisor should proactively learn what makes you happy."

Once you have compiled this information, it’s time to start the search process. My biggest piece of advice for selecting the right advisor is to find someone who listens more than they talk. This may sound counterintuitive as you’re looking to this individual for advice, but you want someone who has a firm grasp on who you are and the goals you’ve set.

Getting to know you

The right advisor should initially spend more time asking questions such as “What do you want out of life?” and “What problems are you hoping to solve?” than providing guidance. Your needs are going to look much different from that of your parents, friends and sometimes your spouse. Your advisor should proactively learn what makes you happy.

As you search, there are dozens of other helpful resources that can help determine what kind of advisor you’re looking for and how to find one that’s a good fit for you. But take your time and don’t settle—the right financial advisor is out there and waiting to meet and help you.