Spoiler Alert: The best financial advisor is one that helps you set and achieve financial goals in a way that fits your needs and budget.
It may have occurred to you just how complex and necessary ‘getting it right’ is when it comes to saving, investing, maximizing the value of your wealth. If so, you’ve probably asked yourself if you should employ a retirement advisor. Many people seek out financial advice from a professional, but with so many options to choose from it may seem overwhelming to find the right advisor.
What is a Retirement Advisor?
According to a 2019 CNBC and Acorns Invest survey, over a third of Americans don’t have a good understanding of what a financial advisor actually does. That figure balloons to 46% for Millennials.
Broadly speaking, a retirement advisor helps you set financial retirement goals and develop a plan to reach them. Retirement advisors can operate independently, or work for an advisory firm or bank. One is not necessarily better than the other. The type of retirement advisor you choose largely depends on the help you need and the type of relationship you’re looking for.
Questions to Ask
With the sheer amount of advisors out there, you need to make sure you choose one that is right for you. By asking yourself (and your potential advisor) questions, you’ll be able to weed out ones that don’t align with your hopes and desires for your golden years. Questions to ask include:
- Does the advisor have the traits needed to handle the money you’ve built up over a lifetime of hard work?
- How do they get paid? (Fee-only/fee-based)
- What experience does the advisor have?
- Will they track your investment cost basis for you?
- Can they file your tax return and help you with other tax-related questions?
- Do they look at insurance products including life insurance, long-term care, and annuities?
- Can they help you plan your estate and distribution of wealth?
- Will they refer you to another professional if the firm cannot provide the service itself?
- Is there a succession plan, in case something happens to your advisor?
Expectations Getting Started
If you’re feeling out of your depth thinking about your retirement income planning, a good retirement advisor helps you set financial retirement goals and develop a plan to reach them. They should also help qualify, prioritize and quantify your retirement goals. Additionally, your advisor can act as a champion to keep you focused as you approach retirement age.
Before you agree upon a set retirement income advisor, be sure you are comfortable they have your best interests at heart and your individual needs at the forefront of their professional suggestions.
Perhaps most obviously, a retirement advisor has specialized retirement knowledge that you likely do not. They can look at your plan objectively, and help you figure out what is working and what may need improvement. Your advisor can also help you stay level-headed when the market experiences volatility, preventing you from buying or selling at the wrong time out of fear or anxiety.
Once you’ve chosen an advisor, be sure to keep the lines of communication open. Reviewing your plan at least twice per year can help you assess your progress and keep you on track. If your goals evolve or you experience a major income or lifestyle change, you may want to schedule an additional meeting to adapt your plan.
Retirement Income Planning from CKS Summit Group
At CKS Summit Group, our focus is to bring you fresh new ideas for your retirement income. Our cutting edge tactical portfolios help our clients achieve safe, healthy growth of their savings and preservation of their principal balance.
We design plans which are specifically structured to limit downside stock market risk. This allows us to protect our client’s assets while providing them with strategies for achieving effective tax reduction and inflation protection.