Written by John Moran
Retirement is the most significant financial transition in life. It is vital that your retirement financial advisor understands your needs and is able to make this transition with you. The following ten questions can help you understand the capabilities of a financial advisor when you start getting ready for retirement.
Q: Is your retirement advisor a true fiduciary?
There is no point paying for advice when it is not really in your best interests. True Fiduciary is legally bound to offer advice in the best interests of the client. You don’t want someone that offers advice for their benefit.
Q: Why do they work as a retirement financial advisor?
You don’t want to be with a professional that puts your interests first just because they are legally bound. You want someone that is honored to offer independent and unbiased advice.
Q: What is their fee?
There is only one rule of thumb when you are considering the fee – their services should surpass what you are paying. You should be able to get more by reducing your taxes, planning your estate, and building an appropriate asset allocation for retirement.
Q: Are they experienced?
Never choose a financial advisor with less than a decade or 10,000 hours experience. This is the amount of time required to truly develop expertise in a particular field.
Q: Are there any legal or regulatory issues?
It makes sense to verify that your financial advisor does not have any license, legal or regulatory issue. You are getting ready for retirement and you need to make sure that everything checks out.
Q: Is there a third party custodian involved?
While you want the firm to manage your investments, you certainly don’t want to take the risk of letting them hold it as well. The best financial firms like Fidelity use a third-party custodian to hold investments.
Q: Are retirement portfolios treated the same way as others?
It only makes sense that someone who is 70 and living off their investments requires a different strategy than someone at the peak of their career.
Q: Will they help you create an income strategy? Income strategy is vital to a comfortable retirement plan. You need a sound income strategy if you want to live comfortably after retirement. You need a financial advisor that is well-versed in developing diverse retirement portfolios and can help you sustain with a lifetime income.
Q: Is comprehensive financial planning offered?
Comprehensive financial planning is important at every step of your career and retirement. A sound retirement planner will be able to see the entire financial picture and make recommendations and adjustments in areas like asset preservation, taxes, cash flow, insurance planning, and income strategy.
Q: What are the biggest risks in retirement?
Steer clear of financial advisors who claim there are no risks or that they eliminate all types of risks. This is an ignorant, deceptive, and arrogant response. It’s crucial that your financial advisor is true, honest, and straight to your face. If there are potential risks with an investment, those should be clearly listed out.