Retirement is a period of your life that may well last thirty years and you likely have questions. For example, when can you retire? What will you need? Will you have enough to last? What about taxes? When should you start drawing Social Security? What pension option should you choose? And more. And while most financial advisors are eager to "help," it can be a real challenge to find the right guidance when you consider that the primary function of nearly every bank, brokerage, and insurance representative is simply to SELL you products... their products... products you may not even need.
REAL retirement planning isn't about investment returns or the purchase of a product -- it's about quality of life... your life! When planning for your retirement, you need answers to BIG questions, not products with BIG commissions or fees. You need someone to help sort through the mass of information, misinformation, and confusion to help you make informed decisions about your retirement and avoid costly mistakes along the way. Consequently, it’s REALLY important to seek advice from someone who has an obligation to focus on YOUR bottom line... not theirs.
One of the best ways to get retirement planning advice is to work with an advisor who adheres to the advice-only model. What is advice-only? The advice-only model means:
- The advisor’s firm is a Registered Investment Adviser (RIA) registered with the SEC or at the state level.
- The advisor acts as a full-time fiduciary and puts your interest first.
- The advisor has a Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®) certification or other relevant professional credential.
- The advisor does NOT sell products that pay the advisor a commission (life insurance, annuities, load funds, individual muni bonds, non-traded REITs, limited partnerships, …).
- The advisor does NOT charge a fee to manage your money. (e.g. a fee calculated as a percentage of your asset value)
Some of the best sources where you can find advice-only advisors include:
The advisors listed in directories from the above-named links are all fee-only, fiduciary advisors – the minimum standard you should demand when planning for your financial future. However, not all of the advisors listed are “advice-only.”
Entering into an advisory relationship is an important decision that has significant lifelong implications. To receive answers to your big questions related to retirement or anything financial, seek the services of an advisor who puts your interests first without the conflicts. Seek the services of an “advice-only” advisor.