How to select a Financial Planner for Retirement – 5 Topics to Consider

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Unlike someone calling himself a CPA or a physician, just about anyone can call himself a “financial planner” or a “financial advisor”. Moreover, not all of them are unbiased in their advice and not all of them always act in their clients’ best interests. Are you wondering how to select a Financial Planner for Retirement? Read this article and you will find 5 topics you can consider.

To ensure your financial planner is well-qualified in personal finances and impartial in his advice, consider the following five things:

How to select a Financial Planner for Retirement?

Planning Credentials

Having a highly-regarded credential in financial planning, such as Certified Financial Planner (CFP) or Personal Financial Specialist (PFS). That will confirm that the professional you intend to work with has accepted the education and experience necessary to serve as a financial planner. CFP and PFS credentials are awarded to only those individuals who have met the certification requirements of education and experience in planning for personal finances. In addition, they have to pass the certification examinations and agree adhere to the practice standards and continuing education requirements.

Subject Matter Expertise

Financial planners are planning professionals, not unnecessarily subject matter experts. For example, a financial planner will be qualified in tax analysis and planning. Unlike a Certified Public Account (CPA) or an IRS Enrolled Agent (EA) he may not necessarily be a subject matter expert when it comes to tax rules Similarly. Work with a financial planner who is also a subject matter expert in those areas of personal finance that are important in achieving your financial goals.

Client Specialization

Not all financial planner for retirement serve all types of clients. Most specialize in serving only certain types of clients with specific profiles. For example, a personal planner may build his expertise and customize his services to serve only those individuals and families who are in certain professions, or a particular stage of life with specific financial goals and net worth. Ask wherever the planner specializes in serving only certain types of clients with specific profiles to determine whether he is the right fit for your situation and financial goals.

Fee structure

The fee structure large determinates which interests he serves best – his client’s or his own. A Fee-Only professional charges only fees for their advice whereas a Fee-Based professional not only charges fees but also earns commissions, referral fees and other financial incentives on the products and solutions that they recommend for you. Consequently, the advice from a fee-only one is more likely to be unbiased and in your best interests than the advice from a fee-based financial planner for retirement. Work with a professional whose fee structure is conflict-free and aligned to benefit you.

Availability

He or she should be regularly available, attentive, and accessible to you. Ask the planner how many clients he currently serves and the maximum number of clients he is planning to serve in the future regularly. This clients-to-planner ratio is one of the key factors in assessing your planner’s availability to you in the future. Also, ask which planning activities are typically performed by the planner and which ones are delegated to a para planner or other junior staff members. Lastly, make sure the planner is easily accessible via phone and email during normal business hours.

Once you have shortlisted a few well-qualified and unbiased financial planner for retirement in your local area, consult the ones who offer a FREE initial consultation first. During the initial consultation, assess the planner’s availability and any other professional attributes you are seeking in your financial planner.

Having a well-qualified and unbiased financial planner by your side is extremely important in your journey towards your financial goals. When searching for one, consider the planner’s professional credentials, client specialization, subject matter expertise, fee structure, and availability to select the right financial planner for retirement for your needs.

You can also see our article about Using Personal Finance Books As Motivators. There you will find some helpful informations about how you can get better with your finances. Also, it will help you save more for your retirement.


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