Most people go through a series of steps when they seek out a financial planner to help them with their retirement planning.
Step 1. Ask friends for referrals.
This is a good first step, as long as your piers are financially astute or if you perceive they are knowledgeable about finances.
If you think back about your conversations you have had with this person and they have always given you good common sense advice, then he or she is worthy of listening to.
On the other hand, if you remember them talking about an investment they made that sounded too good to be true or one of the next “up and coming” products that later turned out to be a bust, then it’s probably prudent to not put their recommendations into action.
Step 2. Research online.
There are numerous websites that are available to you to find out about a person’s credentials, licensure, and if there are any potential issues with a regulatory, civil and/or criminal agency.
Step 3. Once you have your list down to 5-10 individuals, sort them by years of experience.
If anyone in your list has less than 10 years of experience, take them out.
Anything shy of 10 years does not give the Advisor enough of life’s lessons to learn from.
Next, ask them if they are a “Fiduciary”?
This basically means with your investments, they have to always put your best interest first, not theirs.
Next sort them by their “Niche”.
In other words, if the Fee Based Financial Advisor’s average clientele is 35 years old, and you are thinking about retirement planning, this is obviously not a very good fit.
We believe that the Financial Advisor that helps you accumulate your assets during your beginning working years, is not necessarily the person who you should entrust with all your income planning taking you from age 55 or 65 to age 95.
This type of financial planning requires a different skill set.
There is much to learn about Social Security, all the different types of Income for life as well as Medicare or Long Term Care.
A wrong decision here will impact you for as long as you live.
Step 4. Lastly, set up meetings with at least 3 Advisors that meet your specific criteria.
See if they are good listeners to your concerns. Are they astute within the area of expertise you are in need of?
Do they have a presentable office as well as their supporting staff?
Ask yourself “am I comfortable with this individual?”
Do they explain different topics in a way that you understand?
A person can be brilliant with what they know, but that does not mean they can convey to you how you will actually live the next 20 to 30 years in Retirement and what steps you need to take now, in order to retire.
We would love the opportunity to be one of the 3 on your list.
Please schedule a no obligation social security analysis with our office today by calling Pam at 480.969.5667 of emailing us from the contact form on this page.