Questions To Ask Financial Advisor About Their Job
21.How Often Do You Communicate With Your Clients?
22.What Is Your Investment Philosophy?
23.What Extra Fees Should I Be Aware Of?
24.How Do You Earn Money?
25.Do You Have a Set Account Minimum?
26.What Types of Clients Do You Specialize In Serving?
27.What Services Do You Offer?
28.Do You Have Any Disclosures?
29.Are You a Fiduciary?
30.What Certifications Do You Have?
Question #: How Will I Pay For Your Financial Services
As part of your agreement, the financial professional should clearly tell you in writing how they will be paid for the services to be provided. Financial professionals can be paid in several ways
- A salary paid by the company for which the financial professional works. The financial professional’s employer receives payment from you or others, either in fees or commissions, in order to pay the financial professional’s salary.
- Appointment fees based on an hourly rate, a flat rate or a percentage of your assets and/or income.
- Commissions paid by the client for investments sold to you to carry out the financial planning recommendations.
- A combination of fees and commissions. In this situation, advisors charge fees for the amount of work done to develop financial planning recommendations, and they also receive commissions from any products sold. In addition, some planners may offset some portion of the fees you pay if they receive commissions for carrying out their recommendations.
- A combination of flat hourly fees and percentage fees. For example, Compass Financial charges a flat hourly rate for financial planning services. These clients pay the same hourly rate no matter their income level. Our advisory investment accounts charge a percentage fee of the assets under management .
What Do You Like About Your Job
No matter what type of professional you’re looking for, it helps to find someone who likes their joband who isn’t just punching a clock.
Ideally, your financial advisor will enjoy helping people and have a passion for all things finance, whether that’s helping you budget, pay down debt, manage healthcare costs, develop tax strategies, build wealth, and ensure you have enough income in retirement.
Body language says a lot. Is the advisor making eye contact with you, smiling, and using hand gestures while speaking ? Or are they slumped in a chair, distracted, and staring at their phone ?
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How Do I Spend From My Retirement Savings
This is a common retirement question since youve spent your life accumulating savings. Now, its time to use your retirement savings for income.
Most people move money into an IRA and spend from those accounts. For example, you might roll money out of your 401 or 403 plan and place it into an IRA with a financial advisor or discount brokerage. Then, you can withdraw money in several ways:
- You can establish monthly transfers to your checking account
- You can take a lump sum out when large expenses come up
Logistically, its pretty straightforward to spend from your savings. Any IRA provider allows you to link to your bank account, and you can sell investments to fund your withdrawal. Just be aware of any costs or penalties for taking withdrawals, depending on where you invest. Also, be aware that withdrawals from retirement accounts may result in taxable income, so its smart to ask a financial planner and tax advisor what the consequences might be.
The key is to manage those withdrawals so the money lasts for the rest of your life.
Convert Home Equity To Savings:
For many people approaching retirement, their home equity can exceed their savings. Converting a chunk of that equity into income producing assets by downsizing, moving, getting a reverse mortgage, or using various other strategies can close the gap between income and expenses.
For a complete listing of strategies to convert home equity into income producing savings, read 27 Retirement Savings Catch-Up Strategies For Late Starters. You’ll also find many more tips in that article not mentioned here that can help you close the savings gap.
Each of these strategies alone, depending on your personal situation, has the potential to increase your retirement savings enough to solve the how much problem.
When you put them all together, however, they’re a powerful set of tools that can substantially change the income side of your financial picture.
Now we’ll look at the expense side of the how much equation.
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Wow You Just Learned A Lot
Hopefully this is helpful. If you need to find a different financial advisor, you can find fee-only financial advisors from several other sources:
- XY Planning Network features fee-only planners with the CFP® designation.
- NAPFA includes fee-only advisors only.
- Garrett Planning Network includes advisors who work on an hourly basis.
Want to talk about this more? To get answers to your questions, start with a short, no-obligation phone or video call. You can share whats going on in your world and describe your questions. Then, well talk about how I typically help people. If it makes sense to work together , we explore the next steps. Learn more.
Whats My Retirement Income Plan
Once you retire, your income situation will change. Its critical to have a well-thought out retirement income plan to identify your income sources and expenses, so you can understand what distributions are needed from your savings and retirement accounts. There are a lot of questions to ask when building your income plan, and getting answers now may be key to a comfortable retirement. Ultimately you should be able to answer the question, How can I ensure that I wont run out of money?The sooner your plan is put in place, the more time you have to make adjustments and ensure your plan can succeed.
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What’s Your Investment Philosophy
This is the most basic of questions and one any retirement advisor should be able to answer without hesitation. You should hear about the discipline behind investment strategies and how those strategies will help you achieve an annual return designed to reach your investment goals. This should all be provided in simple terms you can understand.
Also, you should receive information designed to make sure you understand and are able to navigate tax laws and avoid emotional responses to market fluctuations.
How To Prepare For Retirement: How Can I Reduce Expenses In Retirement
There are two sides to the making ends meet equation, and so far we have focused only on income. The other side, expenses, is at least as important, and often easier to solve.
The reason is because it’s often easier to figure out how to live on $1,000 less per month than it is to find an extra $300,000 in savings .
The two scenarios are mathematically equivalent in terms of balancing a retirement budget, but there are many more fun and creative solutions to reducing spending by $1,000 per month then there are ways to surface $300,000 to $400,000 in savings.
Yes, spending just $1,000 per month is roughly equivalent to the $300,000 in assets required to support that spending. Shocking, but true. It’s known as the Rule of 300.
Let’s look at a few possibilities to chip away at the expense side of your monthly budget without diminishing lifestyle.
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Gather Documents To Bring To Your Meeting
Your financial professional wont be able to get into specifics without an accurate picture of your financial situation.
Make sure to bring this information to your meeting:
- Latest statements for all your accounts s, 529s, savings)
- Information about other investments or assets
- Compensation details
- Monthly expenses
- Recent tax records
- Estate planning information
Remember, you dont have to go it alone. Your financial professional is a valuable resource who can help you create a financial strategy that meets your needs and goals.
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What Questions Should You Ask Your Financial Adviser
The relationship you have with your financial adviser is important, and these questions will help you establish whether your adviser is someone you trust to put your interests first.
- What is my current pension valuation?
- What are my safeguard benefits? Do I lose them if I transfer my pension?
- What is the likelihood that HM Revenue and Customs will delist your recommended scheme?
- Are you independent or linked to specific financial product providers?
- Can I benefit from a double taxation agreement ?
- How much will my pension transfer cost me?
- Will my current provider charge me for transferring my pension?
- Will the value of my contributions decrease after the transfer?
- How much do I need as a monthly drawdown?
- Do I have enough saved in my pension to pay for the lifestyle I want in retirement?
- Are you regulated and, if so, by whom?
A pensions analysis is a vital part of understanding which pension options are right for you. Whatever the value of any pension you are considering transferring, we strongly suggest taking professional advice before delving into this complex area and recommend booking your review with one of our team today.
How Are You Compensated
Advisors are paid differently for their services. Some work on a fee-based arrangement while some are commission-based. For fee-based professionals, they can be paid by the hour or per project. The payment can be monthly, quarterly or one-time only. Fee-based advisors do not earn from selling investments they are paid for the strategic advice they provide. On the other hand, commission-based advisors earn when financial products are purchased.
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Evaluation Question #: Does My Financial Advisor Take The Time To Understand My Long
Maybe youre investing because you want the freedom to retire early, start your own business, give generously, or leave a legacy for your kids and grandkids. Do those details come up when you meet with your financial advisor? Whatever your high-definition dream for retirement is, make sure your pro understands your vision for the future.
Working with a financial advisor who shares your values and understands the financial journey youre on is important. If your advisor recommends going into debt for a vacation or getting a home equity loan: Run!
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What Questions Should I Ask About Retirement Planning
5 MIN. READ
One of the most important decisions to make regarding your retirement is deciding whether you need help and, if you do, how to select an investment professional. Given the impact a quality financial advisor can have, who and how you select from the endless options available to you may determine how satisfied you are during your retirement years.
A comprehensive retirement plan can help you achieve your goals, however, that largely depends on getting good answers from an advisor who has your best interests in mind. As you begin to think more seriously about retirement and search for the advice of a financial advisor, its important to ask some key questions to help you understand the best path forward.
What Types Of Clients Do You Generally Work With
You dont want to be the biggest or the smallest client for an advisor, McNary says. If youre the biggest, your situation may have complexities he or she is not prepared to handle. If you are the smallest, you may not get the time and attention you feel you deserve.
You should also ask if the advisor focuses on a certain age group, Chinn says.
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Who Is Your Custodian
Ideally, your financial advisor has hired an independent custodian, such as a brokerage, to hold your investments, rather than act as his or her own custodian à la Bernie Madoff, the notorious financial advisor who defrauded clients through a multibillion-dollar Ponzi scheme.
That provides an important safety check. If I send my clients performance information and it tells them how much I say is in their account, they can go online any minute and double-check, Finn says.
Move To A Lower Cost Area:
For people living in high cost areas where housing prices have soared, think about relocating to a lower cost housing market. Consider moving out-of-state or possibly to a new country.
The price differentials between certain housing markets can be enough to fund a significant portion of some people’s retirement needs.
For example, $300,000 of equity harvested from your home reinvested at 7% produces $21,000 per year in income, and your expenses such as insurance, maintenance, property taxes, medical, and food will likely drop as well.
The savings can be substantial, and the new location could be even more enjoyable than where you currently live.
The real measure of your wealth is how much you’d be worth if you lost all your money. Unknown
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What Services Do You Offer Are You Independent
The adviser must tell you what services they offer, including whether theyre an independent adviser.
The phrase independent financial adviser has a particular meaning thats set out in the rules that financial advisers have to follow.
To be called independent, a financial adviser must be able to offer a range of products from across the whole market and provide unbiased and unrestricted advice based on a comprehensive and fair analysis of that market.
An adviser might be whats called restricted if they only recommend certain types of investment products and/or products from a limited number of providers.
What Are Your Qualifications
In general, youre looking for someone with advanced financial and retirement-planning education. Designations to consider include Certified Financial Planner , Chartered Financial Consultant , and Chartered Life Underwriter .
Another credential high on the list is Retirement Income Certified Professional , which involves retirement-specific planning training and education. Verification sites such as Designation Check can help you search for a qualified professional, or verify that the certification they claim is accurate.
Anyone who purports to be a retirement advisor should be a fiduciary.
How Should I Invest My Retirement Savings
Your early years of retirement are critical for avoiding major losses. Taking withdrawals when your account balance is down can cause you to run out of money sooner than anticipated. However, that doesnt necessarily mean you need to avoid risk altogether.
Youll hopefully live for many years during retirement. Over time, prices rise, and you may need your account balances to grow some to keep up with inflation and fund an income stream that lasts for the rest of your life. If you keep your money in low-yielding safe instruments, you might not get enough growth.
Finding the right balance is difficult, and its easy to get drawn into too-good-to-be-true investments that appeal to your desire to preserve money. A diversified mix of low-cost mutual funds or ETFs can help many people fund a comfortable retirement. The question becomes exactly how to spread your money among those investments, and that depends on your need for risk.
You can find a risk-tolerance quiz on this page, which may provide insight. Plus, strategies like bucketing can also provide peace of mind. Just remember that there are pros and cons to every strategy.
Important Questions To Ask Your Financial Advisor
There is no one-size-fit-all financial advice, it depends on your financial situation and personal goals
Choose an advisor with expertise in the area you require assistance with
Make sure you walk away from your first meeting aware of what steps you need to take next
Instead of guessing how you should develop your retirement plan, engaging a financial planner or consultant can better assist you in organising your goals and objectives before you retire.
You may be looking forward to a relaxing retirement where you spend time with the grandkids and volunteer in your local community, or doing the exact opposite and travelling around the globe.
A financial advisor can provide you with direction on how you can meet your goals and objectives in the most efficient and fiscally safe way possible.
Choosing The Right Financial Advisor For Your Needs And Values
Every financial advisor is different, so it’s important to have all your questions answered to find one that’s the right fit for you. There are many benefits of a financial advisor, so it’s important to look for an open, transparent and collaborative financial advisor who will work in your best interest and in a way that complements your financial style.
If youre considering working with a financial advisor, you can get started with Edward Jones today. Were a company thats built on relationships, so our financial advisors always start by understanding what’s important to you. They work with you to build personalized strategies that support you throughout your journey, so you can achieve the future you see for yourself and the ones you love.