No matter what your financial situation is, if you’re a senior and nearing retirement, you are going to have specific financial concerns. There are plenty of things you will need to budget for during retirement and the sooner you seek out an experienced financial advisor to guide you, the better off you are going to be.
Finances can be complicated to navigate for a layman, which is why many people, especially seniors, choose to find a certified financial planner (CFP) to help them navigate the ins and outs of how they should handle their money. If you are interested in working with a retirement planner but are not sure how to find one that is right for you, take the following five tips into account when carrying out your search.
Figure Out What You Want From a Financial Advisor
Before you do anything, you need to figure out what exactly you want a financial advisor to do for you. According to the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA), here are just a few of the steps you should take in order to find an advisor that will fit your needs.
- Discuss with your loved ones what your goals are
- Create a list of potential financial planning advisors, including referrals
- Research each one or have a family member help you
- Meet the candidates
- Review your goals and make sure the advisor you select can help you accomplish them
Once you’ve gone through these steps, you should be able to find an advisor that can help you meet your retirement goals.
Ask Around For Referrals
If you are a senior or approaching retirement, chances are you know a few other people in the same boat as you. Perhaps they have already been working with a financial advisor that they trust. A recommendation from a friend or family member is always a great place to start for finding someone for just about any need, and that includes financial advisors.
Every financial advisor has different specialties, so before diving head first into a relationship with a financial planner, do some research of your own and make sure they are a good fit. Ask people about their experiences with a particular financial advisor to learn more.
Make Sure To Seek Out Certified Financial Planners
There are many people working in the financial industry that will claim they are financial advisors, but if you want the best in the business you’ll need to find a certified financial advisor. A certified financial professional is trained to deal with specific challenges that uncertified advisors may not be able to handle. for living on a fixed income, budgeting for long- and short-term health-care costs, investing in retirement accounts, and acting as an estate planning guide. The Certified Financial Planner board provides a list of certified advisors who specialize in financial advising for seniors.
You’ll also want to make sure any certified financial planners you are considering are required to act as a fiduciary and that they work on a flat fee as opposed to on commission. A fee-only financial planner will act in your best interest, rather than to generate higher fees.
Financial Advisors Can Be a Lucrative Investment
On top of helping you through your financial planning process, financial advisors can also help to increase your financial returns. Even accounting for the fees you pay to an advisor, those who work with a professional see a higher increase in their investments than those who do not work with a financial advisor.
Consider Other Financial Help Options
Financial advisors are not the only way for seniors to get help with planning for retirement and dealing with their finances. Some of the other things a senior can do for help include:
- FINRA’s Securities Helpline for Seniors, at (844) 574-3577, is available to help older people gain knowledge about their investments.
- Geriatric-care management services connect older people and their families to resources that benefit their overall well-being, including financial planning.
- Elder-care financial planners are a cost-effective option for financial advising for seniors. EFPs work to develop an affordable financial plan for seniors by helping them cut care costs and take advantage of available public resources
- Registered financial gerontologists receive specialized training to understand the financial challenges facing today’s seniors, who are living longer than ever. Their goal is to help older people develop a financial plan that will last them well past their normal retirement years.
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