We hear this a lot: “I don’t need a retirement planner yet; I’m still years away from retiring.” Sadly, many people believe that planning for their retirement isn’t necessary until they’re in their late 50s or 60s – ready to retire in the next couple of years. However, just because you may want to retire at a certain age, doesn’t mean you’re actually able to. The sooner you put a plan in place, the easier it is to reach your retirement goals, because you know what you have to do and how to make it happen. You have a certain goal in mind and a strategy on how to get there.
A retirement planner shouldn’t just help you with Social Security questions and Medicare, although these are common concerns. A retirement planner can also help you build and implement a comprehensive plan to guide you into and through retirement. A retirement planner should put in all the leg work today to help you pursue an independent and happy future after you stop working.
For example, at Align-Wealth Partners, our team of Certified Financial Planners (CFPs) will often begin a conversation by establishing what’s most important to our client both today and later on. From there, we will evaluate the current financial situation and establish a plan to help the client get to where he or she wants to be when retiring. We assess things like:
- Current savings and investments
- Risk tolerance
- Sources of retirement income
- Desired lifestyle in retirement
- Whether you’re on track to meet your retirement goals
Our retirement planners help our clients address any challenges they may face early on, so when the time does come to retire, they’re prepared; not looking at their retirement situation for the first time.
It’s never too early to start discussing your future. Contact Align-Wealth Partners to see how we can help.
Services a Retirement Planner Can Provide
It’s important to note that not all retirement planners are created equal. Also, retirement planning in Baton Rouge, for example, can be different from other places. There are different programs, different tax laws and different concerns when it comes to retiring.
When it comes to finding the right retirement planner for you, here are 5 services that you should look for. Based on your circumstances, you may need one service or all 5.
- Financial Planning (College, Retirement, Charitable)
- Investment Advice (Asset Allocation, Manager Selection, Risk Management)
- Insurance Products (Life, Health, Long-Term Care, Annuities)
- Tax Advice and Services (Planning, Tax Returns)
- Estate Planning (Trusts, Wills, Probate)
An easier way to look at it might be to ask yourself what services you want your retirement planner to handle for you. Then verify that he or she can.
While there are many specific services that a retirement planner should provide, there’s also emotional benefits to hiring the right person. When you can trust that your retirement planner is working in your best interest, keeping you abreast of any changes with your plan and making sure you’re still on the right path, there’s a confidence that can be priceless. Life is too short to worry. This is one of the reasons why many people hire a retirement planner in the first place – they are not the financial expert and they want to make sure their retirement plans are actually tangible.
By 2056, the population that is 65 and older is projected to be larger than those under 18. But still, few 30- and 40-year-olds have established a retirement plan or even looked at how this shift in population will affect them and their Social Security benefits.
Why You Shouldn’t Put It Off
Retirement planning works best, in my opinion, when you have a good plan put in place that you can follow. Life doesn’t always go as planned, so if you’re already working with a retirement planner, he or she can help you adjust to any new circumstances.
Here’s another scenario: Say you don’t discuss retirement until you’re a few years away from hanging up your boots, so to speak. What happens if you can’t? What if you don’t have enough money? What if you still have too much debt? What if you only have enough money to maintain your current lifestyle but not to travel, as you had hoped to?
People are also living longer these days, so are your confident that you’ll be able to outlive your retirement income?
Social Security and a Pension aren’t always enough to live on.
In many cases, retirement isn’t just about the individual either. What will happen to your spouse? Your dependents? Your older parents if it’s fallen on you to care for them? Your adult children who may need help later in life?
The longer you wait, the less time your money has to make money, and the less time you have to grow your nest egg by bringing home regular income checks.
A comprehensive retirement plan can address all major expenses you foresee – and some you personally may not have thought about yet!
What to Ask a Retirement Planner
When you first meet with a retirement planner, he or she should ask you a lot of questions about your financial situation, goals and concerns. But you should also interview them! It’s your hard-earned money after all, so you should make sure you’re working with the best person for the job. Mistakes can be expensive.
Here are 10 important questions that you should ask:
- What does retirement planning mean to you?
- What are your credentials?
- What is your experience working with a client like me? (For example, do you work with employees in the petrochemical industry?)
- Are you licensed to sell investment and/or insurance products for commission?
- Can you provide financial advice and services for retirement assets (401k, IRA)?
- Do you have any disclosures on your compliance record(s)?
- How and when will you communicate with me?
- Are you willing to disclose all of the expenses that are deducted from my accounts?
- Do you provide performance measurement reports?
- What company will have physical possession of my assets