6 Steps to Finding a Financial Professional
STEP 1: DON’T GO IT ALONE!
There are many decisions to make when preparing for retirement. Search for professionals you can trust and who focus on providing strategies and products that may help you become more confident in your retirement income strategies. These experienced professionals won’t typically be found in the form of your favorite bank teller, nor at the local coffee shop, beauty salon or golf course.
We believe that a complete review consists of working with an experienced team of professionals, consisting of a qualified estate planning attorney, a Registered Investment Advisor and a licensed insurance producer who have combined experience in asset planning for retirees and pre-retirees.
STEP 2: IF IT SOUNDS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE, IT PROBABLY IS.
Unfortunately, some of you may have heard about retirees who have made poor decisions because they bought into a “great opportunity.” For instance, if you hear about an account that guarantees anything over 6 percent when you know darn well the bank down the road is paying 1-3 percent on certificates of deposit, you better think twice. That’s a giant, waving red flag. When you hear something that sounds good and you want to believe it, ask more questions like: “So, what are the strings attached?” If someone tells you, “No strings,” then most likely, you need to turn and run.
There are many financial products with different features. Therefore, it’s important to understand the details, benefits and restrictions and how they pertain to your individual situation. You need to know what they are and if they are acceptable to you and in line with your planning goals. Always use and trust your own good judgment and common sense.
STEP 3: UNDERSTAND COMMISSION BROKERS.
As a consumer, it’s important to understand how your financial advisor is compensated. Why? Because if you are paying fees for advice from a financial advisor, you may want to feel that the services and value you receive are commensurate with the amount of fees you are being charged. While this “measurement” is subjective in nature and may vary by client and what is important to him or her, the commonly held truth remains — you shouldn’t pay for more than you’re getting in return.
Regardless of which financial vehicles you choose in what’s known as the “risk world,” you may be paying one form of fee or another. Generally speaking, you may be able to lower fees by reallocating a portion of your assets into select conservative vehicles (such as fixed annuities, certificates of deposit, money market accounts, etc.). In addition, you may be able to keep the same portion of your portfolio in the market and still reduce fees. However, to do so, it’s important to know what you are currently paying. The “Investment Fee Analysis” in our holistic financial review process can show you precisely how much you’re currently spending in annual fees on your portfolio.
STEP 4: BE CAREFUL WITH ONLINE “RESOURCES.”
Information should be viewed with a skeptical eye. Today, it is not uncommon for retirees to jump online to do research. The critical question is, are you getting information from a credible source? This can be difficult to decipher online. A few ways to evaluate whether a website is credible or not is to read the “About Us” page and/or look to see if the URL is a .org or .edu extension. These are used by nonprofit organizations and education institutions. Information overload could be another problem. If you enter the keyword “revocable trust” on Google, you can come up with about 962,000 articles, websites and “resources” to consider.
Online resources can provide you some background information, but finding a team of professionals to talk with can help you more directly when you have questions specific to your situation.
STEP 5: DEMAND PROOF!
There’s nothing worse than getting sold a bad idea. Slick talk can be very persuasive, but it may have negative financial consequences. When seeking professional advice, we recommend that you assess just how experienced your potential advice giver really is. How that person answers the following questions can help give you a good idea of his or her qualifications and passion for his or her work:
Do you invest in your professional knowledge?
This question is a great way to gauge the prospective advisor’s commitment to staying current on industry topics and potential ways to help you meet your retirement income goals. Financial services is an ever- evolving industry, so beware of“financial professionals” who simply pass an exam to become licensed and never commit to ongoing education beyond that point. For example, a multidisciplinary lawyer who takes continuing education courses annually is likely to have more experience in this field and may be more up to date on the strategies available and current laws that deal with financial services.
Do other professionals trust you to help their clients?
It’s common to ask for references, but we believe there is another option. It wouldn’t be too hard to find three or four people who like an advisor or lawyer and would give them a good reference. Our question is much different. It certainly means more than just having a friend or client say nice things about us. To our professional referral source it’s all about how well we get the job done. This is a much more credible source of information to assess just how good an advisor or lawyer is at his or her craft. Again, we believe that having a well-organized team of professionals — since no single person can know everything — provides a truly effective way to plan for retirement.
STEP 6: BE SMART AND TRUST YOUR FEELINGS.
Everyone deserves a second opinion, and you can’t obtain a second opinion from the person who gave you the first. We believe that everyone who walks through our doors should be treated as if they were a member of our own family. We invite you to come meet us if you’d like to feel more comfortable and confident about your own future. If you are concerned that your current financial professional may not be the right person for you anymore, then we hope you will come see us. Our services can help you feel more confident in your retirement income strategies.
To learn more about us and our firm please visit us at www.bossretirement.com. If we can help you with any of your retirement planning needs, please give us a call at 801-990-5055.
Our firm assists retirees and pre-retirees in the creation of retirement strategies utilizing investment and insurance products. Advisory services offered through B.O.S.S. Retirement Advisors, a Registered Investment Advisory firm, and offered through Global Financial Private Capital, LLC, an SEC Registered Investment Advisor. Insurance products and services offered through B.O.S.S. Retirement Solutions. To see a list of services please visit us at bossretirement.com/services.
This content is provided for informational purposes only. It is provided by third parties and has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed. The information is not intended to be used as the sole basis for financial decisions, nor should it be construed as advice designed to meet the particular needs of an individual’s situation.
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