What You Deserve In Retirement
In contrast to the divided world we live in, one thing that’s easy to agree on is that the standard services a financial advisor provides are, well… far from standardized. Services offered by advisors are truly, “all over the map”.
I could imagine new home construction in the 1900s before building codes. Every home builder would do something different in the absence of a minimum standard. You would likely end up with a house, but it may be of questionable quality.
The financial advisory world is in the 1900s. Yes, you can hire an advisor. Yes, you can get advice. But no, there is no standard set of services a client should expect. So let’s set a standard right here and now. This is especially important for those in the later stages of retirement planning.
Here are the things you absolutely need from an advisor:
You need a simple explanation on how your advisor is compensated.
Of course an advisor will be compensated for his/her ongoing retirement management services but none of the expenses you pay should ever be complicated nor undisclosed.
Quality advisors are paid in straightforward ways and, importantly, don’t have conflicts of interest. Make sure your advisor’s compensation structure is clear and simple enough to explain to your spouse.
You need clear financial explanations from your advisor.
Asset allocation, tax-deferred, total return, real return, equity, fixed income, risk tolerance, ETF’s, asset segmentation, factor investing, indexing, bond ladder, Russel 3000, growth vs value, etc…
You don’t want an advisor that batters you with financial jargon. You need an expert in retirement planning and management to guide you while also explaining things in terms you can understand.
You need an straightforward report that measures your progress against your retirement plan.
No, performance isn’t the only thing when it comes to a successful retirement but unless you know how you are doing against the plans you’ve created, how can you judge if you are getting good value or making the appropriate progress?
You need to know how your investments are performing versus appropriate benchmarks and your retirement plan.
So if you agree that you need those things, let me go one step farther and say you deserve these things. Say it out loud. You owe it to yourself.
“I deserve a fee structure I can explain to my spouse or friends.”
“I deserve explanations from my advisor that I can understand.”
“I need a simple report so I can understand my progress vs my plan.”
Now, as you know, this isn’t a comprehensive list of things you need from an advisor. But without this as a basic foundation, how will you remain confident in retirement?
Now, at least, you know what you deserve.
Please Note: Speak to your tax, legal or financial advisor for specific advice about your particular plans and situation.
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