Advertisement
Financial Planning

7 Important Steps to Finding the Right Financial Adviser for You

Make sure you're working with financial professionals who understand your ultimate goals and know how to get you there in the most efficient way possible

Imagine reading a good book. You invest time and emotion into the book wondering how it will turn out. There are ups and downs along the way, but you remain hopeful based upon some authorial promises that all will turn out well for the protagonist. Near the end, though, you get this feeling the author will have to "pull a rabbit out of his hat" to make everything work out.

If this is the book of your financial life, don't read to the end only to find it terribly disappointing. Instead, find a financial adviser who knows the ending you long for and can help you write the story you want to live.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Below are seven steps to confirm you are with the right adviser or lead you to a new one who is right for you.

1. Make Sure Your Priorities Are Aligned

When preparing for retirement, you and your financial adviser should be on the same page. Search for trustworthy, experienced and credentialed professionals who focus on providing strategies and services that may help you become more confident in your retirement income planning. The right professionals can provide the guidance and solid, objective judgment needed to help you achieve your financial goals.

2. Ask Questions

With an abundance of financial vehicles available, each boasting different features, don't be afraid to investigate and ask difficult questions. Seek to understand the details, benefits and restrictions for all of your options, and decide whether they are acceptable to you. When considering the financing of your future, there is no such thing as having too much information.

3. Understand the Fees You Are Paying

As a consumer, you deserve to understand how your financial adviser is compensated as well as any associated costs and fees. Regardless of which financial vehicle you choose, you pay fees one way or another. However, you may be able to lower fees through a variety of methods. Before you do anything, know what you are currently paying!

Advertisement - Article continues below
Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

An investment fee analysis can show you precisely how much you're currently spending in annual fees on your portfolio.

4. Approach Online Resources With Caution

The internet contains a wealth of information—but is it credible? It depends. Evaluate credibility by reading the site's "About Us" page and looking at the page's URL. If it ends in .org or .edu—extensions used by nonprofit organizations and educational institutions—it might be considered more reputable than others.

But remember, nothing can replace the value of a team of trustworthy, experienced professionals recognized for their work in financial services and specifically in retirement income planning.

5. Study Their Education

To help you assess just how well-versed your potential financial professional team is, ask how they invest in their education. Beware of financial professionals who simply pass an exam to earn a designation and never commit to ongoing education beyond that point. Consider a financial professional who regularly engages in industry-specific training and takes courses to stay current on financial products and strategies designed for today's fast-paced and volatile income world.

6. Look for Experience

Of course, no single person can know everything, so it's important to have a well-organized team of professionals help you plan for retirement. Your team might include a CPA or qualified tax professional, an estate planning attorney, a Registered Investment Adviser or Investment Adviser Representative and a licensed insurance agent.

Advertisement - Article continues below

You should also check whether each person has experience in income planning for retirees and pre-retirees. A financial strategy for the asset accumulation phase is very different from planning for lifelong retirement income. Once you're near retirement, it isn't a bad idea to make sure your adviser focuses on retirement income planning.

7. Get a Second Opinion

If you have any concerns about your current financial professional or insurance agent—and his or her advice—look for other options. Even if you've worked with these people for years, they may not be experienced specifically in creating tax-efficient retirement income plans that use the least amount of your savings to produce the optimal amount of lifetime income.

Your financial adviser should be committed to the financial success and confidence of each and every client served and should help you feel confident about your future.

Robert E. Grace, insurance professional, author and Fox News radio host, has more than 45 years of experience with his firm providing estate, retirement and tax planning for individuals and companies.

Grace Tax Advisory Group, LLC, is an independent financial services firm, helping individuals create retirement strategies using a variety of investment and insurance products. Investment Advisory Services offered through Grace Capital Management Group LLC, a Registered Investment Advisor.

Steve Post contributed to this article.

Advertisement

About the Author

Robert E. Grace, JD, CLU, ChFC, CFEd, RFC, Master Elite IRA Advisor

Founder and President, Grace Tax Advisory Group, LLC

Financial professional, author and Fox News radio show host Robert E. Grace, JD, CLU, ChFC, CFEd, RFC, has more than 45 years of experience providing estate, tax and retirement planning for individuals and companies. With specialized training by nationally acclaimed tax expert, Ed Slott, CPA, Grace is an accredited "Master Elite IRA Advisor®." His multi-disciplinary team at Grace Tax Advisory Group specializes in wealth preservation with secure retirement income solutions that minimize tax exposure.

Advertisement

Most Popular

18 Things You Can't Return to Amazon
Smart Buying

18 Things You Can't Return to Amazon

Before tossing these items into your virtual shopping cart, be sure to read Amazon's return policy first.
September 17, 2020
Insurance for Long-Term Care at Home
retirement

Insurance for Long-Term Care at Home

In the wake of COVID-wracked nursing homes, increasingly more people are looking at options to age in place with long-term care insurance.
September 17, 2020
Election 2020: Joe Biden's Tax Plans
taxes

Election 2020: Joe Biden's Tax Plans

With the economy in trouble, tax policy takes on added importance in the 2020 presidential election. So, let's take a look at what Joe Biden has said …
September 18, 2020

Recommended

Retirees, Create An Emergency Fund for Rental Property
Business Costs & Regulation

Retirees, Create An Emergency Fund for Rental Property

Build a cushion to protect your income from an unforeseen crisis.
September 15, 2020
25 Small Towns With Big Millionaire Populations
investing

25 Small Towns With Big Millionaire Populations

Large concentrations of high-net-worth households are found in surprising locales across the U.S. Check out the latest list of American small towns te…
September 15, 2020
Bankruptcy Filings Chalked Up to COVID-19
investing

Bankruptcy Filings Chalked Up to COVID-19

Bankruptcy filings pile ever higher as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to weigh on the American economy. Here are 24 big-name companies that have soug…
September 11, 2020
What Does the Upcoming Election Mean to Your Investments?
investing

What Does the Upcoming Election Mean to Your Investments?

For smart investors, the surprising answer may be very little. Here’s why, and what you should do (and not do) as election season heats up.
September 11, 2020