4 Considerations When Planning Your Future With An Advisor
When you think of what matters most to you and your family, there’s nothing more important than health and well-being, says Kirk Cassidy, a Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) who emphasizes the importance of the holistic approach to personal finances.
‘Holistic’ usually has the medical connotation of overall physical well-being, but in this situation it is referring to fiscal well-being – an individual’s economic well-being.
If you want to have the fiscal resources for healthy eating, stress-relieving vacations and many other activities that make life fun and engaging, it takes planning because all of these things can add up.
Having a well-balanced, holistic financial plan is particularly important as you approach retirement. It’s important to create a blueprint that covers guaranteed income planning, wealth management, tax minimization strategies, long-term care planning and legacy planning. To accomplish all that, it’s really helpful to have an investment advisor who is a qualified professional.
Cassidy reviews some criteria you’ll want to consider in selecting a financial advisor.
- RIA. This became an important acronym in 1940 with the Investment Advisers Act. An RIA is, in part, defined as a “person or firm that, for compensation, is engaged in the act of providing advice, making recommendations, issuing reports or furnishing analyses on securities, either directly or through publications.” In other words, a person or firm with the RIA designation is always guided by the best interest of the client, and not the advisor or firm itself.
- Veiled salesperson. “There is a huge debate going on in our industry regarding the standards that guide our practice,” he says. “Unfortunately, the bar is fairly low if you want to be a financial professional.” Currently, most financial advisors are not fiduciaries, obligated to do what is in the best interest of the client. However, there is a push to raise the bar. You’ll want an advisor who actually cares about your financial well-being, who is more than simply there selling products.
- Education. Unfortunately, most middle-income Americans who are 50 or older never have been educated on the essential components of a holistic financial plan associated with retirement. There are courses that educate people nearing retirement on the essential aspects of retirement. “Having an advisor you can trust and being better educated yourself can make the difference between working through retirement and enjoying years that are truly golden,” says Cassidy.
- Time. For some people in any industry, customer service can be as shallow as a smiling face and a “Thanks, have a nice day!” Real customer service, on the other hand, involves putting in the time, utilizing professional resources and being honest about a client’s well-being. Identify someone who will take the time you need to help with your issues and questions.
Kirk Cassidy is president of Senior Planning Advisors and Strategic Investment Advisors (www.seniorplanningadvisors.com) and is among the prestigious financial advisors who have attained the level of “Top of the Table” for the Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT).