In part one of this series, we listed the seven questions you should ask your financial advisor as you prepare to retire. Below I will share with you how my firm answers these questions to make sure you get the most out of your retirement.
First, a little background. I believe firmly that retirement planning is an area of specialty. I have been in the financial service industry for over 30 years. Over these years, I have noticed a great lack in proper service for clients at time of retirement. The retiree has a different set of needs and should certainly be following different strategies to satisfy them. So, my firm specializes. Let me tell you how we do things differently than the average (read: not retirement-focused) advisor.
Q 1 & 2: Can you help me strategize to maximize my Social Security benefit? When should my spouse and I begin our Social Security benefit?
A: Yes we can help! Social Security is complicated and confusing! When to take your Social Security benefit depends on many factors, including age(s) of spouses, current income sources, total savings, and current health status. Become informed. The wrong decision can cost you a bundle. We do calculations for clients to determine, down to the month, when the most profitable time will be for you and your spouse to file.
Q 3: What is your strategy to avoid declines?
A: We employ AssetLock™ technology. AssetLock™ is a portfolio-monitoring software that helps limit our clients’ declines per their pre-selected risk tolerance. It’s a wonderful tool that tracks your portfolio 24/7 to help limit loss.
Q 4: What will happen to my portfolio if there is a sudden market drop?
A: You don’t want to see another 2008-style decline in your portfolio during retirement! With AssetLock™ technology, we will help remove you from harm’s way if your AssetLock™ trigger point is ever breached. This gives our clients greater confidence‹ knowing they don’t have to follow the market all the way to the bottom.
Q 5: What is my income-generating plan?
A: Now that’s a long answer! One of the most important components of your retirement plan is your income strategy. We work with clients to develop a specific plan to help turn investments into income. Please call our office for my article entitled “5 Ways to Generate Retirement Income,” written for Fortune.com. All retirees worry about running out of money. A solid income plan is one of the keys to added peace of mind in retirement.
Q 6: Pay raises: What are we doing to offset inflation?
A: Growth of savings is paramount, and possible, throughout retirement. We balance your “at risk” accounts with “safe money” strategies. Then we hold several accounts earmarked for short, mid and long-term growth and income.
Q 7: How often will I hear from you with an update on how my accounts are doing?
A: We want our clients to feel fully connected to their investments. Our clients receive a new high alert every day their account reaches another all-time high. Plus we email account summaries every Sunday afternoon.
I hope the answers to these seven questions will help you recognize what you need from an advisor at retirement time.
But wait! There’s still one more topic that needs to be covered before you can make an informed choice on and advisor‹and you may have already recognized it’s missing from the list…‹FEES! Stay tuned for an upcoming post with everything you need to know.