WASHINGTON, DC – Not long ago a Harris poll revealed that most people were afraid of talking to a financial advisor. The survey was conducted in behalf of the Philadelphia based McAdam financial advisory firm and showed that 71% of Americans were afraid to talk with a financial advisor. Nearly half of them said that they thought it would wind up costing them “a lot of money.”
Dan Weber, president of the Association of Mature American Citizens [AMAC] who has a background in financial services, says that there are savvy seniors who have the know how to productively manage their finances. He notes that an estimated 25% of investors act as their own money managers.
But, there are many more adults, young and old, who could use advice. “In fact, numerous studies have been conducted over recent years and they all show that most of the population doesn’t have sufficient assets to allow them to retire in a reasonably comfortable manner. The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company issued a report just a few months ago showing that two-thirds of U.S. adults in their 60s have less than $25,000 in retirement savings.”
Too many people who need help with their finances think it is not proper to be discussing money with a stranger, even if he or she is a professional advisor or planner. Others are afraid that no amount of financial advice will help them acquire enough retirement savings.
“They’re wrong on both counts,” according to Weber. He suggests that individuals should take the time and get objective, professional advice on how to manage financial routines, incomes and assets when significant events occur in their lives—events such as marriage, starting a family, getting a new job and, of course, planning for retirement.
Bear in mind that there is no income threshold when it comes to getting the services of a financial consultant. If you have any questions at all about how to allocate your salary, your savings or your assets, it means that you have sufficient resources to engage an advisor.
John Caffrey, principal at Castle Asset Management, LLC, says that there are no specific asset minimums or income minimums. “It’s not about minimums. It is about positioning a client based on his or her personal resources in a manner that will best serve their needs and achieve their goals. A good financial advisor will understand the client’s situation and expectations and make recommendations accordingly. One client may have a smaller asset base than another, but they both have a need to know how best to employ what they do have in a manner that will provide them with a maximum return. Even a modest 401(k) or IRA needs good, knowledgeable management.”
One of the most important questions to ask when seeking a reputable advisor is, of course, how much will he or she charge for services and will it be worth the cost. According to David Weliver, a founding editor of the Web site Money Under 30, explains that “most fee-only financial planners will charge between $1,000 and $2,000 for a comprehensive financial plan. For ongoing advice, you could expect to pay a monthly retainer of a couple hundred dollars.”
So, how do you go about identifying an advisor who will be right for you? The first thing you need to do is put together a list of potential candidates, not by picking names at random out of the Yellow Pages, but by asking friends, family and workmates for recommendations. You may also ask your accountant, your attorney, your insurance and/or your investment broker.
The ideal advisor or planner is one who is independent and who will provide objective advice for a reasonable fee, based on your income, savings, investment levels and other assets.
AMAC’s Weber says that a suitable financial consultant will have a suitable college degree. And, he or she should also have appropriate professional credentials? There are several designations that a financial planner or advisor might have such as CFP [Certified Financial Planner], ChfC [Chartered Financial Consultant] or CLU [Chartered Life Underwriter]. Meanwhile, to complete your homework it is advised that you check up on your candidates by doing some research. For example, the Designation Check Web site provides you with an easy way to vet a financial consultant by name and zip code.
The Association of Mature American Citizens [AMAC] [https://www.amac.us] is a vibrant, vital senior advocacy organization that takes its marching orders from its members. We act and speak on their behalf, protecting their interests and offering a practical insight on how to best solve the problems they face today. Live long and make a difference by joining us today at https://amac.us/join-amac.