Hopefully it is not a surprise when I state that there is no one retirement income strategy that fits all.
The best plan is the one that not only has your name on it, but also, is built around your unique circumstances. It should consider such issues as your desired income, social security, pension options, IRAs, 401(k)s, other investments, your risk tolerance, your spouse, heirs, health insurance, estate planning, long-term care, charitable planning and tax considerations. All of these elements, as well as possibly others, taken as a whole, are truly unique to you.
Therefore, there is a potential risk to enjoying a successful and comfortable retirement should you try to pattern your strategy solely upon what someone else is doing or by not considering all the variables that apply to your circumstances.
Also, there are a number of sources offering free advice. The danger here is that the source may not be reliable or that it doesn’t have your best interests at heart.
So if this makes sense thus far, the next question is how should you proceed. Certainly you could do it yourself and in many situations this might be appropriate.
However, if your decision involves a number of variables, it becomes more challenging to become educated, especially when it comes to keeping up with the constant changes in legislation, the economy, or financial products.
An important nuance here is that you may know what you need to learn, but what about the things you don’t know you need to learn.
Or, do you understand how different factors are interrelated. Taking action in one area may have unintended negative consequences in another area.
The transition from working to retirement is truly significant. This is especially true when it comes to your financial situation.
At this point in life, you don’t want to make major financial mistakes. For instance, some decisions are irrevocable. Furthermore, you may not have the time and resources to rebound from any missteps.
So with the understanding that your situation is personal, and hence unique, it becomes important to know if and when to ask for a professional advice. This is true whether it involves medical, legal, technical – or even financial advice. In the case of a Financial Advisor, the question is whether or not the fee being charged is justified.
As stated earlier, seeking professional advice is not always needed. This is true when the financial decisions are relatively simple ones and/or you are financially astute.
However, there are many scenarios where the financial professional adds value to the situation, above and beyond the fees or charges. For instance, see the Motley Fool internet article “Are Financial Advisors Worth It?” written by Selena Maranjian.
In a subsequent article I will point out some things to look for when it comes to selecting an advisor.