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  • Although this is a statement rather than a question, it lends itself well to the question...how do I find a good advisor?

    When considering hiring an advisor, it is important to understand what you are looking to achieve in this relationship. Do you want the advisor to manage your assets or provide a thorough review of your entire retirement plan? A good step in this process is to list the financial questions you currently have and as you interview prospective advisors, determine if they are able to answer your questions. You will also want to pay attention as to how they answer your questions. If every answer is to purchase an investment or insurance product, you may want to get a second opinion.

    The typical 60 year old client (or prospective client) is concerned about when he can retire. It is worth noting that retirement has a different definition to almost all clients. Defining retirement will help your advisor address your specific needs. No one should be answering that question until they have a thorough overview of your situation.

    Will you work part time?
    Do you have health concerns?
    Do you have a pension?
    Are you married?
    Are you and/or your wife eligible for Social Security?

    From there, the advisor can start to lay out a plan. This plan addresses the most common concern...running out of money in retirement.

    A properly written plan will show you whether you are likely to do so. Be sure you are comfortable with the assumptions being used and ask questions if you do not understand. Also, ask what happens if the assumptions don't play out as planned. What happens?

    A good advisor will address what is within your control rather than base success entirely on market performance. As an example, when you leave the workforce, how much you spend in retirement and how you claim Social Security arguably have a greater impact on your success and are within your control (at least partially). It is important to understand how the advisor is compensated. Is there a conflict? If there is, are you comfortable that the conflict does not impair the advisor's ability to provide your best advice?

    Unfortunately, finding a good advisor is not as easy as simply picking up a phone book and calling someone. The transition from accumulation (working years) to spending creates a greater need for an advisor that will address all your planning needs and not just recommend a mutual fund or insurance/investment product. Your ability to recover from bad advice or mistakes can be greatly reduced as you enter retirement.

    I am not sure this helps, but hopefully, it gives you the beginning steps needed to actually find a "good advisor". Good luck!

  • Login to rate this answer:   Answered on 4/17/2013
**All above answers are provided as general information only. No warranty is made regarding the fitness or accuracy of the information provided in this answer. You should seek advice from a licensed CPA, attorney or CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ as to your unique financial situation.