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How Can a Financial Advisor or Agent Help Your Retirement?

how can a financial advisor help retirement planning

Planning for retirement isn't easy. It's complex and has many moving parts. For one thing, you will need to have enough income to last for the rest of your life once you step away from a full-time career.

Taxes, healthcare, and inflation are just a few things that can eat into your money. Not only that, you might have a longer retirement than you would think. Nowadays, thanks to advances in healthcare and technology, many people are spending as much as one-third of their lives in their post-retirement years.

How, then, can you plan for a financially confident future? A financial professional's guidance can help you go the extra mile in many ways. They can help you evaluate your current financial progress. They can also help you spell out your goals, foresee retirement risks, and build personal strategies to assist you in your objectives.

Here are a few ways that hiring a financial advisor or agent can help your retirement in the long run.

Identify and Focus on What Matters

A financial professional can help you get organized and zero in on what matters to you. At first, the idea of planning for retirement in any capacity may seem like an overwhelming task.

A good financial advisor can help you break down the overall picture into bite-sized pieces that you can tackle one at a time. They can tell you what documents you need to bring to the table -- and which ones you can leave at home.

Develop Goals and Strategies to Reach Them

A financial professional can help you establish goals, both short-term and long-term. Then they will help you create practical strategies to reach them

A good advisor can help you break down your dreams and aspirations into tangible financial goals. This isn't necessarily an easy task to do alone.

Creating strategies to reach your goals can be even more difficult. It depends upon what your goals are and how much risk you are willing to take to make them happen.

Evaluate Your Current Progress

An experienced financial professional will help you evaluate, at various points, your current progress. That includes where you are at with reaching your goals. Their guidance will also let you see what else can be done, going forward.

Advisors can help their clients embrace a big-picture focus, stepping back and taking a look at their finances to make sure that they are still on track to reach their financial goals.

They may also have good, practical ideas for how you can reach your goals with less risk. Or you may see a pathway to reaching your goals sooner than you envisioned.

Stay Disciplined and Focused

A financial professional helps you stay disciplined and focused on your long-term goals. It can be easy to go "off-script" financially, especially when it comes to your long-term goals such as retirement.

A good advisor can help you stay on track. That includes avoiding mistakes such as forfeiting your retirement savings to help your kids through college instead.

Source of Relief in Stressful Times

A financial professional can help you stay the course in hard times. They can also be a source of solace in uncertain situations. After all, they have seen other clients go through hard times or rough market periods.

A good advisor will help you not to panic when the markets get rough. It's easy to lose your head and make mistakes, such as selling all of your equity holdings and using the proceeds to buy bonds or CDs, when the markets tank.

But this typically isn't a good idea, as you are just locking your losses. Steep market declines, in particular, can wreak havoc on your portfolio. Let your financial professional help you stay strong and give your portfolio time to recover, as is appropriate for your financial timeline.

Answer Your Questions

By working with a financial professional, you can enjoy more peace of mind. They will be on hand for answering your questions and, for that matter, being an expert guide to you. An experienced financial professional will truly take their namesake of "advisor" to heart.

It can be very reassuring to hear that you are in good financial shape. This is one of the most important jobs that advisors have, and if your advisor isn't answering your questions, then perhaps you should look elsewhere for assistance.

A good advisor will do more than simply spit out rote professional answers to your questions. They will engage you on a personal level in order to gain your trust and respect.

After all, their role is help you to genuinely see financial reality as it is.

Find a Strategic Life Balance

Money isn't everything, but it can be a great stressor if you let it. An effective financial professional will help you find balance in your life.

By having your financial picture squared away, you will be in a better position to avoid letting money matters stress you out. Good advisors understand that there is more to life than money. They know that you have other things that matter to you personally.

Among other things, your advisor can help free you up to focus on those other things that are important to you.

Plan for Tomorrow, Today

Confident tomorrows begin today. Your financial professional can assist you with proactive planning for your future. That way you aren't playing catch-up late in the game and feeling the heat while doing so.

As the old saying goes, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." Your advisor can help you map out a financial plan while you are relatively young, so that time will be on your side when you are saving your money.

If you are in your mid-career years, proactive planning can help you still come out on top. The additional time that you will get to compound your money's growth will make a substantial difference in what you end up with when you retire.

This can be much more effective than having to start planning for retirement when you are on the cusp of retirement. There, it becomes a choice of taking severe measures to save.

On the flip-side, you may only have the chance to accumulate a relatively small amount of money. In turn, it might force you to keep working until later than you had intended.

Expert Knowledge of Solutions

Your financial professional deals with money matters on a daily basis. This is their job. Because of that, their knowledge of products and solutions in the marketplace tends to be superb.

Even if you work in the financial services industry, chances are you aren't as up-to-date in your knowledge of this arena. It's not something you would monitor every day. Product features and effectiveness can change as much as week by week.

Your financial professional understands these different options -- and they know how to put them all together for an effective plan.

Good advisors always stay abreast of the latest trends and products in the financial marketplace. Chances are they will know the best products to use for their clients and how to use them the most effectively.

For example, a client seeking guaranteed income may settle on a certain annuity product. But the advisor knows that there are better alternatives for higher income payments out there. 

As a result, they will advise the client not to act on their wishes until they have a chance to see these other alternatives. Advisors also know how to effectively integrate their products into a client's overall financial plan.

The end result? The client can enjoy the maximum-possible benefit from this strategic, personalized allocation.

Honed Professional Knowledge

Financial services is a field with lots of knowledge requirements. Taxes. Investments. Insurance. Risk management. All of these areas of knowledge, and others for that matter, are integral parts of personal financial planning.

Over their careers, advisors and agents have honed their professional knowledge in dealing with these areas. They also have practical experience in putting together retirement strategies.

This is an expertise that is hard to dismiss. For example, most clients don't have the knowledge or wherewithal to create an investment policy statement and then effectively integrate that statement into their income and estate taxes.

Many people may also be surprised at just how much risk they are really taking with a particular asset class. They might not understand how to gauge if they should be taking that risk.

You may think that stocks are "risky" and bonds are "safe." But there are different types of risk and safety.

Having all of your money in bonds doesn't shield you from all risk, as you are vulnerable to the effects of inflation. Interest rate risk may also take a toll on the value of bonds. In fact, it's impossible to completely shield your money from all risk.

Another area that many Americans struggle in is insurance. You may not know the kinds of insurance that may benefit you. For example, a small business owner will have very different risks to insure and guard against than an employed person.

Advisors are paid to help you understand what types of risk you should be taking. Their role is also to help you determine how much risk you should shoulder. They will know how much insurance you should have and which kinds of insurance you need.

For example, they may recommend that you carry higher deductibles on your home and vehicles and put the savings into an emergency fund. Then if you have a claim, you can use that fund to pay for the deductible.

Finding an Advisor or Agent to Help You

These are just some of the ways that a financial advisor can help you to prepare for retirement. Consult your advisor to see whether you are doing everything you can to prepare for your retirement. They might have some ideas that can help you get there faster.

If you are looking for a financial professional to guide you, good news - you don't have to go far. Asisstance is just a short click away at SafeMoney.com.

Use our "Find a Financial Professional" section to connect with someone directly. You can request an initial appointment, at no obligation, to discuss your personal goals, concerns, and overall financial situation. Should you need a personal referral, call us at 877.476.9723.

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