Best Financial Advice: The Right Way to Proceed
When it comes to your financial situation, there is no such thing as “one size fits all”. Any investment or retirement plan must be well suited to you, and to your family’s needs.
The best advice I can provide is to visit with several different company representatives before choosing an advisor. You want to be very confident, and happy, with your decision. It’s the most important one you’ll be making.
You will need to get the “big picture” – thus, you need to sit down with your spouse and go over your current budget, your discretionary income or savings, and list down things such as home equity, antiques and their value, bonds, etcetera. Also, you need to look at your tax deductions and tax situation, and include this in the consultation – do some reading and research, so you’ll have ideas ready once you’ve chosen a financial advisor.
Financial Advisors: Don’t Forget to Do This
I don’t want to alarm you, but it is essential that you do a background check on each financial advisor, prior to hiring someone. You will then find out if the individual was careless with someone else’s retirement funds in the past. Avoid anyone suspect. And consult with your friends (if you feel comfortable in doing this) – they may know of someone trustworthy. Even so, do a background check on this financial advisor, too.
You don’t know what might have occurred in the interim (since the point in time your friend had used this representative). So it’s only wise to pay for a background check for your family’s best interests.
Best Financial Advice: Responsibilities of a Financial Advisor
When it comes to best financial advice, I would be remiss if I didn’t include that it is your advisor’s duty to assist you in completely understanding your current financial situation, and what can be done to improve your financial situation (and equity) in future years – so that your children are adequately provided for, and so you will have plenty of income for your retirement.
Things like social security should be in the discussion – if at all possible, you should have a plan. You should know what income you’ll be receiving from the SSA, and also whether or not you plan to keep working until age 65, so you can factor this into the plan.
Additionally, you ought to consider having more than just regular life insurance – but also catastrophic insurance (an “umbrella” policy to protect your current savings in case you get sued over a car accident or something similar). This is important, because people are still filing lawsuits – even with our current economic climate.
Side Note: You might also want to consider arranging for long term care insurance
Financial Advisor’s Experience Level and Expertise
Another thing to discuss with your financial advisor – you should find an advisor with a specific practice focus. So if you intend on doing some estate planning, you should get a financial advisor with the necessary experience. Or if you have a growing business, and need to factor this into the equation then get somebody who has the necessary expertise.
In the end, the
best financial advice
ought to consider every aspect of your family’s situation. Of course, you need to know what your top goals are
– what it is you’re most concerned about, whether that’s paying as little tax as you can, growing your business properly, or arranging that your legacy lives on through your business and your children.
When looking for a qualified candidate, always make sure the potential candidates are qualified to give expert advice on the most effective ways to create a blueprint which can help you and your family reach their goals.
And you should insist that the advisor is able to offer a broad range of financial and investment products – don’t settle for an advisor with his/her own agenda, but do your due diligence and get the right person for the job.
By Jan Ashby
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