You need a retirement planning consultant to be sure you evaluate all options that are available to you for making your retirement the best time of your life.
When you have a certified or registered retirement planning specialist working with you, then you have someone who can be trusted, who is required to be ethical, who is required to take continuing education classes, and who is also required to have your best interest at heart.
Baby boomers are too young to remember the Great Depression that their parents lived through.
Watching their parents save every dime and continually penny-pinch may have caused baby boomers to be less frugal and almost forget about saving.
A retirement planning consultant can help you out of a projected monthly deficit. They can also help you with tax reducing strategies.
Before you check out companies, it is best to do your own homework first. Determine the areas where you need assistance.
Check out different companies you are considering, asking them about the extent of their years of experience and knowledge, as well as their wide range of services.
Choose someone who is experienced and competent and someone with whom you feel very comfortable.
Lack of planning and preparation beforehand puts people in the position where they are reaching retirement with hardly enough saved to just get by.
It is never too early to start planning. There is less trouble and less stress when you start early to plan for retirement.
Where Do You Go For Help?
Ask friends and family for referrals.
Contact your state securities office to find out if your potential retirement planning consultant is registered and free from any illegal activities. You could start by going to the
consumer action website
for information in your state. If you click on Consumer Topics/Investing/Financial Brokers & Advisors you can then do checks on potential consultants.
(A new window will open. To return to this page just close the new window by clicking the 'X' button in the upper right hand corner of the new browser window.)
You can check the professional background of current and former registered securities firms and brokers at
- the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. (A new window will open. To return to this page just close the new window by clicking the 'X' button in the upper right hand corner of the new browser window.)
Understand the cost of their retirement planning services. Ask others to confirm what you have been told about their expertise.
Even though you engage a retirement planning consultant, you are still the one responsible for your plan.
A consultant can identify options for you, but the decisions are yours.
Develop Your Plan
Using a retirement planning consultant will help you clarify your objectives, evaluate various options, and enable you to live the retirement lifestyle you want to enjoy.
First, you need to decide on what you want out of retirement - establish your goals. Where do you want to live? How do you want to spend your time? How do you plan to spend your money? How much do you want to leave for your heirs?
Determine how much your desired lifestyle will cost. Be specific and use current expenses as a guideline.
Make an inventory of all your assets and your expected income streams. This will also help you organize your documentation at home and simplify things for you.
With those three pieces of information, the consultant can help you. This is where their value is most obvious.
There is more than just the financial aspect in planning, and therefore, it is not a one-time event.
You need to consider that your health and/or your spouse's health could change and you may need to alter your plan, or better yet, include that possibility in your planning.
You could also have life events happen that might throw a monkey-wrench into your plan - or give some unexpected income through inheritance.
So, plan to revisit your retirement plan periodically with your consultant.
You want a retirement planning consultant who will help you step by step through the retirement planning process and one with whom you feel confident and comfortable.
But remember, any advice offered is only good if it is followed.
Return from retirement planning consultant to planning for retirement.