Do seniors need a financial advisor?
Financial advisors are valuable allies for seniors as these professionals can help seniors and their families make sense of money-related planning and issues. Some of the more pressing issues for seniors to consider include:
- Retirement planning
- Investment strategies
- Long term care planning
- Estate planning
- Asset monitoring
Financial advisors can help with all of the above, so for many seniors, they act like a coach and help their clients attain their financial goals, whatever they are.
What services do financial advisors provide to their senior clients?
Financial advisors can help with a diverse array of services, but tailor those services to their clients. Here is a more in-depth look at how financial advisors can help seniors with the above list of common concerns:
It is never too early to prepare for retirement. Starting early means your investments will have a return before you retire, so you’ll have more money to work with when it comes time to leave the workforce for good.
A financial advisor can help people of all ages prepare for retirement by organizing a long-term plan for their clients. This may involve investments and other financial instruments, budgeting and expert insight that keeps their clients on track.
Many seniors will leave behind an estate and other assets once they pass away, and planning is needed to ensure these assets end up in the right hands. Without detailed estate planning, it will not be clear who is to receive what, which can delay the process and cause emotional strife between family members.
Financial advisors can help their clients through the estate planning process, with wills, trusts and advanced instruments that ensure your final wishes are carried out. Estate planning is especially important for seniors who own a business or a lot of assets, as this can slow down the expensive probate process.
When many people think of financial advisors, they think of investment experts, and an advisor can help here, too. There are a lot of ways to invest, each with their own risk profile and expected returns. A reputable financial advisor will pay close attention to their client’s risk tolerance when devising an investment plan. This is particularly important with seniors, who tend to prefer less risk in their investment vehicles.
Investment strategies work best when those assets and investments are closely monitored. Reputable financial advisors will keep an eye on their clients’ investment performance and help their clients make adjustments when needed.
Other financial planning
There is no limit to what a financial advisor can do from a planning standpoint. Do you need to save for a new home? Need to sell a home first? Helping a grandchild with college? Want to do some extra traveling once you are retired? Looking for ways to manage long term healthcare costs?
A financial advisor can put together a detailed plan for all of it.
What are the advantages of working with a financial advisor?
There is more to financial advisors than the services they offer. Much of what a financial advisor does is provide clear, long-range planning for their clients, but why is it important to do this planning with an advisor? There are several reasons, including:
Objective, big-picture guidance
One of the toughest things for an investor to do is remain steady when the market changes or looks uncertain. A financial advisor has experience working in various market conditions and can therefore make investment decisions objectively. This ensures better performance in the long run.
Foresight when changes are needed
Occasionally, changes to your investments or financial plan are required. A financial advisor will know, likely before anyone else, when it’s time to change direction on an investment and how to do so without disrupting the plan too much.
This foresight is also useful when considering a major life change, like starting a business or changing your living arrangements. A financial advisor will detail how these changes will affect your financial situation and what can be done to keep your plan on track.
Unrivaled financial expertise
Some seniors enjoy investing and are familiar with some of the ins and outs, but most would rather spend their time tending to other things. A financial advisor can provide the required knowledge, no matter how hands-on their client wants to be with their investments.
How can seniors find a reputable financial advisor?
A reputable financial advisor can be an extremely valuable expert to have on hand. If you’re looking for an advisor, there are a few things to keep in mind, such as:
A personal or professional referral is worth considering
Financial advisors are usually part of a larger team of experts that a senior relies on. It’s common for financial advisors to have professional connections with attorneys, doctors, real estate agents and organizations that provide senior services. If you already have a strong professional relationship with an attorney or physician, consider asking them for a referral.
Verify that they are a fiduciary
A fiduciary is required, by law, to make financial and investment decisions in their client’s best interest. This prevents any conflict of interest when the advisor puts together your investment plan.
Meet them in person before agreeing to work with them
You will likely have a lasting relationship with your financial advisor, so make sure they are someone you can work with. Are you on the same page? Do they answer your questions in detail? Do they explain their decision making in detail, as well? While financial planning requires expert knowledge first, communication skills are also essential.
As seniors prepare for and enter retirement, there are multiple money-related decisions to be made. A financial advisor can help their clients make sense of it all, put together an effective plan and achieve as much financial security and freedom as possible.