Over 50 and No Retirement Plan in Place? You’re Not Alone!

Act quickly, but not rashly to find the right professional to help preserve and grow your wealth.

General information designed to help older adults know what to look for in finding the right investment advisor to meet their financial investment needs – which are different as retirees than when they were employed. Finding an investor who is skilled and experienced with this population is key, not just in understanding their financial goals and needs, but what may change physically in their lives:

The thought of living on a fixed income could be a little unnerving for those approaching retirement – especially if there has been little to no financial planning to help grow and preserve their savings. A 2016 survey of adults age 50 and older conducted by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research indicates that just one-third of working respondents feel well-prepared for retirement. Not surprisingly, virtually the same percentage of respondents also expect to outlive their savings.
Matt Jehn, CFP® and Managing Partner of Royal Oak Financial Group in Columbus and Lancaster, Ohio said given those numbers, those in or close to retirement with no plan, especially with assets over $100,000, should start a dialogue with their family, and meet with an investment advisor soon to create a plan.

“If you are recently retired or soon to retire, be concerned but don’t panic – there’s still time to take steps to help preserve your wealth so that it outlives you, and not the other way around.”

He advises, don’t rush to hand control of your funds over to the first firm you talk with. “Take time to find an investment advisor and office that you feel will meet your needs now and later – 10, even 20 years down the road.”

Among the more obvious considerations when looking for the right advisor to help you plan for the future, Jehn said, are a CFP® certification, years in business, experience in retirement planning, and willingness to provide client references. “In addition, older adults want a relationship, not to be a number, and may want to feel as if they are the advisor’s only client. They should look for an advisor that will get to know them and gives:
•       Confidence that their goals and expectations are the advisor’s first priority – and that their tolerance for risk is understood and respected.
•       A level of trust, comfort and compassion; e.g., can they be at ease talking with the advisor about health issues that may tap into retirement funds? Perhaps it’s obvious that you or a spouse will need long-term care in the future or has already been diagnosed with early stage Alzheimer’s, and so on.
•       Accurate and patient answers, and easy to understand information on what to expect from the plan(s).
•       100 percent transparency on risks, costs, fees and commissions associated with any plans or service.
•       Time … do they have their advisor’s attention or is he or she rushed, distracted, and often interrupted?

There are other considerations to keep in mind, Jehn said, and these center around physical limitations that can occur in older adults, such as diminished hearing and vision, less mobility, even slower responses – all of which can impact their experience at the advisor’s office. When visiting an office, check accessibility into the building and that you don’t have to navigate stairs, uneven flooring and long hallways. Make sure the lighting provides good visibility and that seating appears functional and easy to get in and out of.

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