Great Questions to ask you Financial Advisor

There is a retirement crisis in American.  What makes this crisis even more difficult to face is the fact that the most difficult conversation you can have is about money.  People would rather talk about politics and religion before opening up about their finances. Even discussing death is preferred.  It’s little wonder that money is among the top reasons couples fight.  To make the money conversation easier, I want to provide you with some questions to ask your advisor.

Planning Retirement

In my role at Merrill Lynch, my job was to set create financial plans for people who had recently left their employer.  I created over 1,000 financial plans during my time with the company.  Some clients were changing employers, though the majority were retiring.  For many, I was the first person they had ever discussed retirement or their finances.  Perhaps that is why so few people had saved up enough money to make it through retirement.

Retirement Savings

This lack of comfort in discussing finances is central to the looming retirement crisis in America.  Only about half of the people saving for retirement know how much they’ll need to cover their expenses when they do retire.  It’s mind blowing that so few people know what how much they need  I’m going to be honest with you… some of the retirees I worked with couldn’t fund more than a year or two of retirement.  Even with Social Security, I could tell when they would be bankrupt

Let's make the retirement conversation a bit easier.  Here’s how we start.  You need to ask your advisor these questions because they will help you become comfortable talking about your finances.

Ask Your Financial Advisor

  • Why did you choose this line of work?
  • What’s your education?
  • What are your professional designations?
  • Are you a fiduciary?
  • How much do you cost?
  • How did you handle 2008?
  • When can I afford to retire?
  • How will inflation impact my retirement goals?
  • What’s my net worth?
  • How will I be able to pay bills six months from now and even further out into the future?
  • Which investment vehicle is right for me?
  • Do you own the same investment and insurance products you would recommend to me?
  • How do you invest in yourself?
  • What types of insurance and documents do I need in place to protect my family?
  • Where is my money going now and where should it be going?
  • What exactly is a diversified portfolio and how can I build one?
  • How did my investments do this past year??
  • What tax savings strategies are available to me?
  • Am I taking advantage of all the benefit plans my employer offers?
  • What financial changes can I expect after I get married?
  • How much can I help my kids with school finances without derailing my own retirement?
  • Can I afford to have another child?
  • How much house can I afford?