Unless you’re already wealthy, retirement planning does not begin with retirement planning. That may sound like an odd thing for our firm, The Retirement Planning Group (TRPG) — headquartered in Overland Park, KS and 12 miles south of Kansas City — but the reality is that financial planning and everything it encompasses must be addressed first in order to ensure money is available for investing over the long term to produce the desired retirement income. That is the reason the services offered within this site include activities like debt planning, gifting strategies, tax planning, insurance planning, estate planning and a host of other difficult to navigate without professional guidance.
Planning for retirement is challenging, because life always brings unintended events, like death of a spouse, divorce, new tax legislation and changes to investment laws. Understanding how these changes impact financial planning decision-making is complex, and that is precisely why we offer a spectrum of services to meet the needs of families and individuals across the country. Financial advisors may only conduct business in states in which they are registered, but TRPG has grown to offer services in 38 states and continues to expand.
Choosing a Financial Planning Advisor
Accessing the services of qualified financial planners makes sense in such a complicated financial environment. The question is, how do I chose a financial planning advisor I can trust and offers the particular expertise I need? Bottom line: Look for a reputable firm with experienced, credentialed financial planners. A reputable advisory firm has the following qualities:
- Is properly registered and will only conduct business with residents in the states where the firm is registered
- Fiduciary, meaning it always acts in the client’s best interest
- A Registered Investment Advisory (RIA) company
- Able to provide full disclosure of how it does business
- Charging fees that are reasonable, transparent and easily understood
- A provable track record of success
- Developed a network of professionals who can provide additional counseling as necessary to meet client needs, i.e. tax planners, LTC insurance experts, estate planning attorney, etc.
- Only uses financial planners that have a Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP) credential
- Advisors have extensive experience in providing financial planning and investment services
- Diligent in staying in contact with clients on a regular basis
- Accessible when clients request additional support
- Able to provide the right level of services for a variety of clients at different stages of life and financial planning
- Offers relevant client education seminars throughout the year without trying to sell anything
- Solid reputation in the communities of operation
These investments and services are just a few of the important considerations for clients looking for financial services. An RIA firm, like The Retirement Planning Group, is not obligated to promote specific products and is held to the fiduciary standard in all client interactions. The advisory firm should not hold assets either. TRPG has contracted with Charles Schwab to hold client assets, providing a layer of security and impartiality.
When people ask, “Is it important to invest my time in researching financial advisory firms before making a selection?” the answer is a resounding “Yes!” When comparing firms, people can ask themselves questions like, “Can an Edward Jones financial investor working for a large firm, provide the same level of personalized client services that a firm like The Retirement Planning Group provides?” TRGP provides clients consistent personalized services in most states. Since financial advisors may only conduct business in states where they are registered, TRPG can direct people to reputable firms in their network that are registered in the states the firm does not operate in. During research, look for authentic websites that will include an attribution statement like “copyright 2017 Edward Jones” and “rights reserved.”
Something for Everyone
It is best to not postpone some things, and planning for a solid financial future, including retirement planning, is one of them. Everyone is encouraged to start planning for retirement early in life, but planning gets postponed by life events. People tend to put off retirement planning while building careers and starting families. A couple of decades later, they realize that now is the time to start if they hope to enjoy life beyond the working years in a preferred style. Then there are the people who have saved and invested but are dissatisfied with their investments, because they are not growing fast enough or they got poor advice in the past. These clients need assistance with accelerating investment growth or wealth management.
Above all, an advisory firm should put its clients first. Client-centered services at The Retirement Planning Group means always:
- Putting the client’s interests and needs first
- Offering honest, ethical and unbiased advice
- Managing client assets with integrity and professionalism
- Advising clients without regard for firm or advisor compensation
- Charging amounts that have no surprises, no commission and no hidden fees
Financial planners should always be objective, rigorously protect client confidentiality and be willing to take the investment journey with clients, no matter how long it takes. Wealth management is not reserved for people with a high net-asset value. It refers to the journey in which financial planners work closely with clients to manage the total financial picture that includes financial planning, investment planning and ultimately retirement planning.
When a client says, “It’s the right time to invest my time to understand the benefits of financial planning,” it is the right time to read the information provided on The Retirement Planning Group website. The site is designed for easy navigation and will answer first questions about who we are, what we do and the client experience. It is an important first step when you are ready to achieve your goals.