Anyone who wants to retire knows that achieving this dream takes planning, discipline, and support. When you leave your working life, you must manage your future based on savings and investments rather than a regular paycheck. Working with a local CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional (CFP®) is your best chance at avoiding potential pitfalls and reaching your retirement goals.
So how does someone find a CFP® professional, especially a local CFP® professional?
Finding a Financial Advisor, Find a Local CFP® Professional
As you grow closer to retirement age, your investments and portfolio should evolve to preserve the money you have and ensure adequate income to cover your expenses. A good financial advisor works with you and your family to understand your needs in your retirement years and help develop a plan to make sure you are covered. Finding a local financial advisor can be a challenge. Here are a few considerations to help you not only find a CFP® professional near you but make sure they are a great fit for your needs.
- Ask Family & Friends: Here at The Retirement Planning Group, we work with more than Over 1,500 families* . Many people come to us from our existing clients who refer their loved ones and friends.
- Check the Security and Exchange Commission register: When you find a few options, check the SEC registry.
- Search Online: Using Google, social media, Yelp, and other referral sites, you can find dozens of options near you. Online searches are a great way to start if you do not have referrals from people you trust. However, they can bring their own challenges. Once you have found a list of names how do you sort through all of these options to find the best fit? How do you know they are someone you can rely on? What questions should you ask?
Questions to ask a CFP® Professional
Finding a CFP® professional does not have to be a complicated process. Here are some questions to ask your prospective financial advisor:
- Are you registered with the SEC as a Financial Advisor?
- What is your experience in financial planning?
- How would you support me and my goals? Do you have resources in many areas of financial planning such as tax preparation & advice, and estate planning?
- Are you a fiduciary? Do you have to act in my best interest?
Do I need a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Professional?
If you have any type of investments, income, retirement accounts, or want to retire someday then you need financial planning support. An advisor will work with you and your family to understand your current situation as well as your future goals and develop a long-term plan for your finances.
Financial advisors have a thorough knowledge of the monetary market without bias. Because they offer advice, not products, a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional is capable of helping you find the best solution to meet all your needs. No matter how complex your case or query, there is never an obligation or heavy sales pitch, only guidance.
What does a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Professional do?
- Understand your family’s current financial circumstances.
- Lay out any future goals, such as a new home purchase, travel, medical expenses, or retirement dates.
- Craft a comprehensive plan you’ll work on together. This includes investments and portfolio management & more.
- Meet with you annually to adjust the plan as life changes.
- Manage your investment accounts and provide advice & recommendations.
Check the Registration of a Financial Advisor
After searching for a financial advisor near you, one key step is to check their qualifications, current employment status, and history before you approach them. Take time to review information about the financial advisor on the SEC website. This easy search will tell you about the advisor’s employment history, experience, and qualifications. You can also ask additional questions about their education, designations when they passed their exams, and more.
Our team at The Retirement Planning Group is comprised of fiduciary advisors with many designations ranging from CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Professional’s, Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor℠ (CRPC®), wealth managers, tax advisors, and Certified Public Accountants (CPAs).
Check the Experience and Qualifications of the Advisor
Your advisor will have years of experience to pull from in guiding your financial plan but should have access to additional resources as well. This will ensure they can fully advise you on any aspect of the planning process. Ask specific questions about their experience as it relates to you.
For example, if you are heavily invested in real estate, see what they know about real estate law and investments. Learn if they have a team to support you in tax planning and estate planning, or can work with your accountants and broader team to make sure you are covered.
Even if your advisor has years of experience, knowing there is a group of professionals to help with any specific needs or scenarios is a positive quality and one you should look for when trying to find a CFP® professional and financial team.
Ask if the Financial Advisor Continues Their Professional Development
Things change! A strong advisor pays attention to shifts in the field and updates to the laws and regulations regarding financial planning. One must keep up with regulatory or industry changes that might affect their clients. Beyond that, new opportunities may arise or your situation can evolve. Knowing your advisor is proactively seeking out knowledge and insight to support your goals is another key quality to look for in a local CFP® professional.
Look for a Local Advisor Near You
Building a rapport and establishing trust with your advisor is important, and using a local financial professional is a great option. When it comes to managing your money, you may want to meet your team face-to-face, know the neighborhood where their office is located, and get an in-person feel for how they run their business.
If finding someone close by isn’t an option, try looking in larger cities near you or look for firms with many locations across the country. When an investment firm has many locations, its financial advisors are more likely to be able to travel or use technology, like Zoom or Google Meet, for a face-to-face call.
Finding a CFP® professional can be daunting, but when you are equipped with the right questions to ask, you can feel confident hiring someone. Here at The Retirement Planning Group, we provide free 10-minute consultations to help you determine if we are a strong fit. Fill out the form below to schedule your consult today!