I retired at 62, am living on a pension and Social Security, and have an IRA but haven’t withdrawn from it. For my whole life, I did all my investing on my own. But with so much at stake now, do I need professional help?
Do you need a financial planner?
Question: I retired at 62, and I’m living on a pension and Social Security. I have an IRA but haven’t withdrawn from it. I’ve been my own planner up to this point. What could a financial planner be accomplishing for me? (Looking for a new financial adviser too? This tool can help match you with an adviser who might meet your needs.)
Answer: A financial planner can give you peace of mind and helpful advice, but that all comes with a cost. And whether that cost is worth it, isn’t as easy as a yes or a no: You’ll have to weigh how much you want and need help, with how much you’ll pay for it.
What can a financial adviser help you with?
An adviser can assist with everything fromSocial Security timing; to an overarching investment strategy; to creating a holistic financial plan that will help you make your money last throughout retirement; to how and when you withdraw funds from your IRA (and the tax implications around that). “Distribution strategies in retirement are some of the most valuable plays we as planners can provide,” says certified financial planner Chad Holmes of Formula Wealth. (Looking for a new financial adviser? This tool can help match you with an adviser who might meet your needs.)
Good planners also do more than just crunch numbers. They listen to a client’s “needs, goals, aspirations and fears” and then “take a financial inventory of their situation and develop methods to allow them to have an inspired and quality life,” says certified financial planner Mark Paller of Paller Financial. Certified financial planners can also outline the financial methods, processes and products to tilt the odds of success in their client’s favor. “We consider the tax law, estate law, economics, markets, interest rates, cash flow and insurance needs,” says Paller.
An adviser can also give you peace of mind. Navigating a bear market in stocks, one of the worst environments for bonds in decades, inflation we haven’t seen in 40 years, skyrocketing interest rates and an aggressive Fed is difficult at best. “This can be a tricky environment for both equities and fixed income,” says certified financial planner Rockie Zeigler III, of RP Zeigler Investment Services. “Ideally, a good financial planner can help you by selecting investments that are reflective of your risk tolerance and goals. Equally important as investment selection in this situation is investor behavior, your behavior,” says Zeigler.
All that said, the reality is that you may not need a planner at all. Do you feel comfortable doing all of this yourself? Or if you don’t right now, might you want to use some of your free time to learn about this? Plenty of Americans retire smartly without paying for any financial help (more on what it costs below), and if you feel like you have the time and knowhow to do this yourself, do it. (Looking for a financial adviser too? This tool can help match you with an adviser who might meet your needs.)
What might a financial adviser cost?
There are different types of financial planners, and different costs associated with each. Some will do a one-time financial plan for you, which you can then follow for years to come; depending on complexity, clients can expect to pay between $3,000 and $7,500 for a one-time comprehensive plan, according to certified financial planner Grace Yung at Midtown Financial Group.
If you want to engage someone to help with questions as they come up for you, a planner who charges by the hour might make sense. Hourly engagement fees vary as well, with a ballpark range between $200 and $500 per hour. “Sometimes it helps to have a thinking partner or second set of eyes on your work,” certified financial planner Jay Zigmont of Childfree Wealth says of this type of financial planner.
If you want someone to manage your investments for you, the assets under management (AUM) model is a common way to go, with advisers typically charging about 1% of assets under management. Remember that in all these cases, fees are typically negotiable. (Looking for a financial adviser too? This tool can help match you with an adviser who might meet your needs.)
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