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The Boomer

How to Choose the Right Retirement Financial Advisor

By The BoomerFOXBusiness

It can be hard to trust someone with your hard-earned money, but the truth is, most of us don’t have the knowledge and tolerance to invest wisely.

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The uncertainty of the economy over the past few years has left many baby boomers skeptical about putting their financial future into the hands of advisers. Retirement planning has become so complex and full of unknowns that many boomers are relying on financial advice to help form their nest egg.

When it comes to choosing an advisor it’s important to evaluate product knowledge, service and trust. A new report by the Deloitte Center for Financial Services found that 56% of those surveyed prefer taking care of their own planning and 38% "don't need" professional advice adding that the most trusted group for advice would be friends and family.

Val Srinivas, leader of banking and securities research at the Deloitte Center for Financial Services, took some time to discuss the findings of this report and answered the following questions:

Boomer: Why does planning matter for retirement security?

Srinivas: Retirement planning helps individuals to be more disciplined in establishing goals and implementing savings and investment behaviors that are good for them in the long run. These behaviors are self-reinforcing and over time can contribute to greater retirement security.

Boomer: What are three of the biggest reasons for retirement insecurity?

Srinivas: The three biggest reasons for retirement insecurity are 1) not having enough savings, 2) not having enough disposable income and 3) the belief that no matter how much one saves, the investment returns won't be enough to provide sufficient retirement income. .

Boomer: What are some of the barriers to setting up a retirement plan, and how can they be overcome?

Sinivas: Some of the main barriers to setting up a retirement plan are:

  1. Conflicting priorities that divert attention from retirement,
  2. Not having access or using a financial professional,
  3.  Lack of familiarity with retirement investment options .
  4. General mistrust in financial institutions and advisors (only 27% of respondents in the report trust them).

They can be overcome by:

  • Taking a more holistic approach to retirement planning by accounting for other priorities (healthcare, savings for children’s college, etc.)
  • Seeking the help of a financial professional
  • Being more proactive in learning about retirement investment options
  • Finding a trusted source of information on retirement matters 

Boomer: How can boomers become more familiar with retirement investment products?

Sinivas: Obviously, there is plenty of information out there on different retirement products. The first step is take responsibility for self-learning. And if this can be done in conjunction with a financial professional someone can trust, then the task becomes easier. It is also helpful to ask what other boomers are doing regarding retirement investments.

Boomer: How can having a financial adviser help my boomer readers with their retirement?

Sinivas: Financial advisers can help boomers in many ways. But the most important thing they can do is to help boomers focus on retirement and be more disciplined. They could act as coaches in setting up a retirement plan, addressing any concerns and educating boomers on different options.

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