Regardless of the path your professional journey has taken in the airline industry, working with a skilled financial advisor who understands your unique goals and challenges is the key to a secure retirement.
In fact, many financial advisors themselves consult others in their profession to provide the perspective needed for successful planning.
However, some investors make the mistake of hiring an advisor before thinking about the details of their own situation and the desired outcomes, relying instead on the advisor to guide the process and the plan. It’s not always easy to tell if your advisor is doing the right thing for your retirement, and this is especially true if you are not familiar with the intricacies of financial markets.
The following are seven signs that you’re in good hands with your financial advisor:
1. Your advisor assisted you in putting together a list of goals that are flexible and adaptable
We’ve talked about the importance of long-term investing in retirement planning. A good advisor knows the key to a secure retirement is the construction of a plan that targets your goals while carefully balancing risk and return and also takes into account your risk tolerance. Equally important is the control and stability afforded by a flexible plan that allows you to focus not on short-term gains or losses, but on the big picture and the long run.
2. Your advisor has built a personal rapport with you
In order to be effective, a good advisor must take an intimate look at your personal wealth, current financial situation and goals. This could include anything from getting to know your children or family members if you are saving for higher education, or learning about your philanthropic goals as you plan charitable giving.
While this level of trust seems daunting at first, it is important for your advisor to understand your complete financial picture, and a good advisor can do this without being invasive. The benefit of a strong personal rapport is that it provides needed context for your current and future retirement needs.
3. Your advisor is communicating with you clearly and effectively
Obviously, clear communication with your advisor is essential, and it becomes even more important when markets are volatile or you have concerns about the direction of your investments. You want an advisor who contacts you not only when things are going well, but also when outside influences negatively impact your portfolio. Proper communication ensures that you are following your long-term plan with confidence despite temporary setbacks. It also serves as a safeguard should your retirement situation change due to unexpected events such as divorce or the death of a spouse.
4. Your advisor understands your goals and will proactively pursue them in any market cycle
Not only should your advisor be aware of your goals, but he or she should also understand them as they derive from your unique experiences. Down markets can make advisors look inept and rising markets can make advisors look brilliant (and there will be both). Regardless of the current state of the market, your advisor should constantly strive to ensure you are on track to achieve your goals with a focus on protecting and growing your assets for retirement.
5. Your advisor has experience with situations similar to yours
While no individual’s experiences are exactly the same, it is ideal to work with an advisor who has knowledge and personal experiences that are similar to yours. Not only do you benefit from the wisdom that results from those experiences, but you also avoid mistakes that others in similar situations might have made.
6. Your advisor includes your spouse in decisions and communication
Depending on your personal situation, it is important to include your spouse in discussions and communication about retirement goals and investment planning. Your advisor should do the same. Too often, an unforeseen event such as an extended illness or death will leave a spouse with no knowledge of the current financial situation and unprepared to manage the family’s finances or adhere to a long-term plan. Including your spouse also ensures that everyone, including your advisor, is on the same page when it comes to strategies and goals.
7. Your advisor reviews your progress and goals at least annually
As you get closer to retirement, or sometimes during retirement, goals and tolerance for risk can change. A good advisor will review your financial flight plan frequently to ensure that nothing impacting your goals or retirement savings has significantly changed. Further, these reviews are the perfect opportunity to review your progress and make adjustments to keep your plan on track.
Finding a good advisor isn’t simply a matter of reaching out and hiring someone. There are literally thousands of individuals and firms from which to choose. At RAA, we are our clients. Many members of our team have worked or currently work in the airline industry, giving us a unique perspective on the challenges and goals airline employees and their families face. These guidelines are built into the fabric of our company, and we practice them with our clients every day.
To learn more about the ways RAA implements these practices with our clients, request a complimentary Q&A session with one of our advisors.
Disclaimer: This blog is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as individual investment advice. Actual recommendations are provided by Retirement Advisors of America following consultation and are custom-tailored to each investor’s unique needs and circumstances. The information contained herein is from sources believed to be accurate and reliable. However, Retirement Advisors of America accepts no legal responsibility for any errors or omissions. Investments in stocks, bonds, and mutual funds may increase or decrease in value. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Any of the charts and graphs included in this blog are not recommendations for the purchase and sale of any security.