Is it time to hire a Financial Advisor?

This is a question with as many answers as there are people to ask it. I usually recommend considering this option when a KP physician’s retirement assets and savings match one year of income. If you’re nearing this point, it’s probably time to consider whether or not you want to spend a few hours a month in this metaphorical garden or if you would like to spend those hours in your actual garden (or on another hobby—I’m writing this in my own garden next to an overgrown avocado tree for which I’m considering hiring a professional).

Often, when people contemplate taking this step, they don’t know what to expect from their relationship with a Financial Advisor. Here is an example of a couple that I worked with that definitely needed to consider hiring someone.

Although the husband had always taken the lead on the family finances due to his interest in investing, it was the wife who sought me out. Taking me into her confidence at a social event, she revealed that her husband liked to trade options and, while she wasn’t opposed to it, she didn’t have clarity as to how that was affecting their overall financial situation. She also wanted to be sure that life insurance and college funding were on track.

At my first meeting with her husband, he explained his options strategy and how it was a fun hobby he could pursue on his own schedule. The account that held the options was one he’d been playing with for years and my review showed that, indeed, he’d been careful never to use any money outside of this one account.

Despite his success and interest in the options, my review also showed that their Keogh, 401k and other retirement vehicles weren’t aligned with the couple’s tolerance for risk. This is typical because asset allocation gets very complicated once you scratch beneath the surface. Just as I’m not qualified to set a broken bone, most individuals without professional training don’t fully understand how to create an asset allocation strategy.

Working with the couple, I created a financial plan that encompassed all of their investments, savings, and goals. The next time the three of us met, both husband and wife were especially engaged in the conversation when retirement planning came up. It turns out that the husband was also relieved to see a clear process to determine how much money they would need in retirement and strategies to get there with various levels of risk.

I gave them choices about early separation at age 59, reducing one or both of their schedules to 8 or 9 10th and per diem work after early or regular retirement. Using our financial planning tools, they can look at various options whenever they want, allowing both of them to be fully informed during financial conversations.

If any of that story resonated with you, or your retirement assets and savings are nearing your annual income, it’s probably time to consider hiring a financial advisor. More than likely, it will be a relief to hand the growing responsibility of your finances to someone that you can trust who will give you guidance and manage your assets for a fair price.

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Advisory services offered through EWG Elevate, Inc. dba Protection Point Advisors.

This represents a partial list of clients. They have not been compensated and were not selected based on duration, performance, account size.