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Should You Hire a Retirement Advisor?

5 minute read

By Heather Fishel

Are you prepared for retirement? You might be ready emotionally – but few people have enough money in the bank to actually retire. Trying to save enough money, and grow that money over time, can be very difficult. Fortunately, a retirement advisor can offer vital help.

A retirement advisor can help you plan and prepare for retirement at any age. Whether you’re just starting your career or nearing retirement soon, a retirement advisor can help ensure you’ll have the funds you need to retire. And you can easily find a reputable retirement advisor with a search online.

If you’re wondering what a retirement advisor could do for you, here’s what you need to know about their services.

What is a Retirement Advisor?

A retirement advisor is actually a financial advisor. These savings and investment experts are known by many names – retirement advisors, retirement planners, financial planners, or even investment consultants – and their primary goal is to offer advice and recommendations for your money.

These financial advisors offer different services. You can use a retirement advisor to develop a detailed plan to prepare for retirement. You can use a financial advisor to build a nest egg of funds. Or, you can use a certified financial planner (CFP) to get guidance on building a retirement savings plan.

To decide what kind of retirement advisor is best for you, it’s a good idea to identify your financial needs and goals. Then, you can search for an advisor who fits exactly what you’re looking for.

The Benefits of Hiring a Retirement Advisor

Hiring a retirement advisor gives you one-on-one help as you prepare for your golden years. You can ask questions, seek out your advisor’s recommendations, and discuss changes or setbacks along the way with someone who’s an expert. 

There are many ways a retirement advisor can help you. They include:

  • Helping you identify action steps to achieve your financial goals.
  • Pointing out gaps or missing pieces in your retirement plans.
  • Offering advice on maximizing your retirement funds.
  • Helping you take advantage of special account options, like a 401(k) or IRA.
  • Developing a strategy to reduce debt over time.
  • Assessing and planning for retirement expenses, like healthcare or long-term care.
  • Adjusting your investments over time to suit your needs and your risk level.
  • Suggesting products that can help you get supplemental retirement income.
  • Discussing Social Security benefits.
  • Managing taxes for withdrawals once you retire.

Overall, your retirement advisor will work with you to achieve your financial goals through different opportunities and with different strategies. They’ll offer objective advice – and they’ll be level-headed and honest about details like investment risks and growth potential. 

And a retirement advisor can be a great person to turn to when the unexpected happens. Should the economy or stock market become volatile, your advisor can offer rational, experienced advice for your money. They can guide you during periods of uncertainty, and they can create a plan to restore or adapt your funds as needed. 

Lastly, a retirement advisor is more knowledgeable than the average person when it comes to retirement finances. Your advisor will know current tax laws and policy. This can be critically important when you’re planning to make withdrawals from retirement savings accounts and when dealing with your investments. 

The Cost of a Retirement Advisor

Hiring a retirement advisor does come at a price. But you don’t have to hand over thousands of dollars each time you meet with or speak to your advisor. 

Retirement advisors, or financial advisors, charge clients in different ways. You can work with an advisor who charges a commission, a fee, or by the hour. And each of these different kinds of charges comes with a different cost.

Commission-Based Advisors

If you work with an advisor who charges a commission, your costs will come from any items that you purchase from your advisor. For example, if your advisor recommends certain investments or savings accounts and you decide to use them, the advisor will make a commission. Typically, an advisor’s commission ranges from two to 10 percent of a sale. If you invested $100,000 in a particular mutual fund, you’d end up paying your advisor a commission of anywhere from $2,000 to $10,000.

Fee-Based Advisors

If you work with a fee-based retirement advisor, you’ll pay a fee for investing your money. Instead of recommending or selling you on certain financial products, a fee-based advisor will earn money through a fee that’s charged on your funds. This can either be a fee that’s charged when your money grows or a fee that’s based on how much money your advisor is managing. For example, an advisor might charge a 1 percent fee for managing your money. If you have $400,000 under your advisor’s management, you’d pay a fee of $4,000 annually.

Per-Hour Advisor

If you choose to work with an advisor who works on a per-hour basis, you’ll pay only for the advice and services you utilize. These advisors charge clients a fee by the hour. Typically, you can expect to pay between $150 and $300 per hour. Your advisor could also charge by the project – if they’re taking on a significant planning project for your finances, they may charge a flat rate of $1,000 or more. It’s similar to how you’d pay an attorney.

How to Find a Retirement Advisor

Are you ready to get your finances in order for retirement? There’s no better time to take action than right now. And you can start your search for a retirement advisor right online.

As you search for a retirement advisor, you’ll want to consider and compare a few different options. You’ll want to compare different advisors’ qualifications, including:

  • Their professional background and experience.
  • Any certifications they hold.
  • The services they offer.
  • How they charge clients (fees, hourly rates, or commissions).
  • If they are a fiduciary and are ethically bound to act in clients’ best interests.
  • Client reviews.
  • Their investment approach and financial management style.

Once you’ve narrowed down your options, you can meet with retirement advisors to get a better sense of whether they’re a good fit for you. You can begin working towards this step online, at home, with a search for qualified retirement advisors in your area.

Retiring Couple Discussing Finances with Professionalgoodluz / Shutterstock

Heather Fishel



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