If you are an avid reader of the One Reverse Mortgage blog you may have noticed we always tell you to consult your financial advisor when it comes to any choices you have to make with your money. But what if you do not have a financial advisor? How do you pick a good financial advisor or planner? Here are some helpful tips for picking the best financial advisor.
What is a financial advisor?
A financial advisor is a trained specialist in investment and financial planning. Financial advisors or planners (they are even called financial brokers) help with retirement planning or buying a home. They help to determine the best way to use 401(k) accounts and Roth accounts. Your financial advisor should be licensed to provide advice but are not required to have any specific education. The certification your financial advisor should have is a certified financial planner (CFP) which must be renewed yearly. Many financial advisors work on commission or charge a per-transaction fee every time he or she works for you.
What to look for with a good financial advisor
The first thing you want to find out about your potential advisor is if they are licensed are not. Another thing you will also need to check into is your state laws with advisors and find out exactly what an advisor needs to have to be licensed in your state. Keep in mind that rules will vary from state to state.
Do your research
Research the type of clients your advisor deals with. Does it make sense for you to use that advisor? If you are a small client for your advisor amongst a group of big time investors your advisor might not make time for you. You also want to familiarize yourself with financial terms and strategies so when you finally talk with an advisor you are knowledgeable about what they will discuss with you.
What do you want most from your financial advisor?
Do you want retirement help? Do you want estate planning help? Will you want to ask your advisor questions about your kids’ investments as well? Be sure to get a good idea of exactly what you want your financial advisor to do for you. Explain your goals to your advisor. They should be able to get an understanding from you of what you need and determine if they can work with you.
Talk to more than one advisor
You may get lucky and find the best advisor for you and your financial plan, but don’t settle for your first advisor. Talk to at least three different advisors. Ask them questions about their qualifications and experience. See if they are able to help you. It may take you some time to find the right advisor for you.
Look for an ethical advisor
While an advisor should be ethical because that is a requirement for their CFP license, you will still run across advisors who are not in good standing with ethical code of conduct. Be sure to do a background check on your advisor to see if they have had an issue with the law for any reason.
Sign a contract
Consider signing a contract with your advisor so you both know exactly where you stand with expectations. As I mentioned earlier advisors sometimes get paid a commission or an hourly rate. Be sure to iron out with your advisor how payment will be made.
Available when you need them
You want to be sure that your advisor will be available when you need them. Find out if they have a lot of clients. Ask if it is easy to make an appointment with them. How far in advance do you need to set up an appointment with them? If it seems like the advisor is too busy for you, don’t settle for that advisor.
These tips should help you find the right advisor for your situation. Remember to trust your gut when looking for an advisor. If you don’t feel completely confident in advisor’s ability to help you, you are not obligated to work with them.
If your financial advisor tells you to look into a reverse mortgage you know you want to work with the best and that One Reverse Mortgage. We are the largest retail reverse mortgage lender in America with licensed professionals ready to help you. What is a reverse mortgage? A reverse mortgage eliminates your current mortgage* and if you have any additional equity you can use that tax-free** cash for anything you want. Currently there are no income or credit requirements for a reverse mortgage and you are never required to make a payment as long as you live in your home. You can have the peace of mind knowing you can live in your home for the rest of your life.
Kristen Curzytek is a writer for Retiring Wise. Give us a call at (800)401-8114 to talk to one of our licensed professionals. They can discuss your financial situation with you and determine if a reverse mortgage makes sense for you and your financial goals.
*Homeowner is still responsible for taxes, insurance and property maintenance.
**Please consult with your financial advisor.