Do I need a financial advisor once I retire? As you begin retirement planning, consider how advisors can help with retirement finances and money management.
Retirement is a major milestone and a significant achievement in anyone’s life. Reaching retirement is the culmination of decades’ worth of saving, smart financial planning, and dedication. It’s all too common, however, for retirees to think that the work stops once retirement ends. In fact, that’s when many of us need more professional financial advice than ever before.
Retirement comes with its own unique financial challenges. Balancing the cost of medical care as we age, hedging against the effects of economic inflation, and making sure we can still enjoy the travel and leisure that retirement offers are just a few considerations. There is also the desire to make sure we can leave behind a legacy for our loved ones as well. This is where the expertise of a financial advisor in retirement becomes crucial.
The Unique Financial Considerations of Retirement
Having enough money to retire comfortably is just the start. Now that your working years are behind you, the focus shifts to preserving wealth and planning your finances for the rest of your life and beyond. New considerations, such as the potential cost of long-term care, life expectancy in retirement being higher than ever before, and how a shaky stock market can impact even the most conservative portfolio all come to mind.
Personal finances in retirement have unique considerations that are likely new for most newly-retired people and their families. You’ll now have to navigate market uncertainty in a way that differs significantly from your strategies during your working years, for starters. Inflation also poses a looming threat of making life’s essentials—as well as luxuries—more expensive, all while your budget may not have the same wiggle room.
The most important consideration for most retirees is the cost of long-term medical care. Even the best healthcare plans only account for a portion of the overall expenses most are likely to encounter as they age. Other factors, such as home health aids, care managers, and the possibility of moving to an assisted living facility all loom large in late retirement. Ensuring you have enough resources to account for care in your later years is pivotal, but many retirees fail to save as much as they should.
Money Management in Retirement
Managing money in retirement can pose a considerable challenge for most seniors. First, there’s the need to keep on top of everyday expenses and budgeting, which makes long-term financial planning a difficult task to stay on top of. Then, there’s the challenge posed by keeping up with market fluctuations and knowing when (or if) to make a move with the money you still have in the market. Last, but certainly not least, are the cognitive and health challenges that seniors might face as they get older.
Even the savviest investors face significant challenges in managing their portfolio as they age. If you’re thinking about going it alone for the first time after partnering with a financial advisor in the past, you may find that even a straightforward retirement portfolio can still pose challenging strategy issues. This is all the more true for those who need to make sure their money provides for a comfortable quality of life for the duration of their golden years.
Another important consideration is the role our own health plays in retirement, and how it might affect our ability (and interest) in managing a portfolio. Cognitive decline is an unfortunate reality for many of us, which can complicate financial matters for ourselves and loved ones. Just because you might be able to go it alone in the early years of retirement, it’s more than possible that the challenge becomes more difficult as the years go by.
Most retirees may not have interest in spending the time and energy necessary to manage their own finances. After all, you’ve worked hard throughout your life in order to enjoy retirement on your terms. Keeping track of your finances might not be a fit within this lifestyle.
How a Financial Advisor Can Help
Financial advisors aren’t just for those who are working toward retirement. Rather, they are equipped to help guide people throughout various phases of life—and the unique challenges that come with them. Having a financial advisor in retirement can help you manage several elements of your savings, investments, and even future plans for giving.
There is a common misconception that the need for financial guidance ends once you’ve finished saving for retirement. This couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, retaining or taking on a financial advisor in retirement can help you prepare for what is arguably one of the most challenging, complex financial periods of one’s life.
Living on a fixed income isn’t easy for anyone, despite how well they’ve saved. There are also other factors to bear in mind, such as the cost of care and the financial complexities that come with it.
The biggest reason to retain or hire a financial advisor in retirement comes down to estate planning. Financial advisors know the ins-and-outs of helping their clients establish the right way to transfer wealth to family members and friends in a tax-savvy manner. Many advisors may be able to provide you with options you didn’t know you had before, making them essential in the planning process.
Ultimately, the role of a financial advisor goes far beyond getting you to the retirement finish line. Managing money on a fixed income, no matter the amount, can be a challenge for retirees who want to focus on spending time on passion projects, family, or other pursuits. By staying with (or finding) a financial advisor, you can help worry-proof your retirement, plan for the unexpected, and ensure that your legacy goes as far as possible.