Financial planning. Everyone’s favorite subject and thing to do. We all know deep down we need to do it but sometimes it seems a trip to the dentist’s office would be more fun. No wonder Americans spend so little time planning what might be 20-30 years of retirement. Birthday parties and vacations are so much more fun to plan. After all, all the products and sales pitches are just too confusing, seemingly complex, complicated and can be flat out boring.
IRA's, ROTH's, 401k's, 457's, 529's, LTC, Term Life, Variable Life, Whole Life, Universal Life, Indexed Annuities, Variable Annuities, and so many more financial products out there. Pretty much anyone properly licensed can sell any or all of these. There's a minefield of choices. Makes your head spin. The industry bombards us with so many products and jargon, no wonder we procrastinate. But we all know we need to start sometime and somewhere and the sooner the better. Just ask any older person if they wished they started saving sooner.
So……… Where do you turn? Who do you listen to? Who do you trust? Here’s a good start:
When choosing who to do business with, many choose to work with big name companies. Instead of the big name, some important factors are:
Are they a fiduciary? A fiduciary has a legal responsibility to operate with your best interest first and foremost and not represent just what is suitable. There is a big difference between what is a suitable recommendation and a fiduciaries responsibility of best interest!
Are they independent and do they represent multiple companies?
Are they fee-based or commissioned?
How much experience do they have in the Industry? Have they seen both bull and bear markets? Can they explain in detail exactly how a whole life policy, variable life, indexed or variable annuity really work?
Are they a full-service firm with a support system to address your own specific individual, family and business needs?
Do they take a holistic approach to your wants, needs, and goals?
Are they someone you would be friends with and be comfortable referring friends to?
Do they love what they do or just selling product for profit?