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Do you need a financial advisor? This short message gives you 3 key things to consider before going it alone.
Do you really need a financial advisor? With online brokerages and the big fund houses making it so easy to invest and trade, why does anyone need to pay fees to someone to help them manage their finances? Julie Jason, the author of the AARP Retirement Survival Guide says there are three key criteria for anyone planning to 'go it alone' with their finances.
First, to be a 'successful do it yourself retiree', you need to have a track record as a successful investor. A successful investor is someone with the discipline to do their own research, make buy and sell decisions, read brokerage statements and confirmations and prospectuses. And to have consistently made money doing so.
Second, you must know how to create retirement income. This is a separate and distinct skill from being a successful investor. Creating retirement income requires that you understand how to generate sufficient cash income over time regardless of whether the market is 'up' or 'down'. You must be able to sequence all of you tax deferred accounts, asset types and government programs to ensure that your cash inflow stays in balance with your outflows.
Finally, your spouse needs to have these skills. It does no good for you to be an expert investor if your partner is overwhelmed the moment you are incapacitated.
The simple truth is this: If both of you aren't equipped with the skills to go it alone, you should seek the help of a qualified advisor.