With the right Certified Financial Planner (CFP), you can ensure your retirement will be successful and can enjoy reduced stress and increased peace of mind knowing your best interests are considered first.
Your retirement can be worry-free because you know that everything is in good hands, allowing you to focus on the important things in life like spending time with family and enjoying travel.
The recent economic downturn has made it clear that those who are unprepared for retirement will struggle financially. Now more than ever, you need to find a financial planner for retirement who can listen to your needs and provide appropriate advice.
Financial Advisor vs Certified Financial Planner
Financial planners are highly qualified professionals who help people make the right decisions about their finances. They work in various areas, such as banking, finance, and investment. However, there is confusion about the difference between financial advisors and Certified Financial Planners. As it turns out, both provide similar services to their clients but at different levels of engagement. Understanding this difference can make it easier for you to determine which one is the best fit for your needs.
Financial advisors are typically employed by banks or other large institutions to advise their customers on savings options and investments. Financial Advisors are generally paid through commissions earned on the products they sell to you. They are not legally required to act in your best interest, and this means that they may recommend a strategy or product based on how much money it will make them rather than what is in your best interests.
Certified Financial Planners (CFPs), on the other hand, have passed special training courses in order to earn their designation. Certified Financial Planners usually work with individuals or families to help them plan for retirement and build a long-term relationship with their clients.
All CFPs are held to a strict standard of fiduciary duty, meaning are legally required to act in your best interest, so you know that they will always have your financial security as their top priority. This “fiduciary responsibility” essentially means they will put your needs ahead of their own interest, and are barred from buying a financial product for you simply because they are paid a high commission.
Surprisingly, in 2018 a proposal was brought to the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) that was designed to hold investment advisers working for the big banks, mutual fund, and insurance companies more accountable by proposing a “best-interest standard” that would require that they put their clients’ best interests first. The proposal was REJECTED by Canada’s provincial securities regulators.
Most clients are shocked when they hear that this standard isn’t already in place, and was turned down by regulators.
Tips on How To Start Your Search
One of the most important decisions a person can make is how they will save, spend and invest their money. With the right mindset, you’re more likely to have an enjoyable retirement with sustainable income.
When you’re looking for a financial planner, start by finding someone who is an expert in the field of investment management, retirement planning and estate planning. You can get referrals from friends or family members you trust or ask your broker to recommend one of their planners.
You should also look for CFPs who are not affiliated with any particular company so they do not have a bias towards any one bank, mutual fund or insurance company. For example, at Pension Solutions Canada, we are an independent firm, not tied to a specific company. This means you’ll get completely honest, unbiased recommendations and a truly customized solution tailored to your plans and goals. We work with all the major providers including Canada Life, Sun Life, and Desjardins with a focus on exceptional customer service.
What to Expect From A Meeting With Your Financial Planner
When you meet with your Certified Financial Planner, be sure to share as much information as possible about your family’s financial situation and the planned use of the money. For example, if you’re planning on using part of your retirement funds to pay for children’s education or a child’s wedding, let them know this so they can incorporate it into their recommendations.
When you first meet with a CFP, expect him or her to ask questions about your income and expenses, tax situation, savings plans and long-term goals. You should feel comfortable sharing any information that you think will help them help you. A good planner will also encourage ongoing communication after meeting with you initially so they can stay up-to-date with any changes that may happen to your financial situation.
How to Choose Which Certified Financial Planner Fits Your Needs
It is important to identify what kind of advisor you need. Financial planners offer a wide range of services, from investments to insurance and estate planning. There are also advisors who can help you with your taxes or managing your portfolio. However, it’s best to find someone who concentrates on one or two areas so they can provide personalized care.
Do you need someone who can help with retirement? Do you need someone to help with small businesses? Do you want someone who specializes in investments? Or do you want someone who can help with estate planning?
It is important to know what your needs are so that when the time comes, it will be easier for you to find the right person.
Where To Look For A Great Financial Advisor
The best way to find a financial planner is from word-of-mouth recommendations from friends and family members who have been helped by one. In addition, ask for references from past clients, read online reviews, and check their LinkedIn profile.
What To Look Out For When Choosing A Financial Planner
The first thing you should do is find out how long the advisor has been in the industry and if they have any educational certifications that demonstrate their knowledge in handling client finances.
You should also ask about their investment philosophy for various types of portfolios and what the advisor’s process is for making recommendations on asset allocation.
Keep in mind that some business websites with flashy marketing may not be what they seem! Look for CFPs that offer to have an initial consultation with you (we offer virtual Zoom calls) so you can actually see the person face-to-face and ask them questions so you feel comfortable that they are professional and an expert in their field.
Know how much time the person has to dedicate to you. If they are too busy or cannot work with your schedule, it is better to look for another one.
Meet with several candidates before deciding who is best for your needs.
Book A Virtual Consultation
Let’s explore your retirement and pension options together! We specialize in assisting people in preparing for retirement. Allow us to evaluate and review your retirement income sources and assist you with retirement planning. Call us at 1-888-554-6661, or click here to book a virtual Zoom meeting.