The financial advisor we have worked with for 25 years is retiring so my husband and I are in the process of interviewing advisors. It’s hard to change advisors! It’s like finding a new doctor or dentist when you’ve been going to the same one for years and are happy with the relationship. Our financial advisor knew all of our quirks and preferences, and even our bad habits (like losing the cost basis of a stock we bought in 1989).
So far the process of finding a new advisor has been a good experience and has given us an opportunity to revisit our financial goals and take a close look at our priorities once again. Prioritizing can be really difficult when each goal is important on its own. Our top priorities include supporting our children and their educations, protecting our assets, ensuring we have the income we need throughout retirement, and being able to give to the charitable causes we feel strongly about.
One of my children asked me why we needed an advisor in the first place since I’ve spent my career in the retirement industry. Legitimate question. The short answer is that I’m smart enough to know what I don’t know. I explained that there’s a big difference between what I do and the services an advisor provides. Personally, I find it immensely helpful to discuss goals and finances with a professional who focuses on retirement and investment strategies every day and can assist us in putting a personalized plan together to help my husband and I remain on track. But expertise is not the only criteria. We also want to work with someone whose style and approach fits us as individuals and as a couple. We would love to find someone we could partner with for the next 25 years.
Have you recently started working with or changed your financial advisor? What was your experience like? Are there any search tips you’d like to share with those of us just starting the process?