how to choose a retirement planner

Understand How Financial Advisors Get Paid

There are typically 3 ways advisors get paid in this industry:

  • The first is by commission only. This is typically how an insurance agent gets paid. If the insurance agent sells a product, the insurance carrier will pay him a commission for the sale.
  • The second is by fee-only. This type of advisor gets paid to put together financial plans. This type of advisor also can charge a fee, such as a percentage of assets under management, for your investments that he manages.
  • The third way is how we are compensated: Hybrid. Hybrid is a blend between the first two options. When we help you manage your money, we typically charge a fee based on percentage of assets under management. We also charge a fee to put together financial plans in some situations.

As for commissions… The reason we also get some compensation through commission based products is because some products are only available through that method, such as annuities, Medicare Supplements, and life insurance. When we help our clients make sure their money lasts as long as they do, these tools are often essential to putting the best plan together. Medicare Supplements help control their health expenses, which in turn protects their retirement nest egg.

Annuities, (when sold properly and responsibly), offer fantastic guarantees as far as lifetime income goes. When annuities are sold irresponsibly by deceitful (or incompetent) advisors, they can be absolutely horrible financial products for retirees.

And of course, the same logic applies to life insurance, still the best way to pass assets tax free to the next generation.

Questions to Ask a Financial Advisor

How many years have you been offering advice?
Olympic Golden Retirements has been helping clients with safe money retirement strategies for over 15 years.

Are you a fiduciary and what exactly does that mean to me?

Yes. What this means is that as an Investment Advisor Representative (IAR), we are a Fiduciary and by law, we have to put our client’s interests ahead of our own. Something that a broker, who works for a brokers-dealer, may not.

In what ways and amounts do you receive fees or commissions?
As we are both insurance and securities licensed, we receive one time commissions on insurance products &/or yearly management fees for the amount of money you decide you want actively managed.

How will you help me plan my financial goals?
We follow a multistep planning process where we first help you identify your financial goals, develop a risk profile number, review your existing plan to see how it compares to your risk profile number, identify opportunities to align these two numbers and help you reach your financial goals more effectively, and implement recommendations once approved.

Do you offer comprehensive financial planning and can you describe what that is?
As we are both insurance and securities licensed, we do not have an agenda to only sell annuities or your money completely at risk in the market. We find that most people have financial needs that range from maximum immediate income on one end to maximum legacy on the other, and every combination in between. Once we have a clear understanding of your current financial situation and your objectives, we help you develop and implement the right plan.

What kind of clients do you specialize in?
We specialize with working with conservative minded investors 50 and over.

Could I see a sample financial plan?

Once I become a client, what are your review meetings like?
We review the performance of your plan that will fluctuate over the course of the year (managed money), discuss any life events that might require us to make changes to your plan, answer any questions you have, and make any changes necessary.

How often will we meet?
We generally like to have four meetings per year, once a quarter, if one of our money managers is actively managing your portfolio. The first and third meeting and be virtual and or by phone only for to have the second meeting (1/2 year) and the fourth meeting (1 year) face-to-face in our offices.

How much contact do you have with your clients after we decide on a plan?
In addition to the description of how often we will meet, you can expect a monthly newsletter from Olympic Golden Retirements as well as regular financial updates from the money manager we have selected to oversee your portfolio.

Will I be working only with one person or with a team?
We are a team of three advisors here at Olympic Golden Retirements and we have developed strategic relationships with CPAs and attorneys who we consult on a regular basis as we implement solutions for our clients.

What makes your client experience unique?
We are a client centric advisory firm that believes in delivering value and education before asking our clients to move a single penny over to us. We are selective about who we take on as a client because we know how much time is required to give each client the attention needed and the level of service, communication, and access promised.

Have you ever received disciplinary infractions?

How do you stay up to date with market news and industry changes?
We regularly attend live industry training events, ongoing online education, talk regularly with the various money managers we work with, and a passion that drives each of us to be avid readers of financial and geopolitical news that could affect our clients’ plans.

Do you use tactical money management? And can you tell me about the models?
Yes. We work with the various money managers who each use different models and algorithms. We are happy to go into the details of the different money managers and their respective philosophy/strategy when we get to that point in the planning process.