Some people have the time, temperament, knowledge and discipline to handle their own finances, while others could use a little help. Regardless of which category you fall into, you should seriously consider hiring an adviser to help you when it comes to retirement. Why? Because the financial issues facing a retiree are very different than the financial issues facing a pre-retiree.
Whether we do it or not, most of us are at least familiar with the concept of saving. Saving is a pre-retirement issue. We’re usually less familiar with concepts like cash flow management, determining how much we need to retire, pension payout options, retirement plan distributions, estate planning, maximizing Social Security, researching and obtaining health insurance and the tax consequences of certain distribution strategies. Those are post-retirement issues. Those are issues that most of us don’t deal with very often, so getting a little help is probably a wise move.
To help people evaluate their retirement knowledge, The American College of Financial Services recently developed a retirement literacy quiz. They gave the quiz to 1,019 Americans ages 60 to 75 who had at least $100,000 in assets. How did they do? Eighty percent of the people failed. Ouch! Fourteen percent got a Gentleman’s D. Less than one percent got an A. Those results reaffirm the point I was making earlier. Most people aren’t familiar with the types of financial issues that they will be dealing with in retirement and could benefit from some help.
I’d encourage you to take the retirement quiz and see how you do (Full Disclosure: I got 100%, but hey, this is what I do for a living!). Hopefully long time readers will do better than most since I’ve written on many of the topics before, but if you miss your fair share, consider reaching out for some help. Maybe that means hiring an adviser. Maybe it just means browsing past articles in our Archives or picking up a resource from our Store like The Ideal Retirement Design Guide. Bottom line: get some help if you need it. Don’t let mistakes derail your retirement.