How to find the right financial professional

Having a clear financial path can help give you confidence for the future.

– Blanche Cheeley

Financial professionals are trusted, collaborative and objective partners, and can provide tailored strategies that will help you work towards a safe, comfortable retirement. Whether you’re thinking about planning for a fulfilling retirement, opening a business or saving for your children’s college tuition, you don’t have to do it alone.

The right financial professional will guide you every step of the way, building actionable plans and providing personalized strategies that will help you meet your needs and achieve your goals.

Just ask financial professionals Blanche Cheeley and Heather Drebenstedt. “Having a clear financial path can help give you confidence for the future,” Cheeley says.

Drebenstedt agrees. “Our knowledgeable and experienced team of advisors strive to help create a relationship with our clients that lessens the day-to-day stress of financial worries and planning, allowing clients to spend more time on what matters most to them: family, friends, hobbies, travel, volunteering, and their other interests,” she says.

A common misconception is that you have to be wealthy to afford a qualified financial professional to help manage your finances and plan for the future. The reality is that there is an advisor for every budget and financial situation – if you know where to look, and what questions to ask.

Here are four tips for finding the right financial professional.

  • Understand the role of a trusted advisor. Financial professionals help people manage their money and develop a plan for their financial future. They can provide a range of financial services – from investment management to budgeting guidance and estate planning – and many specialize in specific subject areas, so be mindful of what you are hoping to achieve by enlisting their counsel. The professional you choose will ultimately depend on your financial situation and money management needs.
  • Ask the right questions. When considering a potential financial professional, it’s important to get to know them, their approach and understand the basics of their business. The Alliance for Lifetime Income has assembled a list of questions that you can enlist when interviewing and vetting prospective partners. Knowing the right questions to ask can save you time, effort and money, and help ensure you get the most out of the partnership.
  • Be honest about your financial needs. Your financial situation and your needs should drive your decision in choosing a financial professional. The right, trusted partner will take the time to answer your questions, understand your and your family’s situation and goals, and make you feel comfortable and confident working alongside them.
  • Set yourself up for success. Before you invest, be sure to ask your financial professional about your retirement plan, and if the features and benefits of annuities are appropriate for you based on your financial situation and objectives. An annuity is a form of protected income that can help give you peace of mind by providing a steady and regular stream of income you can count on for your entire life. There are a variety of annuity options available and they can help you determine what option may best for you.

A good place to start is protectedincome.org/find-a-financial-professional – a list of helpful financial planning tools and resources to help you get started and discover the right professional near you. For additional financial guidance, be sure to check out the Alliance for Lifetime Income’s website.

For more on the role of the financial professional, including how to find, switch, or consolidate professionals, watch our Your Money Map conversation with financial advisors Blanche Cheeley and Heather Drebenstedt, hosted by Jean Chatzky, on the Alliance for Lifetime Income Facebook page.

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