Frequently Asked Questions

You should consider working with a Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®) if you need comprehensive financial planning and advice. Here are some situations where it might be beneficial to work with a CFP®:

1. You need help creating a comprehensive financial plan: If you want a holistic view of your finances and help creating a plan to work toward your financial goals, a CFP® can provide guidance and expertise.

2. You're planning for a major life event: Whether you're getting married, having a child, buying a home, or planning for retirement, a CFP® can help you navigate the financial implications of these events and provide the confidence that you're financially prepared.

3. You want to optimize your investments: If you're not confident in your ability to invest on your own or want a professional to review your investment portfolio, a CFP® can provide guidance on the best investment strategies for your goals and risk tolerance.

4. You're seeking financial education: Even if you feel comfortable managing your finances, a CFP® can provide valuable education on financial topics and help you stay up to date on changes in the financial landscape.

5. You don't have the time or expertise to manage your finances: If you're too busy with work, family, or other obligations, you may not have the time to properly manage your finances. A financial advisor can help you create a plan that aligns with your goals and takes care of the day-to-day management of your finances.

It's important to note that not all financial advisors are CFP® professionals. The CFP® certification is widely recognized as a standard of excellence in the financial planning industry and requires extensive education, experience, and ethical standards. If you want a comprehensive financial plan and advice from a highly qualified professional, working with a CFP® can be a smart choice.

Yes. A fiduciary is a person or entity who is legally obligated to act in the best interests of their clients. In the context of choosing a financial advisor, a fiduciary financial advisor is legally and ethically bound to put their clients' interests first. This means that they must prioritize their clients' goals and objectives over their own financial gain.

Working with a fiduciary financial advisor can provide confidence for clients because they can trust that their advisor will always act in their best interest. This includes providing comprehensive advice, disclosing any potential conflicts of interest, and recommending investments and strategies that align with their clients' goals and risk tolerance.

It's important to note that not all financial advisors are fiduciaries. Some financial advisors are held to a suitability standard, which only requires them to recommend products that are suitable for their clients' needs. As a result, it's important to ask potential financial advisors if they are fiduciaries and how they prioritize their clients' interests before deciding to work with them. You should also know that a fiduciary relationship can only be established for advisory accounts.

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That is a tricky question, as determining how much you need to save for retirement depends on several factors, including your age, income, expenses, and retirement goals. Here are some general guidelines to help you get started:

• Aim to save at least 10-15% of your income for retirement. This can vary based on your individual circumstances, but this is a good starting point.

• Consider your retirement goals and work backward. How much money do you want to have saved by retirement? What kind of lifestyle do you want to have? This will help you determine how much you need to save now to get there.

• Use a retirement calculator to estimate your retirement needs. A retirement calculator can help you estimate how much you need to save based on your current age, retirement age, and other factors. You can find one here.

• Take advantage of retirement accounts. Contributing to retirement accounts like 401(k)s, IRAs, and Roth IRAs can help you save more for retirement while taking advantage of tax benefits.

• Consider working with a financial advisor. A financial advisor can help you create a retirement plan that considers your individual circumstances and goals.

Remember, the earlier you start saving for retirement, the easier it will be to pursue your goals. If you're unsure how much you need to save, consider consulting with a financial advisor to help you create a plan that addresses your needs.

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Deciding whether to make traditional or Roth contributions for retirement depends on your individual circumstances and financial goals. Here are some factors to consider:

• Tax bracket: If you're in a high tax bracket now, it might make sense to make traditional contributions and take advantage of the tax deduction. If you're in a lower tax bracket, making Roth contributions could make more sense since you'll pay taxes now and not when you withdraw the money during retirement.

• Future tax rates: It's impossible to predict what tax rates will be in the future, but if you think your tax rate will be higher in retirement, it might make sense to make Roth contributions. If you think your tax rate will be lower in retirement, traditional contributions could be a better option.

• Diversification: Diversifying your retirement savings between traditional and Roth accounts can provide flexibility during retirement and help manage your tax liabilities. Often, the best strategy is the most flexible one.

• Future income needs: An online calculator can help estimate your tax liability on future withdrawals. You can find those tools here.

Ultimately, the decision to make traditional or Roth contributions depends on your individual circumstances and financial goals. A financial advisor can help you determine the best strategy for your retirement savings.

Watch the video here to learn more about saving for retirement.