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Find the right financial planner for you

money-talkA recent study finds that 52 percent of American households are at risk of not being able to carry their current lifestyle into retirement.

It’s important to be smart with your retirement planning and adjusting your strategy based on your age. A good financial planner can help you do all of that.

Look for a planner who is a fiduciary. Planners who are fiduciaries have a duty of loyalty to their clients and a duty of care. The duty of loyalty means they must always consider their clients’ interests above their own, even if that interest negatively impacts their own income.

Focus on experience. Look for planners with the CFP(R) certification. This certification means a financial planner has met rigorous professional standards and has agreed to adhere to the principles of integrity, objectivity, fairness, confidentiality, professionalism and diligence.

Focus on financial planning. Ask your planner if they have ever written a financial plan and what the plan might look like for you. Holistic financial planning includes tax planning, education planning, estate planning, retirement advice and more.

Ask how your planner will minimize and disclose conflicts. There is a chance that your planner’s personal dealings could create a conflict with your financial decisions. The key is to find a planner that will minimize conflicts and disclose any conflicts to you ahead of time.

Are they compatible with you? Over the course of your relationship you will share plenty of personal information with your planner, and entrust them with your financial future. Listen to your gut.

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