67% of Americans Haven’t Taken This Key Retirement Step — Have You?

Retirement is a critical time in one’s life, and, hopefully, a long-lasting one. Preparing for it is key, but how prepared are most Americans? According to the create a financial plan.

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What are the benefits, exactly, of consulting with an advisor ahead of retirement? Let’s explore. 

Budgeting and Planning 

Budgeting and planning are important parts of your financial life at any stage, but they get even more important in retirement, when you are likely to be living on a fixed income. 

“An advisor can help you put together a budget to show what you are bringing in and what you are spending, what you can save for emergencies and what you can save for retirement,” said Aviva Pinto, CDFA, CDS, managing director at Wealthspire Advisors. “They will work with you to create a financial plan which will be the road map of where you are today, factoring in your tolerance for risk (volatility in the markets), your time horizon (longevity), your cash needs short term and long term. It will analyze your lifestyle and see where you may need to make adjustments. The plan will include your needs, wants and wishes. It will help you prioritize what your desires are and how to best achieve them. It will detail how to invest your assets so that it can last your lifetime.”

Time Saving and Confidence 

“There are endless resources for those who seek guidance on managing their own portfolio,” said Scott Jensen, CFP, ChFC, RICP, AFFP, financial planning consultant, COUNTRY Financial. “Wading through it all can be difficult and time consuming and it’s easy to get mixed messages. Working with a financial professional can help you navigate it all and feel more confident about your financial future. Working with a trusted financial professional can get you to create a financial plan so you can prepare for your future as well as the unexpected. You can then execute the steps needed to achieve the financial plan.”

Industry Intel 

“Most people are not up to date on current changes to laws and strategies related to retirement planning,” said Matt Rowley, president and founder of Freedom Private Wealth. “For example, Secure Act 2.0 was recently passed and it will have a significant impact on retirement plans, but most people don’t know why or how. It’s 10,000 pages of regulations! A financial advisor’s job is to know those updates and understand how they can affect individual plans. I personally am in contact with advisors from across the country, and we’re all pouring over Secure Act 2.0 and sharing our insight with one another. We are putting in the time to know the disadvantages and advantages so that our clients don’t have to worry. We take that responsibility off their shoulders.”

Keeping You in the Loop

What’s going on with the market today? Things are always changing. An advisor will keep you in the loop. 

“Retirement advisors can help you keep up with changing market conditions that may affect retirement planning,” said Donny Gamble, CEO of Retirement Investments. “By staying in regular contact, an advisor can adjust your strategy as needed to remain on track for reaching long-term goals.” 

Tax Optimization

“The tax laws are incredibly complex and can be difficult to navigate,” said Scott Stanley, CFP, founder and wealth advisor at Pharos Wealth Management. “Working with a financial advisor can help you maximize your tax efficiency now and in retirement.  There are strategies and techniques that anyone can employ to avoid unnecessary taxation and, ultimately, save a lot of money in the long run.”

Personalization 

Anyone can go online and make a one-size-fits-all retirement plan. A financial planner will make a personalized retirement plan for just you. 

“You will define your goal-setting together based on your financial needs, lifestyle, risk tolerance and preferences,” said Deeksha Susty Beeharry, CFA, a portfolio risk manager. “This will help you to have further clarity on your financial goals, make informed decisions, develop an action plan to achieve them, and monitor progress over time. Getting professional guidance might help to relieve the stress and anxiety of the retirement planning process.”

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Peace of Mind 

A good night’s sleep is something that a financial advisor can help provide by giving you a general sense of security.  

“Sometimes, just knowing you have someone on your side to help you with complex financial matters can be the most important benefit,” Stanley said. “Numbers can get dizzying so it’s worth leaning on someone who has experience in planning and managing finances for guidance.”

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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: 67% of Americans Haven’t Taken This Key Retirement Step — Have You?

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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