When shopping for retirement, there are multiple stores available to you on your quest for the right plan. You can go to discount mutual fund stores, full service brokerage firms, insurance companies and comprehensive financial planners. All will tell you that they have exactly what you’re searching for, but just like any major purchase, you should do your homework first.
An analogy I like to use is as follows:
Imagine you are deciding to host a barbecue this weekend. You stop by Home Depot, and find an eager employee, wearing one of those familiar bright orange aprons, more than willing to help you with your grilling needs. The conversation might go something like this, “I’m looking to host a barbecue this weekend. Do you have everything I need to grill out this weekend?” The answer from our kind, orange-shirt friend would be, “Of course, we have a full aisle dedicated to your grilling enjoyment. We have both gas and charcoal grills, lighter fluid, briquettes, lighters, cooking utensils, thermometers and a wide assortment of all the smoking chips that your will ever need right down aisle 23 here.” With excitement, you head straight to the designated area, load up the back of your SUV with everything you need and head home thrilled with the gourmet possibilities that you are able to create now that you have everything you ever wanted for your backyard party.
Then, as you’re turning the last corner toward your house, you have a thought and with a bit of disappointment, you realize that you were somewhat misled. While that kind, cheerful, even helpful employee wearing an orange apron promised you everything you would ever need to go barbecuing this weekend, you realize that you missing one important ingredient - the food which needs go onto the grill.
So you make a quick turn into the parking lot of Lunds, feeling relieved that you can now fulfill your weekend endeavor of one great big barbecue feast. Upon entering the store you find another eager, helpful and friendly employee. This employee with the green apron assures you that indeed Lunds has all that you would ever need to go barbecuing this weekend. In fact, the goods are right over by the butcher counter - steaks, pork chops, sausages and chicken.
While no fault to either the Home Depot or the Lunds employees, they both truly believe that they can provide everything that you need to go grilling this weekend. But the reality is, that in order to have your backyard family feast, you need to have both the grilling equipment as well as the food to grill. While neither purposely deceives the consumer, both offer what they have in their inventory and promise that they can provide exactly the services needed.
Frustrating as it may be, retirement planning often offers the same experience. An advisor who offers mutual funds, stocks and bonds will assure you that they can provide everything needed for a fulfilling retirement plan just the same as an insurance agent can offer you annuities and life insurance to satisfy your retirement needs. Neither individual is purposely misleading a consumer. But just as you are unable to acquire both the food and the equipment for grilling at either Home Depot or Lunds alone, it is impossible to do comprehensive financial planning if your inventory is limited to only a few kinds of financial products.
To grill you need both the equipment and the meat. Comprehensive financial planning requires an expertise in both traditional investment products as well as knowledge in insurance tools. If you currently have a retirement advisor, ask questions to discover if they represent one product or another in order to evaluate whether your financial plan is truly complete.
Comprehensive planning is available to you when you partner with a knowledgeable professional like those at Secured Retirement Advisors. In order to help you, we have recently updated our website and now offer many FREE down-loadable resources which can help answer many retirement questions. Feel free to visit us at www.securedretirements.com and help yourself to our educational materials. If you would like a complementary “3 Step Review” of your own retirement plan, call Secured Retirement Advisors at 952-460-3260.