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Should You Keep Your Wealth Advisor Once You're Ready to Retire?


Your wealth advisor has been a trusted ally through much of your working life. You’ve been through a lot together—promotions, layoffs, bull markets, the Great Recession, shipping the kids off to college, that medical procedure last year. Now you’ve reached arguably your biggest milestone together: retirement.

By now, you’re pretty well acquainted with the ins and outs of your wealth advisor’s expertise. You’ve crafted a retirement plan together. Do you really need to continue investing 1 percent of your nest egg in professional advice when a variety of robo-advisors are just a click away?

Actually, yes. Below are just a handful of reasons why it pays to keep your wealth advisor close at hand during your retirement years.


They keep a cool head

In addition to the familiarity and rapport you’ve developed over time, a retirement wealth advisor provides something an algorithm is sorely lacking: a conscience. They will be the level head that prevails when markets get very hot or go stone cold.

Bad markets are a fact of investment life, and you may feel like it’s time to jump ship. Boom markets raise unrealistic expectations and may prompt unnecessary risk. The Great Recession is a good litmus test for how an advisor moderates a client’s potential panic. Did they drop everything and run in circles? Or reach across the desk, plant a firm hand on your shoulder, and suggest a variety of portfolio tweaks to ride out the storm, incurring as little damage as possible?

They craft your cash flow

You may have amassed an impressive portfolio, but managing a retirement nest egg is an altogether different challenge, one that can benefit from professional advice on how your resources will dovetail with your needs in the years and decades to come.

While certain work-related expenses will go down in retirement, such as a professional wardrobe and wear and tear on your car, others may tick upward, like entertainment, travel, and restaurants. And many retirees see their expenses soar in later years, as they feel they can (and should) say “yes!” to every experience and opportunity that comes their way.

Oh, and there’s one more (somewhat predictable yet irresistible) retirement expense to manage: grandkids. Beyond flights and rental cars, the costs of grandparenting include outings, gifts, and—in some cases—significant financial support for education or household expenses.

Keeping these various outward streams of cash from overwhelming your monthly budget can be a stressful prospect, one that a wealth advisor can help alleviate.

They help manage taxes

Taxes will have a significant impact on your retirement savings, 401(k), and investments. The matrix of what pools of money are taxed, at what rate, and the impact of withdrawals can be truly daunting for the average retiree. Contrary to popular assumption, these accounts are not pots of money just waiting for you to empty them. They each have amounts owed to Uncle Sam that, if not properly monitored, will affect your ability to accurately set a retirement budget.

A wealth advisor can help set up a plan for which accounts to tap and in what order to minimize taxes and penalties and keep your nest egg healthy for as long as you are.

They plan for your longevity

In this age of increased attention to wellness and access to higher-quality healthcare, you may very well live longer than you expect. The longer and healthier you live, the more resources you will need. Whether you live out your days vibrantly in your own home or need some assistance in a care facility, an advisor can help plan for the long-term care that you and your spouse might require and help spread out your funds to cover the costs.

On the other side of the coin, if you or your spouse passes away well before the other, an advisor can be of great comfort and assistance, particularly if the deceased partner was the financial whiz in the relationship.

They make your retirement a reality

You’ve worked hard to earn your freedom in retirement—the freedom to relax, to travel, to drink up everything life has to offer. But freedom doesn’t mean you have to go it alone. A trusted wealth advisor may be just what you need to maintain and expand that freedom. Our Wealth Advisor Checklist is a good starting point to see if it’s the right fit for you.

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