Episode 014:
What to Look for in a Retirement Advisor


Episode 014 Summary:

Choosing a financial advisor is serious business. Ideally, you’re entering into a reciprocal relationship based on … what? That’s what we’re finding out. On this episode of The Retirement = Freedom Podcast we’re learning from Host Josh Bretl about the Top 9 things to consider in forming what is arguably one of the most significant – and hopefully enduring – partnerships in our lives.

Finding the right advisor will determine over the long run not only quality of life in retirement but the peace of mind to manage through good times – as well as bad. You’ll hear about key questions to keep in mind, such as whether a prospective advisor has the right expertise, a solid team and fiduciary credentialing.

  1. Is Josh ready with some Founding Fathers trivia?
  2. Will Dave recover from a teen-age trauma associated with the broken horn on his mother’s car?
  3. Can we go out and hire a transparent, honest, accountable and talented financial advisor based on Josh’s criteria?

Check, check and check!

Got a burning question (about retirement planning or 1990s music or Ne-Mo's Chocolate Chocolate Puddin' Cakes)? Join our new private Facebook group, which you can find here, and fire away. Josh and Dave will be offering up answers on future episodes!

Click here to learn more about or listen to previous episodes of The Retirement = Freedom Podcast.

Click here to explore the services that FSR Wealth Strategies offers and schedule a discovery call with one of the team’s CPAs. When it comes to living your best life, it’s never too early to get started!

Key Takeaways

  • Fun Post-July Fourth Updates, including about fireworks (those seen, those missed and the fun in between). Plus trivia! Did you know the Founding Fathers were only in their late teens and 20s? Thomas Jefferson was the senior statesman at 30. More info available at R=F's New Facebook Group.
  • Josh shares his Top 9 things people (especially those moving towards retirement) should look for in a financial advisor.
    • #1 – Find someone who specializes in working with retirement planning.
      It requires a particular perspective and know-how to “land the plane” on a five-star plan for your Third Act in life.
    • Ensure that his or her expertise covers the how, when and where of investing as well as a holistic understanding of all the other components that relate to retirement:
      • Wills and trusts.
      • Social security.
      • Taxes.
      • Timing of retirement account distributions.
  • #2 – Find someone who meets the fiduciary – not just suitability – standard.
    • Suitability Standard: The advisor need only do what’s okay for a client. Not necessarily what’s best.
    • Fiduciary Standard: The advisor must do what’s best for the client – no matter what!
  • #3 – Find someone who is tax-focused! Smart strategy matters more than ever in retirement.
  • #4 – Find someone who embodies these three traits:
    • Transparency: All fees should be clearly stated upfront.
    • Honesty: Advice has to be forthright and candid – even when it’s tough love.
    • Accountability: Committed to staying true to goals and aspirations.
  • #5 – Find someone who has a demonstrated track record. Experience is key!
  • #6 – Find someone who “gets” you and what you’re about. You want a comfort level.
  • #7 – Find someone with a deep bench – a talented team to support the mission.
  • #8 – Check references thoroughly.
  • #9 – Carefully sift through reviews.
  • Dave Relates to Retirees: Looking to cement a successful, enduring relationship with an advisor? McDonalds french fries could be the way in. They lured Josh into a lifetime friendship! And everything’s better with fries!

Quotable Quotes

“Your poor father, his retirement freedom is just watching your stuff on the top of a pitch black hill.” ~Josh

“You want to have somebody who specializes in working with retirees because it is unique. It’s a unique thought process.” ~Josh

“You have to do the right thing at the right time for the right reason … That fiduciary standard really matters.” ~Josh

“For retirees, a tax-focused mentality is going to mean far more than anything else (an advisor does).” ~Josh

“Transparency matters. There’s value to it.” ~Josh

“You don’t want (an advisor) who is brand new out of the box. You want a team of people who know what the heck they’re doing and have been doing it a long time.” ~Josh

“Your financial advisor is going to make sure what you want to have happen in your life happens. Your attorney is going to make sure that whatever happens after you’re gone happens. So those are two important hires that you want to really spend some time and effort on.” ~Josh

“It’s a rewarding feeling to know that what you’ve done can not only make somebody happier, but can make the worst times of their life better.” ~Josh

“Have you ever had to console somebody through the tragic moments in their life when they ran out of Puddin' Cakes and or Cometeer Coffee?” ~Dave

Episode Extras

About your Co-Hosts

A certified public accountant, Josh Bretl has spent the past two decades growing FSR Wealth Strategies into a firm that specializes in tax-focused retirement planning. Because taxes have the single biggest impact on how much you can spend in retirement, Josh is dedicated to developing individualized financial plans that extend and grow his clients’ retirement savings. Based in Elmhurst, Illinois, FSR Wealth strategically preserves and maximizes resources through tax-efficient strategies designed to fulfill retirement dreams.

Apart from producing and co-hosting The Retirement = Freedom Podcast, Josh's longtime friend Dave Schmidt is a content production and marketing adviser to local businesses and nonprofits. He’s also an advocate for t-shirts, all things 90s (especially the music), short walks and long naps. A serial “wallet forgetter,” Dave nonetheless swears that he has picked up the check on at least one or two meals with Josh over the years. Evidence pending.

Standard Disclaimer:
FSR Wealth Management is a registered investment advisor located in Elmhurst, Illinois. Information and opinions contained in this audio have been arrived at by FSR Wealth advisors. All information herein is for informational purposes and should not be construed as investment advice. It does not constitute an offer, a solicitation or recommendation to purchase any security. FSR is not providing legal, tax, accounting, or financial planning advice in this audio. These views are as of the date of this publication and are subject to change.

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