How Do i know if i need help?
A fiduciary adviser provides guidance on more than just buying stocks, bonds, or mutual funds. Any decision that affects you financially should be discussed with your adviser.
Have you created a personal balance sheet that shows your net worth?
- Do you have an emergency fund? Between three and six months' worth of expenses in available liquidity is a place to start.
- Do you have more assets than debts?
- Have you updated your balance sheet in the last two years?
- Do you spend less than you earn?
- Have you put together a budget that specifies how much you will save each month?
- Do you pay yourself first?
- How are you tracking how much you spend?
- Are you saving enough to reach your goals?
Are you participating in a company retirement plan like a 401(k) or a 403(b) plan?
- Are you saving enough to qualify for the employer match?
- Are you taking advantage of catch-up contributions if you are over 50?
Is your debt under control?
- Do you pay off your credit cards monthly?
- If you owe money, do you know the interest rates you are paying?
- Do you worry about your debt?
If you have children, what is your funding plan for college?
- Are you using the appropriate funding vehicle(s)?
What is your portfolio's mix of stocks and bonds?
- If the market dropped 10% in a month, would you sell out of worry or would you still be comfortable with your plan?
- Are you spreading your investments across liquid accounts, real estate, taxable investments, and
- Have you identified the "core" of your portfolio? What investments are outside of this "core" and why are they in your portfolio?
- Do you have an investment policy statement updated within the last two years?
- Are your assets held in the most tax-efficient manner possible?
Have you run a retirement projection? At what age can you start to think about other options?
- What sources of income will you have in retirement?
- How will those income streams be taxed?
- Have you considered the sequence of withdrawals? What makes sense to use first? After that?
- Do you need to adjust the rate of distributions you are taking?
- Do you have retirement plan assets from prior employers that should be rolled over to an IRA?
- Would you benefit from a Roth IRA?
Are you confident about the date you intend to file for Social Security benefits?
- Have you thought about the length of time you might be collecting benefits?
- Do you know the advantages of filing for a restricted spousal benefit?
Have you studied your tax return for ideas on how to better manage your taxes?
- Have you been offsetting losses with gains to reduce taxes?
Do you have an up-to-date estate plan?
- Are your assets titled in such a way that they will flow to the proper recipient at your passing?
- Do you know who is listed as the beneficiaries on all of your life insurance policies, annuities, IRA's, retirement plans, and trusts?