Many retirement do-it-yourselfers (DIY) are unaware that they might be better off hiring a retirement planning professional like a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor SM. Retirement planning has evolved over the years. My father and mother have enjoyed a lifetime of company pensions. With a stream of lifetime income plus Social Security at the core of their retirement, they didn’t need any specialist skills. However, with uncertainty surrounding future Social Security payouts, declining or virtually nonexistent pensions or even the stripping of cost-of-living adjustments and a longer expected lifespan there is an increasing need for specialist retirement skills.

In the last few years, I have found that some people believe that the answer to retirement is focusing on investment returns. A retirement planning professional knows that while one of the factors, it is not the key to pursuing sufficient retirement income.

Retirement planning professional and clarifying your vision

Retirement planning starts with helping you envision what went you want for your life and retirement. Let’s say that is catching up on travel. What does travel mean to you traveling by car locally are traveling the world by plane at five star hotels or somewhere in between. I found that many have not stopped to think about some of these details.

Doing-it-Yourself and assessing your retirement needs

There are a host of questions that need to be asked when you begin to assess your needs:

  • What are your cost of living expectations pre- and post-retirement, 3%, 4% or more?
  • How much do you need to save per month or per year until your intended retirement date?
  • What average rate of investment return do you need to achieve until you retire?
  • When should you start taking Social Security?
  • How long do you expect to live?
  • What about a spouse or partner?
  • Should you claim a survivor benefit for your pension? Which option should you choose?

Individuals often suffer from an optimism bias. Who is questioning your beliefs? I firmly believe that individuals can’t do this planning wholly on their own. I have been told that one can turn to an of online retirement calculator. However like the Wizard of Oz, who is behind the curtain? What would you do if the calculations were wrong? Much of building a saving and investing plan involves struggle with negative emotions. I have found that when emotion is involved, a caring and skilled voice is key any helping to work through these emotions.

What is a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor SM (CRPC®)?

CRPC® designees are retirement planning professionals. Graduates of the Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor SM program must complete a specialized independent study course that provides a general foundation for giving retirement planning advice to clients. The CRPC® curriculum emphasizes the importance of understanding each client’s individual financial situation, and then analyzing his or her related needs and identifying investment opportunities that will best meet those needs. Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor SM designees can provide you with an understanding of complex pre- and postretirement issues. CRPC® designee can evaluate your financial status and design the optimal retirement plan for your lifestyle. Get the knowledgeable advice you need on issues such as planning for health care, asset management, beneficiary designations, income tax considerations, estate planning, and more. A CRPC® designee can even help you determine the best time to retire or assist you in expanding on the plans that you’ve already made.

To be entitled to use the CRPC® mark, candidates must successfully:

  • Complete the specialized CRPC® program
  • Pass a rigorous examination,
  • Complete ongoing continuing education to ensure that they receive up-to-date information about current issues impacting the area of retirement planning.
  • Sign a code of professional ethics. A couple of these ethics requirements are:
    • A designee shall not, without first obtaining the consent of the client, disclose any confidence, except as compelled by law.
    • A designee shall disclose any potential conflicts of interest to his or her client and shall not solicit clients through false or misleading statements or advertisements

What are you doing now to support the retirement lifestyle you envision?

James Brewer combines his Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor SM designation along with being a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional and an Accredited Investment Fiduciary® designee. We believe strongly in continued education in retirement planning. Just because a financial professional can sell investments or insurance does not make them a qualified financial planner. While these professionals can serve key building roles in your retirement, they may not have the planning credentials that you need. We recommend that you find a retirement planning professional to help you design and act as the general contractor for your pre- and post-retirement needs. While we may not be the right fit, we recommend looking for professionals that have earned marks like CRPC® and CFP®.

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.

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