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financial advisor meeting

August 24th, 2016 at 08:27 pm

I met today with a financial advisor who was assigned to me from my work's retirement plan company now that my account has reached a certain value. Wow, I am feeling overwhelmed. It was a good meeting, but very thorough. I was asked lots of questions designed to get me thinking about my future goals so that he can figure out what I might realistically have money-wise to support myself and my desires. I find thinking about the future to be very difficult because, of course, it involves aging and/or death, things that I just don't want to face, but know that they are an inevitable part of life. I also found that I was anxious because at this point I'm not clear (even remotely) how I want my future to look and I felt like I should know and only share a concrete plan. So, the meeting was beneficial because it did force me to start entertaining ideas and think about my desires.

One of the questions he asked was what I wasn't doing now that I would do if I had more disposable income. I felt embarrassed that I couldn't really come up with anything! I deal with depression and a lot of my needs and wants have been internally squelched and I'm not readily in touch with them. I would like to travel more and probably spruce up my house a bit. I'll have to think more about that.

Based on this initial conversation, the advisor will start to run my numbers through his models and come up with various scenarios. I have no idea what to expect.

I have been assigned some tasks which include:

Create a will and assign beneficiaries to my retirement accounts! I realized that the reason I'm procrastinating on this is that I don't know who to assign as executor and I'm not really sure who I want my assets to go to. I'm single with no children, so I don't have the obvious choice of leaving it to my immediate family. I will most likely name my three nephews and my niece as heirs. I might also add a few of my friends' children who I am close to (one is almost 30, one is 20 and the other is still a child, all from different families). And maybe some to a charity - I have to think about that. I don't have a huge sum of money, but I definitely have assets that I would like someone I know to use if I can't.

Increase my insurance coverage. I was surprised by this one. His reasoning was that as a single person with fairly low insurance coverage and some non-retirement assets and a house, that I could be sued and lose a lot if I have an auto accident. He also felt that I could get better rates by getting some quotes and that, in the end, I might not pay much more for increased coverage, but would have better protection. He also suggested increasing my homeowners insurance coverage and adding a line for identity theft coverage (I guess this is somewhat new) and an earthquake rider which would cover any foundation problems like cracks caused by earth shifts, not just actual earthquakes. Insurance is a tough one for me because I feel angry to pay for something "just in case", but it doesn't make sense to have inadequate coverage, so I guess I will look into it!

Register on the social security website and start to get an idea of what my future benefit might be. I've never really considered SS as part of my retirement plan because my first 10 or so years out of college consisted of odd jobs while I skied and bicycle toured and worked on an organic farm (before it was all the rage!). I didn't have any school loans, so I decided to do some active adventures while I was young and healthy and debt-free. So, I doubt that I have paid all that much into the system, but I guess I'll find out. Plus, who knows if SS will exist when I reach my mid 60s?

I should mention that the financial planning advisor is a free benefit and that he is salaried, so is not focused on trying to sell financial products. It was very helpful, but now I need to take some action and make some decisions and that's when I usually start to hide my head in the sand and procrastinate.

Phew, that's enough financial thoughts for now - my office is getting really warm and my head is spinning! Maybe I'll go for a walk and get some fresh air.

EDIT: Just realized that the sidebar description says 40-something for my age. I thought that I updated this, but I guess not. I just corrected it - I am now 51, soon to be 52.

7 Responses to “financial advisor meeting”

  1. Kiki Says:

    Wow what a great perk to have at your finger tips. Maybe take one recommendation a month to wrap your head around it and move forward with a decision?

  2. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    That sounds like a neat perk!

  3. ceejay74 Says:

    You should update your numbers on the sidebar too! What great progress you've made on your retirement balance since 2012.

  4. PatientSaver Says:

    Don't worry, SS will be there when you retire. Possibly not exactly as it stands now, but it will be there.

    I'm in exactly the same boat as you. Unmarried, no children. I want to leave most of my assets to charity, but then who would I name as executor? I have it in mind to name my half brother's daughter (now about 5 years old) as my executor, but wouldn't it seem chintzy to make her do the hard work of executing a will if she got nothing out of it? I'd like someone to have my material possessions, but not sure they'd want any of it or not.

  5. snafu Says:

    I too see having an advisor who is not selling a product as an important benefit. I have an advisor assigned by my bank but he is on straight commission and usually being encouraged to flog a specific product. Creates concerns for me but asks questions that helps me to look after my assets. If you are updating your awareness of assets, you may want to check Zillow or similar to know the value of your home.

    Your advisor asks you to think about things not yet considered. There is no specified timeline/deadline and understand that choices made in 2016 can be changed in the future. The insurance industry is so bewildering to me. It's important to gather facts about various insurance products for your protection. I'm sure some SA participants can offer ideas to consider. The pricing is so confusing and it seems to hinge on commissions which are not stated.

  6. VS_ozgirl Says:

    I'm glad to hear your financial adviser is not a representative of a company and is designed to sell products, you have more of an idea that they have your best interests at heart.

  7. Carol Says:

    Jane Bryant Quinn has some good books that can help you think about some of these issues.

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