How to Choose the Right Advisor for Your Retirement

My Worry-Free Ideal Retirement Plan

I was talking with a client recently who, after investing for 10 years with one advisor, had not made a cent! In fact, he actually lost money by not keeping up with the rate of inflation. But, you can be sure he paid fees and his advisor made money every year! 

Have you ever wondered how financial advisors get paid? 

Typically in Canada Advisors get paid either by a commission when buys or sells are done, from trailers paid by fund companies or from the "Fee for Service" advice they provide. 

For example, if you have $500,000 invested with your advisor, you have likely paid $10,000 - $12000 per year to have your investments professionally managed (the advisor doesn't get all of that, of course). Let's imagine you are with the advisor for 10 years. That would represent at least $100,000 of fees. You probably would not have a problem with that if your portfolio grew to $1.2 million in that time. But, what if it was still $500,000? How would you feel then?

When paying fees you have to ask yourself whether or not what you are paying represents good value. If not, you may need to make a change. Probably the worst part of investing is not knowing what you are paying in fees because many fees are hidden. 

Knowing what you are paying in fees is important for 2 reasons:

1.) It helps you determine what kind of investments to place inside your portfolio, and

2.) It helps you determine if you are getting good, or any, value from your advisor

Right now the Canadian Securities Administrators are implementing a mandatory initiative called CRM2. Starting in January 2017 there will be big changes to how fees are reported in the investment industry. You will begin to see, on your monthly or quarterly statement, exactly what you're paying in fees and how your portfolio has performed. Many advisors are nervous about this change and about the calls they're going to get from upset clients in the new year. Why? Because they haven't been doing anything for many of their clients.

It is our practice to over deliver on service and advice to ensure that our clients are receiving top value for the fees they are paying. That's why we provide educational resources such as this newsletter, seminars, and events. In addition to that, we provide numerous value-added services like:

  • Retirement Transition Planning
  • Tax Planning
  • Retirement Planning
  • Estate Planning
  • Income Strategies
  • Cash Flow Planning
  • Asset Protection
  • Clarity around values & goals
  • Financial Advice at anytime

For us, it's not just about getting assets under management. Basically, everything we offer is for the purpose of getting your financial house in order and keeping it that way forever. A good advisor does far more than just give one-time investment advice or suggest a place to park your money and then never look at it, or you, again.

As with many other industries, not all Financial Advisors are created equal. Indeed, selecting the advisor that is right for you can be a quite stressful undertaking. Before you can trust that an advisor is the right fit for YOU, you need to feel that they are trustworthy and that they can support their claims of being able to make your money work for you.

At our first meeting with prospective clients, we start with a casual interview to inquire about past experiences with a Financial Advisor. Many of the people we meet have had multiple dealings with advisors that have left them unsatisfied; hence the reason for them coming to us. During this initial conversation, common responses range from "no communication was given after I signed up" or "I was too small of a client" or "they only called when trying to sell me something else" to "just poor service". 

This process can be very frustrating and time-consuming for clients. 

One of the best pieces of advice I have ever received on being successful is to get advice from people who have already succeeded at the very thing I want to do. Let's now apply this to our finances. If a person wants to get out of DEBT the last place they may want to go to is to a retail bank. I don't know if this happens to you, but every time I go to a bank teller, the first thing they say is that I am pre-approved for a new Credit Card or a Line of Credit. Does this make sense to you?

If a person wants to be in the best possible physical shape, they hire a Personal Trainer. Just buying a gym membership will not get you fit. If someone wants to be the best Chef, they need to go to the best culinary school, not just buy a cookbook! Choosing someone to help you achieve your financial goals is the same. You need to choose someone who will focus solely on your best interests, not upsell you products that you don't need, or worse -- products that could damage your credit even further or make your money disappear!

What to consider in choosing a Financial Advisor:

  • Have they personally succeeded at the things they are advising you on? (Why they have succeeded?)
  • Are they up-to-date on paying their income taxes?å
  • What are their debts? (If they are drowning in debt, are they qualified to advise you on yours?)
  • Ask them if they have a Will, and if they do ask when it was last updated. If they don't, just leave. A Will is the foundation of any sound Financial Plan.
  • Where do they have their money invested? Are they invested in the same things they recommend to their clients?
  • What kind of Advisor do you need? Options include building wealth, estate planning, retirement planning, generating income, and many others. Not all advisors can be all things to all people. They should have a team of trusted experts that they can recommend to you to ensure that the right people are assisting you.
  • Do they really follow their own advice?

Now think about this: Is the person sitting across from you really qualified to give you sound and credible advice, or are they just a salesperson trying to sell you products? You are about to place your trust and money in a potential stranger. It's important that you do your due diligence and that the one you choose is worthy of your trust.

For further information, here's a new Advocis SURVEY which proves that people who have a Financial Advisor are much more financially successful those that don't. 

Next Steps:

It's important in retirement to have a trusted advisor that you can work with for many years to come. 55% of pre-retirees will change advisors when they transition to retirement because they realize they need specialized planning with a focus on income protection.

If you are in or close to retirement and would like to meet with us to put together a retirement income plan, book time in our calendar for a meeting time.

Common questions:

  1. How long will my money last?

  2. How much can I spend each year and still have confidence that I won't run out of money?

  3. When should I take CPP and OAS? 

  4. Which of my assets should I spend first to create tax-efficient income?

  5. How much should I be saving now so that I can generate the income I'll want in retirement?

We help our clients create sustainable, predictable cash flow from their portfolio in the most tax-efficient manner to ensure they never have to worry about running out of money.

Want to retire in the next few years? Click here to Book  an Introductory Meeting



Willis and Nancy Langford

Retirement Income & Investment Advisors


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My wife and I realized a long time ago the value of a financial planner over just a bank representative. We just felt like a number to the banks as every year it seemed we saw a different adviser with a different view. But finding a trusted, knowledgeable and personable financial planner took a lot of time and effort. It just seemed, so many large corporate Financial Planners were more concerned about what they could make off of us rather than what they could make for us.
What we wanted, was not just reasonable returns now, but good personal advice in our preparation for retirement and what happens when retirement actually arrives. We wanted someone who would be walking with us, guiding us on our way to retirement.
From the first time, we found the web site for Langford Financial Inc, we could see the knowledge of Willis and Nancy and a real effort to educate and pass on their knowledge through seminars, workshops and their personal service. Once I reached out through their web site for more information, Willis was quick to respond, offering and giving whatever information I was looking for and never was there pressure to commit to anything.
The feeling of comfort and ease when talking with Willis was inviting enough for us to want to meet with Willis and Nancy, just to see firsthand if there was a connection and what working with them would look like.
And when we did meet for the first time, that feeling of comfort and ease was very evident. It was a unique experience for us to be able to sit down and get to know a financial planner (or a team of both Willis and Nancy) and not have any sales pressure on us. Just getting to know Willis and Nancy was important for us. We needed to be comfortable with them and see their competence in the business, and it was obvious that Willis and Nancy wanted to know us better so they could know how best to help us.
Once we decided to move our accounts over to Langford Financial, we found their process was comforting and refreshing as Willis and Nancy first worked at evaluating our complete situation. They dug down to get a complete picture of where we were at, where we wanted to be and how to get there. This took some reflection on our part but once we saw how they put it all together in our “Financial House In Order” binder, we were confident we made the right decision to go with Langford Financial.
Since the time we started working with Willis and Nancy I have attended many of their seminars and can say the information they have been teaching has been amazing. Always relevant, and consistent with their desire to help those coming up to retirement, and covering so many different situations as everyone has a different life situation. I know more than one of the tax-saving strategies they taught at their seminars will work for my wife and I, so we are very happy about that.
We would definitely recommend Langford Financial, not just for all your retirement planning needs, but they have great ideas on savings for your grandchildren too!
Paul and Elaine Radder

Paul & Elaine Radder
Long-term Clients

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