The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau last Friday released a guide for seniors and others in the process of choosing a financial adviser, warning that similar to planning for retirement, it can be much more challenging than it sounds.
The “Know your financial adviser” guide helps consumers ask the right questions when shopping around to ensure the person they select is qualified.
“Veteran’s adviser,” “retirement adviser,” “benefits coordinator,” and “senior specialist” are a few of the many titles and assignations that financial planners may use, but they don’t guarantee a professional is equipped to advise every consumer, or those with specific needs.
“Just because someone calls themselves a veteran’s adviser doesn’t mean they know anything about military retiree pay systems, veteran benefits, or even the military, for that matter,” says the blog post.
When evaluating a financial adviser’s title or credentials, consumers are advised to think about how much training went into obtaining that title and whether or not the adviser has been qualified through a training program that holds its members to strict ethical standards.
Additionally, the guidance recommends checking to see if the adviser’s financial title is accredited, as many accreditation programs take steps to ensure the quality of their training.
Lastly, the CFPB tells seniors to find out if the adviser has background and experience in working with specialized groups, like military retirees.
“Most financial advisers have worked hard to earn the knowledge and skills required to help you. But credentials and promises alone don’t guarantee expertise or the quality of someone’s training,” says the blog post. “It’s up to you to look closely at the training, background, and quality of service when picking someone who promises to help you protect and grow your well-earned nest egg.”
Written by Alyssa Gerace