Dwight Edwards knows a thing or two about preparation.
He spends his days training sales associates at his company, which means leading webinars and webcasts or speaking to rooms filled with colleagues hanging onto his every word. That also means that, in addition to his training duties, he’s busy coaching newcomers to public speaking in monthly forums as well as continuously planning and updating his own presentations, and so much more.
So when he started to think about planning for his financial future, Edwards says he knew he couldn’t do it alone. That’s why he decided to turn to a financial advisor.
It’s a way of “just making sure that’s not something I have to think about,” Edwards says. It doesn’t mean he’s not involved in decisions. In fact, working with a financial advisor has given him the confidence that he’s “doing all the necessary things” to plan for retirement.
But there are real monetary benefits to using a financial advisor, too.
A simulation by Morningstar found that taking advice from a financial planner can boost wealth in retirement by 23%. That added value is based on a combination of factors — such as tax-efficient decisions and liability-relative asset allocation optimization — that a financial advisor may provide.
No wonder investors who use financial advisors are more likely to have an investing strategy, according to a Capital Group survey of almost 3,800 investors. They’re also more confident about being on track to achieving their investment goals, and they have a larger percentage of their income invested, which can mean more money in retirement – when they need it the most.
The importance of saving more now cannot be overemphasized, as the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College estimates that more than half of all American households will not have enough retirement income to maintain the living standards they were accustomed to before retirement, even if the members of the household work until age 65. Two-thirds of working families are falling short of their retirement savings needs, according to the National Institute on Retirement Security, a nonpartisan nonprofit research organization based in Washington, D.C.
That is no small sum, considering investors are facing a growing retirement bill and a smaller safety net. If lawmakers don’t act, Social Security’s retirement and disability funds will be tapped out in about 18 years, according to the Social Security trustees’ 2016 annual report. At that point, the program will only have enough revenue to pay 79% of promised benefits.
Investors need to start early. But trying to learn how best to save, invest and grow your money to protect yourself against life’s curveballs can feel like a full-time job. Luckily for financial advisors, it’s already their full-time job. And that’s why many investors feel more confident and secure with them involved. At its core, a financial advisor’s role is to keep clients on track to meet their financial goals — and sometimes more importantly, to help them avoid doing the wrong thing.
For Edwards, that meant taking his advisor’s recommendation to purchase a home and save extra money like bonuses from work to help fund retirement. Edwards says his advisor is “more than an advisor, he’s a really special person to me. He wants me to enjoy life today as well as prepare for the future.”
There are no guarantees that an advisor can, say, triple your money. And should an advisor make such promises, investors should look for the nearest exit. But in today’s world of unfiltered knowledge, investors may find themselves drowning in content and overwhelmed without guidance. Financial advisors can help navigate the sea of information and help investors focus on a tangible plan — and ultimately secure confidence in their financial future.