Thanks to working at my “traditional” job for 11 years that included a dollar for dollar match on my retirement contributions after 5 years of service, I have a nice 6 figure retirement account. However, I left that job 1.5 years and the money is still just sitting there with my old employer. The problem? I can’t find a financial planner I trust, especially since that is currently our only retirement savings.
Adviser 1–In It for The Money
I first met with a financial adviser at our credit union to discuss transferring the money into my own IRA. This is important because my retirement is currently part of the state’s retirement fund. Unfortunately, in the state I live in, the higher officials have been siphoning money from the state pension fund and can’t agree on how to replace the money. If I don’t move the money soon, I am worried it won’t be there!
This adviser highly recommended an annuity even though I am still fairly young. He promised it was a safe investment that would give me money every month. The problem? I would only get about $1,000 a month 30 years from now when I retire. After inflation 30 years from now, $1000 doesn’t sound like such a good guarantee. A bit of probing helped me determine that the adviser works on commission and makes the biggest commission selling annuities.
Moving on, thank you.
Adviser 2–Helpful but Too Busy
Next, I turned to my accountant’s firm. Her husband is a Dave Ramsey trained financial adviser. This sounded perfect, and when my husband and I talked to him over the phone one night this past summer, he asked all of the right questions and seemed to have our best interests in mind. He took the time to ask where we were financially right now as well as where we would like to be. He recommended some investments, and we planned to talk in about 4 weeks to start the paperwork to move my retirement.
The problem? We haven’t talked to him since. I have left some messages for him; he has left some for me, but over the months, we have just played phone tag. I last called in early December because I wanted this whole issue resolved before 2013 began. We are well into 2013, and I still haven’t heard back from him.
Adviser 3–A Keeper?
When my cousin casually mentioned her financial adviser at Christmas, I pounced on her. Who was he? Would she recommend him? Does he get back to her quickly?
She raved about him and said he was attentive and that the investments he chose were making them good money. She gave me his number, and next week he is on my list of people to call.
When I quit my job 1.5 years ago, I would have never guessed finding a good financial adviser is so difficult. I feel like I am back on the dating scene again trying to find just the right match.
Is my experience unique, or have you, too, had trouble finding a financial adviser to work with? What did you look for in a financial adviser?
img credit:Brad Montgomery on Flickr.
Melissa is a writer and virtual assistant. She earned her Master’s from Southern Illinois University, and her Bachelor’s in English from the University of Michigan. When she’s not working, you can find her homeschooling her kids, reading a good book, or cooking. She resides in New York, where she loves the natural beauty of the area.