Where to Obtain Smart 401k Advice in Your Best Interest

Are you looking for 401k advice? Generally, those who give most of 401k advice are the ones selling it. In fact, many human resource departments now bring in representatives from the sponsoring company to solicit investment options directly to their employees. Usually, these one-on-one meetings are mostly sales presentations, with many savers left wondering whether or not the person they have trusted to give them a walk-through of investment options is interested in their portfolio or just the commission check at the end of the day.

Where to Get the Best 401k Advice

Contrary to popular belief and action, the best 401k advice comes not from the company that sponsors your plan, but from an individual fee-based financial planner. Because fee-based financial planners work for a flat-rate hourly fee, you have little to worry about when it comes to the connection between your representative and the company from which you will be purchasing your investments.

Fee-based financial planners do present some challenges, of course, but most of these challenges are small financial challenges. That is, the flat-rate pricing may not work for all budgets.

You should expect to pay a minimum of $50 per hour to speak with a fee-based financial planner. However, unless you have the most complicated retirement outlook ahead of you, or you need additional services (drafting a will, for example), you should need to spend only a few hours speaking directly to financial planner.

What You Need to Know about Smart 401k Advice

Generally speaking, you need to know mostly how to allocate your balance for your age, as well as which funds present the best opportunity for the cost. Be sure to take careful note of the following:

• How long you have until reaching retirement
• The amount you can reasonably save toward retirement
• Your risk tolerance and desire for safety over higher returns

Keeping these three factors in mind, and knowing mostly how they relate to your financial plan, will save you hundreds of dollars in fees you may pay for 401k advice that frankly isn’t worth the cost. A financial planner is not intended to be a teacher or instructor, and it is not recommended to pay their fees for a very basic introductory retirement discussion.

Optional Help

There are now several different, third-party financial planners that work on behalf of 401k sponsors and employers to help balance customers’ retirement portfolios. Also sold on a fee-basis, third-party help is very much “freelance,” thus making it less expensive, but the information is just as credible as you can expect with any other financial planner.

There are two ways this pay-per-use 401k advice can help. You can, through your employer or sponsor, connect with a freelance consultancy to ask questions and receive advise about your own retirement over the phone or online.

As a secondary option, a number of third-party providers will manage their client finances for them for a small annual fee, usually less than 1%. This fee (charged on top of other fund fees) provides for limited access to a financial planner, however, all the necessary adjustments to your strategy are done automatically. That is, the financial planner shifts your assets after infrequent market happenings (such as a large rise or fall in the stock markets) and regularly as you age from riskier to safer assets.

How you seek 401k advice doesn’t much matter. Instead, what matters most is from whom you take this advice. In almost every case imaginable, it is best to speak to someone who isn’t selling you the 401k in the first place.
Tim Ord
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