Ask Terry Questions Financial advisors and personal information

Financial advisors and personal information

By Terry Savage on August 27, 2018 | Financial Planning / Retirement

My husband and I decided we should see a financial advisor for retirement planning. We chose someone NOT affiliated with a major firm like Vanguard or Fidelity.

When we saw the list of documents they wanted, we realized that no one else would have as much information as the advisor…they want tax returns, social security and pay stubs….mortgage statements….in short, our entire life.

Is this information safe with advisors? Do we really need to provide documents- or can/should we provide the numbers?

We’re close to retirement…and while we don’t expect any ground shaking insights…we just want someone professional to see if we’re doing the right things financially before we leave.


Terry Says

If you’re going to establish a long-term relationship with a financial advisor (a fee-only FIDUCIARY who will put your interests first, and fully disclose all costs/fees/etc), then the advisor should have a pretty good picture of your finances.

But that doesn’t have to happen at your first meeting. You should generally be able to list your assets, liabilities, income — and a general idea of your monthly cost of living in order to get general advice about being “on track”. Then, if you pursue the relationship,you can get more specific.

I understand your reluctance to hand all this info over at the start. I am working on a great story about a”matching service” for vetted, fee-only Fiduciary financial advisors. If there’s no rush to have the first meeting, you might want to wait a couple of weeks until you read about this service in my column.

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