You Don’t Need a Financial Planner to Retire

By Krista McBeath, McBeath Financial Group

It may sound odd for a financial planner to say that you don’t need a financial planner in order to retire, but it’s true. You could set up your own retirement plan! You might even do okay. You could use a stockbroker, an insurance agent, or even do it yourself through an online service and choose some investment vehicles. You might try to learn a little bit about how to do it by going to a dinner seminar hosted by a financial services firm, you could get advice from a neighbor, you could read a book, or even research online. 

There’s a lot of information out there… a lot!  Some of it good, and maybe, some not so good. Putting a good plan together definitely requires some work, some decisions on whose advice to follow, and the right financial tools. One thing I know for sure is that too many people jump into retirement with their own self-made plan or even no plan. At the same time, I’m betting that you also know some people that aren’t doing so well in retirement. 

So, here’s the real question: is it a good idea to create your own retirement plan?

The reason I’m posing this question is because of a recent occurrence in our home. We had an issue with a toilet that was running. Not a big deal. My husband isn’t a plumber, and even calling him the “handy-man” type might be a stretch, but he was determined to fix this toilet himself. Now, this should be a fairly simple fix, right? He might have been able to do a fine job, since he clearly had watched a YouTube video and a few episodes of This Old House. 

But, the truth is, I also knew there was a risk that this “simple” little job could go wrong. Very wrong in a major water disaster way. At the very least, it was going to take him the better part of the day. Judging by how long it took him to go to Home Depot multiple times and rummage in the garage for tools, it might even take the whole day—and then it might still leak. 

So, as he held his newly purchased toilet kit and looked blankly at the open toilet tank, I diplomatically nudged him in a different direction. I suggested that perhaps a plumber would be faster and more efficient. I might have even suggested that it would be a great day for him to relax and watch a Cubs game instead. I made him realize that he deserved to have someone else do it because he works so hard!

He readily agreed, and I internally sighed in relief. It was a simple phone call to schedule a plumber, and we both enjoyed a stress-free, relaxed day. When the plumber came out, he told my husband that he had been headed in the wrong direction. It was a much simpler fix than we thought, and the plumber did it the right way in less than 20 minutes. No mess. No leaks—and a very small bill that was much less than what our time was worth.

How does our plumbing story relate to financial planning? My husband was confident he could fix the toilet because he didn’t know what he didn’t know! The real danger was what could have happened as a result of his inexperience. While it may have looked so simple on the surface, a mistake could have caused some serious flooding. Really, he’s a very smart man, but he just doesn’t know what to look for when it comes to plumbing—no matter how many videos he watches! 

Likewise with financial planning. Although you could do it yourself, there’s just no way for you to know, what you don’t even realize you don’t know. That feeling of security could quickly turn into an emergency situation when you are least prepared. Consulting with a trusted financial planner about your retirement will ensure that you have the information you need to retire with confidence. While leaking pipes are awful, especially if they go undiscovered, can you imagine how a “leak” in your retirement security might affect you for the rest of your life? It’s just not worth the risk. 

Krista McBeath is an Investment Advisor, Chartered Financial Consultant, a Licensed Insurance Advisor, a Fiduciary, and an experienced tax advisor who specializes in financial planning, investments, and insurance. Phone 309-808-2224 or email [email protected] for appointment information.

Advisory services are offered through Landmark Wealth Management Inc, dba McBeath Financial Group, an Illinois Registered Investment Advisor firm. Insurance products and services are offered through McBeath Tax and Financial Services, LLC. McBeath Financial Group and McBeath Tax and Financial Services, LLC. are affiliated.

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