A worker or retiree has three distinct choices for retirement planning (outside of doing nothing): 1) retirement planning advice, at one end of the continuum, 2) retirement planning education, at the other end of the continuum, and 3) Retirement Planning Guidance, found in the middle. All three choices need to be analyzed closely.
Retirement planning advice, whether it is online advice or the more traditional advice provided by a broker/adviser, is subject to abuse. Recent news articles have documented numerous court cases in which individual investors were awarded a judgment in their favor and against a broker/advisor who was not acting in the client’s best interest. If retirement planning advice is required, it is best to contact a retirement planner that charges a flat fee, minimizing any potential for abuse by the advisor. This fee could be either an hourly rate of a flat rate for a comprehensive plan. Since these professionals do not receive, and should not receive, a commission for their services, they need to be compensated for their time and effort. As such, their hourly rate can approach $250 to $300 per hour, and a comprehensive plan can cost as much as $3000. There are a few online retirement planning advisors that charge less of a fee, but their approach is a very mechanical and algorithm-based approach in which the suggested investment selection is based on series of questions asked of the client. Upon answering the questions, a suggested investment strategy is provided with little, if any, understanding of how the recommendation was reached as well as whether other acceptable strategies exist.
Retirement planning education is not subject to abuse, is relatively low cost, perhaps even free, but demands much time and effort to do well. There are hundreds of books devoted to retirement planning, scores of online calculators performing many different functions, and hundreds of newsletters discussing the latest in modern portfolio theory. Unfortunately, the correct book must be found, a reliable calculator tested, and newsletters analyzed for their content. All this can be done; however, it requires patience, a significant time investment, and luck in selecting the right educational tools.
Retirement planning guidance offers the best of both worlds. No opportunity for abuse, low cost, and little time commitment. Guidance is a holistic approach in which the client is provided with the necessary education and interactive calculator to be guided to an appropriate personal retirement plan. In addition, a portfolio tracking system can be included to monitor the performance of retirement investments. Given the advancements in online technology, there is no reason that the education, calculators, tracking platform, and market updates cannot be provided in one comprehensive and independent website.
Visitors are welcomed at www.entrusted.in to test-drive the first of several calculator pages to determine their Target Nest Egg. In addition, visitors may watch a graphics rich educational video on the importance of determining their Target Nest Egg. Should visitors find the first calculator and education video of interest, they will be offered an opportunity to become a member, at a very affordable monthly or annual fee, for access to all the other calculators, a portfolio tracking system, educational videos, and much more for guiding themselves to their retirement dream.
A new retirement planning website devoted to independent and professional Retirement Planning Guidance, www.entrusted.in, offers membership access to such a retirement planning approach.