Ask An Expert

 Should I Get My Own Advisor?

Joann North

Answered By

Joann North

Certified Financial Planner at J North Financial



Should I get my own advisor?



Here are three situations where it would be wise to seek out an advisor.

  1. You and your Partner/Spouse have an advisor that does not insist that you both be present for planning and investing discussions.
  2. Your partner doesn’t think you need an advisor so handles all the investments him/her self with no concrete plan.
  3. Your spouse/partner meets with an advisor and shares with you what’s been decided.
    In all three situations, you are not getting your concerns addressed and you don’t have a plan for the future that includes your wishes/needs.

I have experienced in my practice what happens when a surviving spouse was not involved in the plan for the future. In one case, a new client who just lost her husband needed help reviewing her finances because there was no written plan. She trusted her husband had considered what happens when either of them dies. Unfortunately, the husband had chosen the single life alternative for his pension when he retired because it had the highest monthly payout. With his death, she will not receive continuing payments which gives her a reduction in guaranteed monthly income of around $4,000 per month. Along with the loss of the monthly pension she loses either her Social Security or his which ever is less. The remaining investments aren’t enough to make up for the lost monthly income. How awful would you feel if in your 70’s if your monthly income drops dramatically requiring you to change your living situation while dealing with your grief?

It’s critical to have written plans for what happens when a life event like death, divorce or illness happens that takes care of both of you. Getting your own advisor is like getting a second opinion from a doctor when you don’t understand or like the treatment plan. You have to advocate for yourself.