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Why Pay for a Qualified Retirement Planner Instead of Doing It Yourself?

July 8, 2021

by Steve Schou | FNBT Wealth Management Trust & Investments Officer

In many all aspects of life, there are things we can do ourselves and other things we can’t.  If your taxes are simple; you can probably do them yourself, if they are more complicated, you go to a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).  If you cut yourself, you get a band-aid; but if you need stitches, you go to a doctor.  The same holds true for handling your finances.  In the early stages of accumulation for retirement, and you are maximizing your 401(k) contributions, Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs), and you’re feeling comfortable with your investment selections; you may not need professional help.  The do-it-yourself approach may work well.  Usually, investment mistakes made during the accumulation years can be recovered over time.  However, investment mistakes closer to and in retirement become critical.  There is less time to recover from a wrong move. Too often, self-investing can lead to over concentration in bull markets, panic sales in bear markets, and lopsided investment strategies.

If you are a do-it-yourself approach investor or not, you should consider a fee-based Certified Financial Planner, CFP® about 5-10 years from retirement.  Today, retirement decisions are much more complex than in the past.  Questions and indecisions tend to arise as you switch from accumulating money to minimizing taxes, and distributing a lifetime of income that you don’t want to outlive.

Don’t be afraid to pay for a qualified retirement planner who is fee-based.  Your CFP® will help you establish your retirement goals.  Your retirement discussion should include any tax tips, strategies to maximize your Social Security, retirement distribution optimization, potential health care costs during retirement, review of your estate plan, deciding on a percentage of your money for income, and when to start your withdraw.  The peace of mind and confidence that you will have with the proper guidance for your retirement, will be much greater than the yearly management fee.  With qualified guidance you will stay committed to your goals based upon investment strategies regardless of the markets.  This will help to produce investment returns far above your yearly fees.

This past year brought market swings that may have created investment panic or uncertainty for your investment strategies.  No one wants to delay retirement.  Those in 2020 with a CFP® knew how to ride out those uncertainties.  They met with their planner to review their retirement plans, monitor and adjust their investment strategies for their long-term goals, not the markets.

The bottom line is that without the right amount of money, there is no retirement.  Often do-it-yourself investment retirees are not able to fully enjoy their retirement because they are focusing on their investment strategies.

A qualified fee-based CFP® will help you stay committed to your investment goals, not the markets, so that you can enjoy your retirement years.
Bio - Steve Schou

Steve Schou's BioSteve joined First National Bank and Trust's Wealth Management team in 2020 as a Trust & Investments Officer, providing Sound Advice and expertise on investment strategies, retirement, and Social Security planning to FNBT clients. With over 30 years of financial experience, Steve's passion is to help guide people through the maze of long-term financial planning and investing. He believes in outside-the-box thinking using a holistic approach to retirement and estate planning. This approach addresses the emotional, psychological, and financial aspects of retirement. A Certified Financial Planner Practitioner™, CFP® since July 1994, Schou obtained the Accredited Wealth Management Advisor™, AWMA® in July 2018. During his career he’s been a partner in an independent investment firm, and has written many articles on the topics of investing, and retirement.


Posted in: investing, retirement