No matter where you live, it is likely that several financial advisors work in your area. They might even boast a long list of impressive credentials. However, for a federal employee, choosing a financial advisor can be a bit complicated. Your retirement benefits system works differently from any other retirement plan in the country. And because the rules of the Federal Employees Retirement System are so complex, only a few advisors specialize in federal retirement.
There is actually a class of advisors, called Fed-Focused Advisors, who specialize in helping federal employees understand their retirement benefits. When you work with a Fed-Focused Advisor, he or she can:
- Help you understand your needs, and make the appropriate investment allocations
- Diversify your investments according to your risk tolerance and need for growth
- Help you develop a long-term plan
- Anticipate and avoid short-term mistakes
- Analyze your plan for tax liability issues, and work with you to mitigate them
- Design an income distribution plan that provides the most beneficial retirement income strategy for you
Since FERS works so differently from other retirement systems, a Fed-Focused Advisor can help you identify unique retirement planning opportunities.
But what if you can’t find a Fed-Focused Advisor near you? Remember that licensing (from organizations like FINRA and SIPC) is applied on a nationwide basis. There is no particular advantage to working with an advisor in your own town, since the benefit of specialized knowledge of your retirement system should far outweigh the benefit of in-person meetings. A Fed-Focused Advisor in another town or even another state is still bound by the same standards of conduct.
Therefore, even if you need to conduct meetings via Skype or phone calls, it is still beneficial to seek specialized advice on your specific retirement system. If you’re a FERS employee and need to consult with a Fed-Focused Advisor, give us a call. We work with federal employees located anywhere in the country.