Copyright Deering Wealth Team

How to Choose a Financial Advisor for Retirement

For anyone approaching retirement, one of the most important considerations is financial security. Although there’s a lot to look forward to in retirement, it’s natural to think about how you’ll spend your time, what you’ll pass on to your heirs, and if your money will even outlast you. With an average retirement of 28 years1, it’s easy to see how many retirees run out of money. But this article isn’t about how to avoid going broke in retirement. Instead, let’s look at how to choose a financial advisor for retirement.

Just with anything complex—taxes, living wills, your child’s trigonometry homework—you want help from a professional who knows what they’re doing, like a tax accountant, an estate planning attorney, or a math tutor. You’ve been working hard to save for retirement, and your investment objectives should match the goals you have in this current stage.

In an initial meeting with a potential financial planner, you’ll probably have some questions. The following are a few things to consider when choosing a financial advisor for retirement.


A CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ is a financial professional who has met the educational and ethical standards of the CFP Board. My partner, Katie, and I have both earned the CFP® certification. To become a CFP®, we both had to meet the standards established by the CFP Board. We must also satisfy ongoing requirements to maintain our certifications.

A CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional can provide you with a comprehensive financial plan, not only addressing general concerns and retirement goals, but also diving deeper with a thorough analysis of assets, income, investments, taxes, liabilities, and insurance.

When we sit down with someone—whether it’s their first time meeting us or they’ve been a client for years—we spend some time finding out what’s going on in their life. Whether they’ve just paid off their home, are sending a child to college, or will be retiring soon, every event in life factors into their unique and comprehensive financial plan.

No-Cost Consultation

Choosing who will manage your money in retirement is a big decision, and you should feel comfortable with your financial advisor. The initial meeting is often a good indicator of what you can expect from your financial planner. Since we’re still just getting to know each other, we offer a no-cost initial consultation to prospective clients so they can focus on their questions and concerns about retirement.

Advisor Focusing on Retirement

Different phases of life require different investment objectives. Your financial advisor can make personalized recommendations that fit your needs, based on your specific retirement and life goals.

A good way to choose a financial advisor for retirement is to find someone who specializes in working with people nearing, transitioning into, or who are currently in retirement. With different phases of life come different investment goals and advisory strategies. Not all financial advisors specialize in retirement planning. At Deering Wealth Team, we provide comprehensive financial planning and have helped 135 clients2 transition into retirement. We help prepare, transition, and maintain retirement for our clients.


If you’ve spent some time on our website, you may have seen mentions of our broker-dealer Raymond James Financial Services. With a broker-dealer like Raymond James, we have access to the resources and support of a large company, but we maintain our independence and don’t sell our own proprietary products. Instead, I make recommendations based on what I think is in my client’s best interest.

You probably have other considerations for a potential financial planner, but I hope this has helped you identify some of the most important questions to ask when deciding how to choose a financial advisor for retirement. It’s something that shouldn’t be taken lightly.

I’m happy to answer your questions about retirement planning. Visit our contact page to leave a message for me, or call (615) 861-6101.

  1. Source: Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies. “The Current State of Retirement: Pre-Retiree Expectations and Retiree Realities,” December 2015.
  2. As of the date of this article.


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Mark Deering

Mark Deering, CFP® is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and the Executive Vice President of Southwestern Investment Group. Mark started his career in the '90s selling books through Southwestern Advantage while earning degrees in business, economics, and Biblical studies at Wheaton College. Upon graduation, he was invited to join Southwestern Investment Group and started to take on more responsibility. Mark mentors younger advisors regularly and is occasionally asked to speak at industry conferences. When he's not working, Mark loves spending time with his wife, Rachel, and their three kids.

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