Get expert tips and a behind-the-scenes look at Minster Bank with our new audio series, Minster Bank Community Voices.
Q: What Do You Do at Minster Bank?
A: I work in our Troy office as a financial planner. Our role is primarily to help clients create a plan, implement it, be able to monitor it and provide investment advice along the way.
Q: What Are Some Top Financial Questions Clients Ask?
A: Those who are trying to retire are asking – am I on track? Am I doing enough to get to that goal?
And the people in retirement are more worried about the market now. One of the biggest questions has been, ‘Are we going to have a recession?’ A lot of people ask about a potential recession coming.
Q: So, When Is the Best Time to Come to a Financial Planner?
A: I think you can never start too early. A lot of people think, ‘I don’t have a lot of money,’ or ‘I’m not in a position to start talking to people about a plan.’ But everybody needs a plan. And the earlier you get one started, your odds of being more successful in your planning and investing become a lot higher.
Q: How Can People Find a Good Financial Advisor?
A relationship between you and your planner is really important. You don’t get along with everybody, so you want to interview a few and find one whose personality is similar and can work together with you.
It’s important to find a planner or advisor who’s acting as a fiduciary – which means they always have to act in the client’s best interest. And if you want to have a good plan and trust the person you’re working with, that person should be a fiduciary.
Q: What Are Some Ways You Help Clients Achieve Their Goals?
A: We’re helping clients with the planning process. We’re trying to put ideas out there. A goal could be that you want to leave children or a sibling a certain amount of money when you pass away, or maybe you want to help them with college expenses.
Or maybe in retirement, you want to help a son or daughter with a future wedding or buy a retirement house. We’re trying to help open their minds and think about those things.
Q: What are the Big Financial Resolutions People Should Make in 2020?
A: The biggest thing clients need to do, if they don’t have one already, is to create a financial plan. The planning process is the most important part – investments are important, but planning is the most important. So talk to somebody and make sure you’re doing that.
On top of that would be to increase retirement savings. Most people aren’t doing enough of that now. It’s important to do that incrementally – you don’t need to do it all at once. But you can start smaller and work your way up to a bigger number.
Q: What’s Your Best Advice for Wealth Planning?
A: Be realistic and have reasonable expectations. To me, that’s one of the most important jobs that we have with our clients – helping them realize what expectations are reasonable.
From there, we have a much better outcome for the retirement plan. Everybody wants the most, but to get to retirement and realize you don’t have enough savings is pretty disappointing and possibly means you might have to work longer.
Q: What Are Some Tips for People Just Starting to Save?
A: Time is on your side. The two most important things you have in your goal are the time and rate of return. And third is how much you save. The more time you have, the less you have to save because you have all those years of growth.
So those folks just getting into the workforce, take advantage of your employer’s 401k program if you have one because that’s essentially free money.
Just getting started is the most important – I think some people are afraid to get started and think, “I can’t live without these extra couple dollars each week.” But even if it’s just 1 percent to get started, it’s a start to your higher goal.
What’s the old adage – if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. So make sure you find a good planner to help you with that process.
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Securities and Investment Products offered through the Minster Bank Private Wealth Management Group: * Not FDIC insured * May lose value * Not financial institution guaranteed * Not a deposit * Not insured by any federal government agency.