Connecticut Money: The evolution of retirement planning – New Haven Register

During my 28 years working in the retirement planning field, I have witnessed how much the planning process has evolved and improved. When I first entered the business, it was largely a product driven industry. Financial planning typically meant you bought a mutual fund or discussed some basic goals with your financial adviser before making a stock and bond purchase. The last 15-20 years has brought huge gains in the level of service and the quality of advice given to clients.

The financial planning process today entails a thorough examination of the client’s situation, including a review of tax returns and estate planning. Discussions regarding retirement hopes and plans ultimately add another dimension to the financial information you provide. All of these thoughtful interactions with your adviser should lead to a well-written financial plan that will help you achieve the plans and dreams you had in mind during your working years. Throughout the question-and-answer process you should feel like you’re sitting down with a great detective that is learning about your life’s work. You should come away feeling that your adviser truly understands you and your unique situation. At that point, using your financial plan as a guide, portfolio recommendations are made.

When choosing a financial planner, good communication between you and your adviser is key, so ask a lot of questions! How often will we meet? What does your financial planning and investment process look like? Will you work as a fiduciary on my behalf? Be sure to ask for the firm’s disclosure documents. These documents will give you a better picture of the adviser’s experience, background, licensing, and the fees that you will be charged.

We would suggest using a fiduciary level financial adviser. Fiduciaries are bound legally and ethically to work diligently on behalf of their clients, putting the clients’ interest ahead of their own. Some recent estimates suggest that 20 percent of advisers are now acting as fiduciaries to their clients. We still have a long way to go number-wise, but at least the trend is heading in the right direction.

Finally, as you move forward on your retirement planning, I would suggest interviewing several advisers as part of the process. You should consider using your CPA and attorney as referral sources along with successful friends who have retired. Hopefully, you will hear the same advisory firm name more than once!

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Eric Tashlein is a Certified Financial Planner professional and founding Principal of Connecticut Capital Management Group, LLC, 2 Schooner Lane, Suite 1-12, in Milford. He can be reached at 203-877-1520 or through This is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as personalized investment advice or legal/tax advice. Please consult your advisor/attorney/tax advisor. Investment Advisor Representative, Connecticut Capital Management Group, LLC, a Registered Investment Advisor. Connecticut Capital Management Group, LLC and Connecticut Benefits Group, LLC are not affiliated.