Common Financial Advice Client Concerns

With almost two decades of hands-on financial planning experience, we’ve been asked all sorts of interesting questions. By far, the #1 question our clients ask us is: “When can I retire?”, but there is a wide range of other concerns that can keep clients up at night.

How many of your financial concerns are on this list?

  • I want to retire on this date: [dd/mm/yy]. Can I?
  • What do I need to do to make sure I can retire when I want to?
  • My spouse is retiring, can I retire next?
  • Will I have enough money to retire?
  • What will my income be in retirement?
  • What will my cashflow look like during retirement?
  • Do I need to have my mortgage paid off before retirement?
  • Do I need to downsize in retirement?
  • What are the different stages of retirement?

  • Should I accelerate my mortgage?
  • I need to do some home improvements, how should I pay for them?
  • Can I afford to travel?

  • We just had a baby, should we start worrying about college now, or can we wait a bit?
  • How do I save for college for my elementary school child?
  • My child is in middle school and I haven’t save anything for their college, am I too late?
  • What’s the best way to pay for college for my highschooler?
  • How can I pay off my student loans?

  • I don’t understand my tax return – my tax preparer doesn’t explain things. Can you help clarify?
  • How can I reduce my taxes?
  • Are there any tax planning strategies that I’m unaware of?
  • What’s the difference between a deduction, a credit, and an adjustment income?
  • What’s the difference between the standard and itemized deductions?
  • What kinds of business deductions can I take?

  • How can I best do charitable donations?
  • What is the best tax structure for contributions?
  • RMD, QCD and IRMAA, oh my!

  • Should I buy or rent?
  • Can I afford to buy a house?
  • How much house can I really afford?
  • Can I afford to upsize?
  • I’ve heard about reverse mortgages, is one right for me?
  • Should I buy an annuity for income in retirement?
  • What are annuities, and why do people think that they’re bad?

  • Do I have enough life insurance?
  • What kind of life insurance should I get?
  • My parents bought me a whole-life policy, should I keep it?
  • Do I need life insurance for my child?
  • Should I take my employer-sponsored life insurance, or should I have an individual policy?

  • Do I need long term care?
  • How will I pay for long term care expenses?
  • How much does Long Term Care insurance cost?
  • What kind of LTC should I get?

  • Am I properly covered by my homeowner’s and auto insurance?
  • Do I need an umbrella policy?
  • Should I get all the add-ons my auto insurance company wants me to get?
  • What’s the most important thing in my homeowner’s policy?

  • Do I need disability insurance?
  • Should I have disability insurance?
  • Is my employer’s disability insurance good?
  • Do I need disability insurance if I’m retired?

  • How do I balance saving for a house, saving for my kid’s college, paying off my student loans, and occasionally having a vacation?
  • I just got my first “real” job, how do I choose my benefits (health insurance, life insurance, disability etc)?
  • How much should I put into my 401K?
  • Should I contribute to my employer’s Roth 401K option?
  • Should I contribute to a Roth IRA?
  • Should I do a Roth conversion?
  • What’s the difference between an IRA, a Roth IRA, and a Non-Deductible IRA?
  • What’s better, a 403b or a 457?
  • How does my employer’s pension plan work?
  • What survivor options should I choose on my pension plan?
  • Who should be the beneficiary of my accounts if I am single with no kids?


QCD – Qualified Charitable Distributions
RMD – Required Minimum Deistributions
IRMAA – Income Related Medicare Adjustment Amount
LTC – Long Term Care