Who Can Help With Retirement Planning?

Retirement planning is a crucial aspect of financial planning, and it’s never too early or too late to start. But where do you begin? Who can help you navigate the complexities of retirement planning and ensure that you’re on track to meet your goals?

Here, we’ll explore some of the professionals who can assist with retirement planning.

One option is to work with a financial advisor.

Financial advisors are professionals who can help you create a comprehensive financial plan that includes retirement planning. They can help you determine how much you need to save for retirement, recommend investment strategies, and provide guidance on other financial matters.

Many financial advisors specialize in retirement planning and can help you navigate the various retirement plans available, such as 401(k)s and IRAs.

Understanding Retirement Planning

Why Retirement Planning is Important

Retirement planning is an essential part of financial planning. It involves determining the amount of money you need to save to be able to retire comfortably and live a financially secure life after retirement. Retirement planning is important for several reasons, including:

  • Maintaining your standard of living: Retirement planning helps you maintain your current lifestyle even after you retire. It ensures that you have enough money to cover your living expenses, including housing, food, healthcare, and other necessities.

  • Achieving financial independence: Retirement planning helps you achieve financial independence, which means that you have enough money to support yourself without relying on others.

  • Minimizing financial stress: Retirement planning helps you minimize financial stress by ensuring that you have enough money to cover your expenses and emergencies.

Basics of Retirement Planning

Retirement planning involves several steps, including:

  • Setting retirement goals: The first step in retirement planning is to set your retirement goals. This involves determining the age at which you want to retire, the lifestyle you want to maintain after retirement, and the amount of money you need to save to achieve these goals.

  • Calculating retirement expenses: The next step is to calculate your retirement expenses. This involves estimating the amount of money you will need to cover your living expenses, healthcare costs, and other expenses.

  • Saving for retirement: Once you have determined your retirement goals and expenses, the next step is to start saving for retirement. You can save for retirement by contributing to retirement accounts, such as 401(k)s, IRAs, and Roth IRAs.

  • Investing for retirement: Investing for retirement is an important part of retirement planning. It involves choosing investments that will help you achieve your retirement goals, such as stocks, bonds, and mutual funds.

Retirement planning can be complex, and it’s important to seek help from a financial advisor if you’re unsure about any aspect of retirement planning. A financial advisor can help you create a retirement plan that is tailored to your needs and goals.

Financial Advisors

Financial advisors can be valuable resources for planning your retirement. They can help you create a comprehensive plan that takes into account your current financial situation, your goals for retirement, and any potential risks or obstacles that may arise.

Role of Financial Advisors

Financial advisors can provide a range of services to help you plan for retirement. They can help you:

  • Develop a retirement savings plan that takes into account your income, expenses, and other financial obligations
  • Determine how much you need to save in order to achieve your retirement goals
  • Identify investment strategies that are appropriate for your risk tolerance and financial situation
  • Monitor your investments and make adjustments as necessary to keep your portfolio on track
  • Develop a tax-efficient retirement income strategy
  • Plan for unexpected expenses or emergencies that may arise during retirement

Choosing the Right Financial Advisor

When choosing a financial advisor, it’s important to consider a few key factors:

  • Credentials: Look for advisors who have relevant certifications, such as Certified Financial Planner (CFP) or Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA).
  • Experience: Consider how long the advisor has been in business and whether they have experience working with clients in similar financial situations.
  • Fees: Make sure you understand how the advisor is compensated and what fees you will be charged for their services.
  • Communication: Choose an advisor who is responsive and communicates clearly and effectively.

It’s important to do your research and choose a financial advisor who is a good fit for your needs and goals. A good advisor can help you navigate the complex world of retirement planning and give you the confidence you need to achieve your financial goals.

Retirement Planning Services

Retirement planning can be a complex process that requires careful consideration of various factors. Fortunately, there are many retirement planning services available to help individuals navigate this process. These services can provide valuable guidance and support to help ensure that individuals are able to achieve their retirement goals.

Types of Services

Retirement planning services can vary widely in terms of the types of services they offer. Some services may focus primarily on investment management, while others may provide comprehensive financial planning services that cover a wide range of areas, such as retirement income planning, tax planning, and estate planning.

It is important to carefully evaluate the services offered by different providers to determine which services best meet your needs. Some factors to consider when evaluating retirement planning services include:

  • Expertise: Look for providers with experience and expertise in retirement planning.

  • Services offered: Consider what services are included in the provider’s offerings and whether they align with your needs.

  • Fees: Review the provider’s fee structure to ensure it is transparent and reasonable.

  • Reputation: Research the provider’s reputation online and through referrals to ensure they have a track record of success.

How to Evaluate Services

When evaluating retirement planning services, there are several key factors to consider. First, consider the provider’s experience and expertise in retirement planning. Look for providers who have a proven track record of success in helping clients achieve their retirement goals.

Next, consider the services offered by the provider. Look for providers who offer a comprehensive range of services that align with your needs. For example, if you are primarily concerned with retirement income planning, look for providers who specialize in this area.

It is also important to carefully review the provider’s fee structure. Look for providers who are transparent about their fees and who offer a fee structure that is reasonable and aligned with the services provided.

Finally, consider the provider’s reputation. Look for providers who have a strong reputation online and through referrals. This can provide valuable insight into the provider’s track record of success and their level of customer satisfaction.

Overall, retirement planning services can be a valuable resource for individuals who are looking to achieve their retirement goals. By carefully evaluating the services offered by different providers, individuals can find a provider that best meets their needs and helps them achieve their retirement goals.

Online Retirement Planning Tools

Retirement planning can be a daunting task, especially if you are unsure of where to start. Fortunately, there are several online retirement planning tools available that can help you create and manage a retirement plan.

Benefits of Online Tools

Online retirement planning tools offer several benefits, including:

  • Convenience: You can access these tools from anywhere with an internet connection, making it easy to update and manage your retirement plan.
  • Customization: Many online tools allow you to tailor your retirement plan to your specific needs and goals.
  • Cost-effectiveness: Many online retirement planning tools are affordable or even free, making it easier to plan for retirement without breaking the bank.
  • Education: These tools often come with educational resources that can help you learn more about retirement planning and make more informed decisions.

Popular Online Retirement Planning Tools

Here are some of the most popular online retirement planning tools:

  • Betterment App: Offers a personalized retirement plan based on your goals and risk tolerance.
  • Charles Schwab Retirement Calculator: Provides an estimate of how much you need to save for retirement based on your income and expenses.
  • Fidelity Retirement Score: This helps you determine if you are on track to meet your retirement goals and offers suggestions for improvement.
  • Empower: Offers a suite of retirement planning tools, including a retirement calculator and a retirement income planner.
  • Stash: Provides personalized investment recommendations based on your retirement goals and risk tolerance.

These tools can be a great starting point for your retirement planning journey. However, it’s important to keep in mind that they are just tools and should not be relied on as the sole source of retirement planning advice. It’s always a good idea to consult with a financial advisor or retirement planning professional for personalized advice.

Self-Directed Retirement Planning

Self-directed retirement planning refers to the process of managing your own retirement savings. This means that you have complete control over how your retirement funds are invested and managed. While this approach can be empowering, it is not for everyone. Here are some pros and cons of self-directed retirement planning:


  • Control: With self-directed retirement planning, you have complete control over your retirement funds. This means that you can choose the investments that you believe will provide the best returns.
  • Flexibility: Self-directed retirement plans offer greater flexibility than traditional retirement plans. You can invest in a wider range of assets, including real estate, private equity, and precious metals.
  • Potential for higher returns: Since you have more control over your investments, there is a potential for higher returns. This can be particularly appealing to investors who are willing to take on more risk.


  • Risk: Self-directed retirement plans can be riskier than traditional retirement plans. If you make poor investment decisions, you could lose a significant amount of your retirement savings.
  • Lack of expertise: Not everyone has the knowledge or expertise to effectively manage their own retirement savings. This can lead to poor investment decisions and lower returns.
  • Fees: Self-directed retirement plans can be more expensive than traditional retirement plans. You may need to pay fees for account management, custodial services, and other expenses.

Getting Started

If you are interested in self-directed retirement planning, there are a few things you should do to get started:

  1. Research: Educate yourself about the different types of investments available and the risks associated with each one.
  2. Set goals: Determine your retirement goals and how much you need to save to achieve them.
  3. Choose a custodian: Find a reputable custodian that specializes in self-directed retirement plans.
  4. Open an account: Once you have chosen a custodian, open a self-directed retirement account and fund it.
  5. Invest: Choose investments that align with your retirement goals and risk tolerance.

Self-directed retirement planning can be a rewarding experience for investors who are willing to put in the time and effort to manage their own retirement savings. However, it is important to carefully consider the risks and benefits before making a decision.

Retirement Planning Workshops and Seminars

Attending retirement planning workshops and seminars can be a great way to learn about retirement planning and gain valuable insights from financial experts. Many financial institutions, such as Charles Schwab and Allworth Financial, offer complimentary seminars covering a wide range of topics related to investing, financial planning, and retirement.

During these seminars, attendees can learn about different types of retirement accounts, investment strategies, and ways to maximize their retirement savings. They can also ask questions and receive personalized advice from financial professionals.

LACERA (Los Angeles County Employees Retirement Association) also offers pre-retirement workshops to their members. These workshops are presented by LACERA Benefits and Retiree Healthcare specialists and co-presented with Empower Retirement, which administers the 401(k) and 457(b) defined contribution plans.

In addition to financial institutions and retirement associations, there are also many local retirement planning seminars and workshops available. These events can be found through a simple online search or by checking with local community centres and libraries.

Overall, attending retirement planning workshops and seminars can be a valuable way to gain knowledge and insight into retirement planning.

It is important to research and choose reputable and knowledgeable organizations to ensure the information received is accurate and reliable.

Free or low-costLimited to specific topics
Access to financial professionalsMay not be personalized to individual situations
Opportunity to ask questionsMay require travel
Can be a good starting point for retirement planningMay be a sales pitch for financial products


Retirement planning can be a complex process that requires careful consideration and attention to detail. While it is possible to do it all on your own, seeking the help of a professional can make the process much smoother and less stressful.

Financial advisors, retirement planners, and accountants are all professionals who can help with retirement planning. They can provide guidance and advice on everything from setting retirement goals to creating a savings plan and managing investments.

When choosing a professional to work with, it is important to do your research and find someone who has experience and expertise in retirement planning. Look for someone who is knowledgeable about tax laws, investment strategies, and retirement income sources.

Ultimately, the decision to seek help with retirement planning is a personal one. Some people may prefer to do it all on their own, while others may benefit from the expertise and guidance of a professional. Whatever your choice, remember that the most important thing is to start planning early and stay committed to your retirement goals.