Retirement Planning
April 15, 2022

How to Find the Best Retirement Planners in Phoenix

Stewart Willis

Do you want to make the most out of your golden years? Retirement preparation can be overwhelming, and most of the time, you don't even know what to do next. Don't worry! You're not alone. Many retirees find planning for retirement daunting, but it doesn't have to be.

The most important thing is to have a solid plan in place. Part of which is finding an Arizona retirement planner you can trust. So, how do you find the best one?

Whether you're nearing retirement or just starting to think about it, here are a few key things that could help you find the right person to discuss your financial objectives.

Who can map out the right course for you?

Truth is, very few people can plan for retirement all on their own. If you’re like most folks, you'll need an expert with the technical know-how about finances and managing them in your best interest. Here’s a couple things to keep in mind when choosing a financial planner:

The first trick is to ask for referrals from friends and family members. Nothing beats first-hand information. Meet with several planners to have an opportunity to ask questions and get a feel of their personalities.

At a minimum, a highly-qualified retirement planner should be registered and licensed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). They should also be a member of the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA).

Most importantly, choose "the one" you feel most comfortable working with. Trust and honesty are crucial in starting off on the right foot (in any kind of relationship). But especially when doing transactions like this one. It's your retirement money, after all!

An intro to a typical Arizona retirement planner's fee

Nothing is for free, but spending a little money on making your nest egg grow is a worthy investment. On average, retirement planners in the United States can charge between $100 to $500 per hour or 1% to 1.5% of the total fund being managed. However, it varies depending on several factors, such as retirement plan size and complexity, if any special circumstances require extra time and attention, and how long you've worked with a retirement planner.

There are also several types of fees retirement planners might charge, such as set-up, annual, hourly, project, and commission. It differs from one advisor to the other, so be sure to ask a planner how they make their money.

What matters most is finding a retirement financial expert who can help you create a plan that meets your needs and fits within your budget.

The benefits of local, Arizona-based retirement planners

Hiring a local to prepare for your retirement is ideal if you live in the Phoenix area specifically or Arizona generally. It works to your advantage for the following reasons:

Expert Advice

A licensed financial professional with five or more years of experience has gained expertise you need for your unique portfolio. You would want to work with a data-driven person (complete with numbers and statistics) to give you a more objective basis for decision making -- someone who will not put your retirement fund at unnecessary risk.

Customized Plans

Every retiree has specific needs and goals. Customizing plans would entail looking at your current financial situation, income, and age. A local retirement planner will understand local laws and can tailor-make a plan for your comfortable retirement.

Peace of Mind

With a reliable, trusted expert on your side, you can relax knowing that your retirement fund is planned out strategically. There's no need to feel stressed out. All you need to do is enjoy your retirement years.

You can start mapping out your retirement plan today if you're ready. No one would understand your needs better than retirement planners in your local area, such as Phoenix and Arizona.

How to find a local planner you can trust

It's natural to have some hesitation about discussing financial matters with someone you just met. A retirement planner who tries to persuade you instead of providing realistic and objective advice is already a sign to keep on looking. But how do you determine if they are the right fit?

Credentials matter

There are at least a hundred financial designations, many of which can be misleading. A qualified retirement planner must have the necessary professional licenses, registration and must have passed the exams for retirement planners and financial advisors (state and federal levels).

Proven track record

A minimum of 5 year-experience in the industry is enough to prove their track record. A responsible investment plan is not how you get rich quickly. It's an enduring relationship, so you want to make sure they are attentive, understand your needs, develop effective plans and know-how to help you invest.


There are pros and cons to how financial planners make their money. Sometimes it's hourly, sometimes it's a low percentage of the fund size they manage. Either way, ask them to fully explain how they get paid for the service they provide - and make sure you're comfortable with it.


Nobody wants to work with a planner who doesn’t communicate the right things at the right time. Professionals know the value of communication and would have a clear plan for you from day one, especially when it’s your retirement fund at stake. 

Pro tips: the core financial planner interview questions

Picture yourself as an employer and you're interviewing a job applicant. They are, after all, applying for a job with you! Here are some questions questions to ensure that the retirement planner is a good fit for your needs:

  1. Can you give some samples of your experience working with retirees?
  2. Do you have a retirement planning specialty?
  3. How do you charge for your services (hourly, project-based, or a percentage of assets under management)?
  4. What is your investment philosophy?
  5. What is your experience with the markets?
  6. Can you provide me with a few client references?
  7. How often do you want to meet with me, and how will you communicate with me (e-mail, phone, in-person)?
  8. Do you have any other services I might be interested in (estate planning, tax preparation, insurance)?
  9. What is your track record?
  10. How do I terminate our agreement?

If they can't answer all these questions, that's okay! Being an expert doesn’t mean they’re perfect. But these questions open up the conversation so you can understand if this planner will help you feel confident about your retirement plan.  

Financial Experts Make It Happen

Age comes for us all and it’s never easy. But having someone on your team with proven success in retirement planning can make all aspects less stressful.

If you're ready to get started, we've made it easy for you to get the ball rolling. Today could be the first day of your successful retirement plan.

Check out our free Portfolio Review and let us know if you have any questions.

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