En español | Given the range of strategies for financing long-term care, many people find it helpful to consult a financial professional. It's important to know which type of professional will fit your needs — and how to find someone you can trust. Several organizations that can help connect you with an appropriate professional are listed in the resources section of the long-term care Resources Guide available on AARP's Digital Newsstand or by ordering a copy by phone 1-888-OUR-AARP.
See also: FAQ about paying for long-term care.
- Financial planners assess every aspect of your financial life, including your savings, investments, insurance, taxes, retirement and estate planning, to make recommendations about how to reach your financial goals.
- Investment advisers focus specifically on managing your investments. To find information about advisers, visit www.adviserinfo.sec.gov.
- Insurance agents can help you sort through options for life insurance, annuities and long-term care insurance. You can find agents through your state insurance commission.
- Estate-planning attorneys can draft legal documents such as a will, a financial power of attorney or advance directives. They can also develop tax-efficient strategies for passing on your estate.
With any of these professionals, you'll want to do your research before deciding to employ one.
- Begin by getting referrals from family, friends and colleagues. You can also use the websites in the resources section of the long-term care Resources Guide as a starting point.
- Request interviews with at least three different professionals. If they do not offer a free initial meeting, cross their name off your list.
- Arrive at the appointment with a list of questions. What services do you offer? What degrees, licenses and certifications do you hold? What is your specialty?
- Make sure you understand how the person gets paid. Financial professionals charge for their services in a variety of ways, including hourly rates, flat fees, percentage of assets managed or commission. Keep in mind that some professionals who earn commissions may not have your best interests at heart.
- Consider whether you feel comfortable with the person. A good financial professional welcomes questions and can explain answers clearly.
- Request client references and check them. How long have they used the person? What do they like most — and least? Would they recommend the person to a family member?
- Verify the person's credentials with the appropriate regulating or certifying organization. You can do this through professional associations and licensing agencies.
Remember that you are hiring someone to help you plan for your future. This is no time to be shy. To learn more about working with a financial professional, visit aarp.org/money.
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