No matter who you are, how much you’ve saved, what kind of salary you make, or how you want to spend your golden years, planning for retirement is essential. Many Americans are concerned that they will either run out of money in retirement entirely or not have enough to maintain the lifestyle they’ve become accustomed to. That is why monthly income planning is so vital, and, while making decisions about finances can be difficult and anxiety provoking, there are ample resources you can utilize and experts you can turn to.

There are potential benefits to hiring an investment advisor, for example. They often have a broader, deeper knowledge of money management, especially when it comes to complicated matters like investments and taxes. And there are, of course, numerous options when it comes to retirement planning, such as different types of IRA accounts, nonqualified deferred contribution plans, guaranteed income annuities, and cash value life insurance plans, and a financial advisor can assist in choosing which is the best option. One of the major roles of such an advisor is reducing a client’s financial stress, including helping simplify financial decisions and sharpening focus on short term and long term goals. A good advisor will also receive a copy of a client’s quarterly statement and be proactive in reaching out with good or bad news, strategies, and ideas.

Joseph Falbo, author of Retirement Success; Hiring Your Functional Retirement Advisor (Falbo Wealth Management, 2018) lists five “must have” characteristics to look for in what he terms a “Functional Retirement Advisor” in the book. They are:

Trust and empathy. A capable advisor gets to know the client as a person by gathering both quantitative and qualitative data.

At least 15 years of experience in financial planning for individuals.

A financial plan for themselves and are financially secure themselves.


A designation like CFP, CPA, PFS, ChFC.

Will practice behavior management and behavior investing for at least part of the portfolio.
I’ve been in the business a long time, and know how important it is to work on a retirement plan with someone you trust. If your advisor is not also a CPA, he or she should work with both your estate planning attorney and CPA to help reduce taxes, avoid taking unnecessary risks, and to protect the things you’ve worked so hard for. There is a synergy between these professions, and each will have an impact on your overall financial health and future.

By hiring a financial advisor, you will be hiring a personal advocate focused on your best interests, and the right one allows clients to focus on the rest of their lives and make them more enjoyable.

Walter Daszkowski, CPA, PFS
Daszkowski, Tompkins, Weg & Carbonella CPA, P.C.
1303 Clove Road, Staten Island
T: 718.981.9600 Option 1 / F: 718.981.9601278
Route 34, Suite 1 & 2, Matawan, NJ