Retirement Planning in Red Bank, NJ: Hire an Advisor or Do It Yourself?

At Lucas Capital Management, we work with many clients, and when it comes to retirement planning in Red Bank, NJ, we hear this question a lot: Should I hire a financial advisor or manage my own finances?

It’s a good question. And here are some things to consider when making the decision:

If you are good with finances, on top of investment trends, able to make decisions that aren’t based on emotions, understand the relevant sections of the federal and state tax code, practice appropriate risk management and have the time to stay current on all of these topics, you may want to try to handle your own finances.

As financial advisors, we’ve found that some people are skilled in all of these areas but most need help.

With the proliferation of information available today, it’s possible to find detailed guides to attempt many tasks that once were only performed by professionals. On the Internet, you can learn how to fix your car, renovate your house, do your own medical diagnosis, defend yourself in court, prepare your taxes or manage your wealth. When deciding to do-it-yourself or engage a professional, it’s wise to balance the costs, skills required and the implications for failure.

If you are trying to change the alternator on your car and end up with greasy hands and a pile of parts, you probably take the car to your mechanic to have him finish the job. After a few hundred dollars and some embarrassment, you will be back on the road. Failing at do-it-yourself financial planning will have more severe implications. You don’t want to find yourself at retirement age only to realize that your planning assumptions did not allow you to actually retire!

Professionals are trained to understand the intricacies and nuances of their fields. When you hire a qualified financial advisor, they have seen situations similar to yours and can guide you based on experience.

Other Considerations

Life becomes more complex as we get older.

When we’re young, we all have a plan for the future; a dream; a goal to reach. At this point, financial planning may seem simple and the DIY solution may be right. But as we age, have a family and achieve career success, we add complexity. At each stage of life, there are different challenges involved in planning for the future.

There are also the what-ifs in life: What if you lose your job, lose a loved one or get divorced? What if you come into a large inheritance, make more money or find yourself having to care for your parents and/or adult children? It’s times like these when you may want to have an experienced professional that you trust to guide you. There are many new-to-you situations that you shouldn’t have to figure out on your own.

What is a Fiduciary?

Advisors can have many titles, but not all can call themselves a fiduciary.

A fiduciary financial advisor has a legal responsibility to:

  • Put clients’ needs before his or her own
  • Act in good faith and practice transparency
  • Avoid conflicts of interest
  • Provide honest and accurate advice in all situations

Preserving your wealth and having an experienced professional guide you through financial decisions is not something you can learn from a Google search or find on a YouTube video. Your future deserves the attention of a fiduciary financial advisor that puts your interest first.


Tired of trying to handle your finances on your own? Contact Lucas Capital Management to see how we can help.


What to Look for in a Financial Advisor

There are 3 things you will want to look for when selecting a financial advisor to work with:

Years of experience and industry knowledge: Experience is different than years in the industry. Some advisors have decades of knowledge and experience helping successful people like you with their financial plans. Others may have worked in the financial field but lack the breadth of experience required to help successful people with their financial planning.

Experience in working with clients who are similar to you: Retirement planning is different based on your wealth, career, family situation and geography. For example, retirement planning for a single teacher living in Ohio is different than for an executive with a family in Rumson, NJ. There are different investment considerations, post-retirement options, estate planning and tax regulations. A financial advisor who is well-established working with clients like you will provide the most appropriate advice. And this kind of insight can sometimes be a game-changer.

Fiduciary status: No matter how financially savvy you are, you’ll always be susceptible to having your emotions impact decisions with your money. Your financial advisor will help you with fact-based decisions, removing emotions from the equation. Fiduciary financial advisors have an obligation to act as unbiased third-parties who help you avoid costly mistakes.

A Financial Advisor Can Act as a Mediator among Family Members

When was the last time you argued with your spouse about money? Disagreements about money are common. In fact, a recent study found that financial stress is a leading cause of stress in relationships.

When working with a financial advisor, they may be able to mediate those arguments and help you find common ground.

When you establish a long-term relationship with a financial advisor, you build trust with one another, and when your financial life grows more complex, you can lean on your advisor more and more when tough financial questions pop up.

The Bottom Line

Let’s get back to the initial question: Should I hire a financial advisor or manage my money myself?

For most of us who have achieved success in our lives, the answer is clearly yes.

Retirement planning involves many moving parts. In addition to investing and saving for retirement, it’s important to implement tax efficient strategies, plan our estate, set investment withdraw strategies and adequately protect assets. It can become too much for people to do on their own, especially if you want to do it right.

Hiring a financial advisor is an investment. Yes, it costs money. But the return is worth it when you accomplish your goals, stick to your plan, minimize taxes, plan for the unexpected and tackle challenges with confidence.

At Lucas Capital Management, we specialize in comprehensive planning that helps you get your financial house in order for good. To learn more about our services, contact us today. If you’ve been handling your finances on your own and want to see how you’re doing, schedule a free, no-strings-attached retirement checkup with our advisors. Our team of experts will review your current situation and provide advice to help support you in making the best decisions for you.