News that your financial advisor is retiring can be alarming. He’s been the third party eyes and ears to you and your spouse for years and you trust him and his advice. But what happens when he retires? Does he have an exit strategy and who will be your new advisor? If your financial advisor is retiring the same time you are that can be scary. If you’re working with a senior advisor here are some questions to start asking so you can prepare yourself for the potential transition.

Does your current advisor have someone taking over for him?

Senior financial advisors may be in the works of grooming a younger advisor to take over their book of business. If this is the case, hopefully, the senior advisor is implementing a long-term plan and won’t retire for some years. They should provide structure, training, time and financial support to the upcoming advisor so they serve you as well as the senior advisor did. This will also allow for an easy transition as you should get to know the younger financial advisor long before your current financial advisor retires.

Is he looking to sell his book of business?

Typically, advisors looking to sell their book of business are faced with the grueling task of finding someone who not only has the means to purchase their book of business but also someone who can be trusted to serve their clients. If your advisor sells their book of business, interview the advisor that purchased it thoroughly to make sure you’re a good fit together.


What’s his relationship ties with the advisors he’s transitioning his book to?

Make sure you understand what the relationship is between both advisors. Be cautious about potential conflicts of interest and know that you don’t have to transition to the new advisor if you’re not comfortable with them. Also, ask your advisor how much they know about the financial advisor he wants you to transition to.

If something happens to your financial advisor or they decide to abruptly retire, the situation can leave you exposed, especially if he or she operates solely on their own. I would suggest you simply start asking your financial advisor the questions about their succession plan. After all, it never hurts to be prepared.

Here’s a list of questions you can start asking your senior advisor:

  • Do you have a succession plan or exit strategy?
  • When do you plan on retiring?
  • Are you selling your book of business?
  • How are you referring different clients to different financial advisors?
  • How well do you know the upcoming financial advisor?
  • How long have you known him and what’re your ties to him?
  • Will this be a slow transition so you can properly train him?

If you found this article helpful, be sure to check out “What is Wealth Management?”

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