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AAFMAA Blog

How to Find a Financial Professional for Your Military Family

2021-12-17

While making important financial decisions can be scary for anyone, the unique needs of military families can be overwhelming without some outside guidance. No matter what questions or concerns you may have, hiring the right financial professional for you and your family can be an essential step to ensuring a solid financial future. How do you find the right professional?

Make sure their interests are aligned with yours.

When looking for a financial professional, it’s important to find out if they are legally required to always put your best interests above their own. As a trust company, AAFMAA Wealth Management and Trust LLC (AWM&T), a wholly-owned subsidiary of AAFMAA, provides fiduciary services and only works in your best interest.

When choosing a financial professional, there are three types of payment structures to consider:

  • Fee-only professionals are compensated by a specified rate, whether it’s by the hour, a percentage of your funds, or a flat fee. They do not work on commission and usually have a fiduciary responsibility, meaning they are legally obligated to put your interests first in all situations.
  • Commission-based professionals, such as brokers and insurance agents, sell products and receive a commission on their sales.
  • Fee-based professionals may offer a combination of fee-based and commission-based services.

Decide how much financial planning help you need.

Perhaps you want more in-depth help and need someone who can oversee all of your financial matters. You will want a comprehensive financial plan and a professional that can help invest and manage that plan throughout your life.

When looking for a financial professional, it’s important to first determine your goals. Do you just have some specific questions you need answered? Do you want a one-time financial plan? Once you’ve determined your needs, look for the best professional that meets your needs.

Make sure they are a good fit.

Most financial professionals, including AWM&T, offer an introductory session for free. This lets the financial professional get a better idea of your specific needs, helps you get a feel for how they work, and helps you determine if they’re a good fit. Feeling comfortable and connected with your financial professional is important. You will be working together as a trusted team.

Don’t overlook the details.

While everything may seem in order, always read the fine print before hiring anyone. Ask your financial professional to thoroughly walk you through everything and don’t move forward until all your questions are answered. Before signing, you should understand these elements of the contract:

  • Does the financial professional use a third-party custodian?
  • What specific services will they provide?
  • Can you end the relationship without early termination fees?
  • Can your contract be passed down to a junior employee at a later date?
  • What other fees will you pay beyond your advisor’s predetermined compensation?

Rather than questioning the motives behind your retirement professional’s recommendations, look to AAFMAA’s Wealth Management and Trust LLC (AWM&T). We can serve as your fiduciary for all of your investment management, trust management, and financial and retirement planning needs.

Whether you know exactly what you want or need more guidance, AWM&T Relationship Managers are here to help you gain financial confidence. Connect with a member of the AWM&T team today to find the right financial professional for your military family. Call 1-800-522-5221 or contact us online to get started!