FAQ - Retirement Planning

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What questions should I ask my 403(b) advisor when I sign up?

Before signing up for a 403(b) plan, you should get answers to questions about the advisor, the investment and the fees.

The advisor: Ask if the advisor is willing to work in a fiduciary capacity on your behalf and, if so, if he or she will put it in writing. Ask about the advisor’s education, background, credentials and licenses. Find out how he or she is paid and whether he or she is registered with the Securities Exchange Commission and the California Department of Corporations. Ask about limits on the types of products and services the advisor can recommend to you.

The investment: Ask if the investment makes sense for you in light of your goals, timeline and risk tolerance. Is it a mutual fund or an annuity? What is its historical performance? What specific risks are associated with the investment?

The fees: Have your advisor disclose, in writing, all the direct and indirect fees that are included in the product he or she is recommending. Ask how they compare to fees on other investment options available to you.

For more information on the questions you should ask your 403(b) advisor, watch Finding a Trustworthy Financial Advisor, or read our guide to Working with a 403(b) or 457 Advisor, both on CTAinvest.org.

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