How To Become A 401 Millionaire
The number of 401 and IRA millionaires reached an all-time high in the first quarter of 2021, according to Fidelity Investments. Retirement account balances have been steadily recovering in the year since COVID first emerged, even surpassing pre-pandemic levels. Today, more than 365,000 Fidelity investors boast seven-figure 401 balances, along with more than 307,600 IRA millionaires. A well-funded retirement account can afford you the financial security you need after your career ends. But to become a 401 millionaire, there are several steps youll need to follow.
A financial advisor can help you handle your 401 so that you maximize your investment returns.
There are 10 key moves a 401 investor should make to maximize his or her opportunity to retire as a 401 millionaire. Of course, theres no guarantee that following these steps will turn you into a millionaire, but its unlikely youll reach such a level without making a number of the following moves.
Should You Hire A Retirement Advisor
Saving for your golden years may not seem like a priority compared to daily expenses, debt repayment and short-term savings goals. Yet the sooner you start, the better you can leverage compounding interest and the more your money will grow. Getting an early start on retirement planning also provides some flexibility if you decide to tweak your strategy. But you dont have to plan your retirement all on your own. A retirement advisor can help you build a plan to save for retirement and make your income last. To find a financial advisor who serves your area, consider using SmartAssets free matching tool.
What Is A Financial Planner
The term financial planner is often confused with other similar careers. These include jobs like investment advisors and financial analysts. However, there are a number of nuances between these professions that make all the difference.
For starters, financial planners typically work on long-term financial plans for their clients. This usually entails figuring out what kinds of financial goals your client is looking to achieve and building a comprehensive plan to help them reach that summit. Its not uncommon for a financial planner to have a specific area of expertise in:
- Business succession planning
You May Like: When Retiring What To Do With 401k
K Advisers Is Your Value Proposition Even Valuable
If you talk to any marketing consultant, one of the top things they bring up is having a value proposition. Retirement plan advisers’ most frequent value proposition centers around the investment review process. But there’s a big issue with that: It isn’t really what plan sponsors value or why they hire an adviser.
Consider Earning A Degree
While you can become a financial advisor without a degree, completing an undergraduate program qualifies you for more positions. Many financial advisors have a bachelor’s degree in accounting, business, economics, math, or finance, regardless of the type of advice they provide. During your undergraduate, learn about financial markets, financial principles, business ethics, financial planning and managerial finance. You can also enter the industry with a non-finance degree if you’re eager to learn on the job.
You May Like: Can I Create My Own 401k
The Role Of The 401 Advisor
Maintaining an appropriate retirement plan for your company often seems like a daunting task especially when you consider everything else that goes into running a successful business. For us at First Landing Financial, its one of our specialties. In general, the role of a 401 advisor can be segmented into:
Clearly defining the parameters of the specific client relationship and establishing reasonable expectations for both the client and the advisor. We believe that developing an overall retirement plan strategy with specific goals is critical in ensuring success.
Evaluating and selecting service providers. A qualified 401 advisor can diagnose the particular aspects of the service delivery that are critical to your situation and recommend the most appropriate alternatives. Since First Landing Financial advisors are not tied to a particular provider, were free to recommend what we believe is best for your company and employees.
Performing plan design consulting. A review of the plan design is very important because plan design provisions can make a big difference in whether your plan meets your needs. These provisions address matching contribution formulas, cross-tested profit sharing allocations, qualification and eligibility issues, and merger and acquisition situations. First Landing Financial 401 advisors will work closely with the providers administration professionals to help ensure that all available aspects of plan design are considered.
Contribute Consistently And Enough
Becoming a 401 millionaire is slow going, not unlike training to run a long-distance race. When you first become eligible to contribute to a 401 plan, contribute as much as you can. If your employer offers a match, contribute enough to earn the full match. Not doing so is leaving free money on the table.
The key is to start early. Even if you can only afford to contribute 3% of your salary, get started now. Try to increase that to 4% or 5% the next year and each year until you approach the maximum contribution limit. For 2021, the limit is $19,500 , with an additional $6,500 catch-up contribution for those 50 or older at any point during the year.
Recommended Reading: How To Set Up A Solo Roth 401k
Use Multiple Communication Methods
Not everyone checks their email every day or listens to their voicemail, so maximize the number of potential clients you reach by utilizing multiple communication methods, such as phone calls, emails, social media posts/messages, or even textsespecially with younger generations.
These channels can also work in tandem with each other an email can be a great follow-up to a phone call or a voicemail, and a LinkedIn message can be a great way to get your foot in the door with a potential client you met at a local Chamber event. Keep your messages short and sweet by simply highlighting the benefits of your services and asking to schedule a more in-depth meeting with them to discuss how you can help their business.
Is Becoming A Financial Advisor Right For You
A career as a financial advisor can be rewarding and offers the opportunity to help people make sound investment choices and plan for their financial future. However, it isnt right for everyone.
Financial advisors must be able to deal with clients who may be anxious or upset about their financial situation. They must also be comfortable working with numbers and have a strong understanding of financial concepts. In addition, financial advisors must be disciplined and organized in order to keep track of their clients accounts.
But if you are interested in helping others with their finances and are willing to work hard, a career as a financial advisor may be right for you.
Don’t Miss: How To Cash In 401k
Tech Solutions The Key To Tpas’ Future
Historically, recordkeepers, not TPAs, have held a leadership position in technology deliverables that are provided to plan sponsors, participants, and advisors. Today, however, there is a growing reliance on TPAs to deliver more technology-driven solutions that enhance an advisor’s ability to win new clients and keep existing ones.
How To Become A Financial Advisor In Canada
If you are looking for a career that is both challenging and rewarding, becoming a financial advisor in Canada may be the perfect choice for you. This guide will provide you with all the information you need to get started in this exciting field.
We will discuss the education and experience requirements, as well as the different types of financial advisor careers available in Canada. So if you are ready to take the next step in your career, read on!
Recommended Reading: Is An Ira Better Than A 401k
What Do Retirement Advisors Do
In a nutshell, a retirement advisor helps you set financial retirement goals and develop a plan to reach them. They can also help prioritize, qualify and quantify your retirement objectives. Additionally, your advisor can act as the person who keeps your focused and motivated as you approach retirement age.
The services that a retirement advisor can offer you will depend largely on their professional certifications and experience. But generally, a retirement advisor should do most or all of the following:
- Help you identify your retirement savings goals and the action steps youll need to take to achieve them.
- Pinpoint potential gaps in your retirement savings plan.
- Offer advice on how to maximize tax-advantaged accounts, such as a 401 or individual retirement account .
- Help you devise a strategy for eliminating debt if youre carrying student loans, credit card bills, a mortgage or other loans.
- Discuss how to best plan for healthcare expenses and long-term care needs.
- Guide you in choosing an asset allocation that balances risk and reward.
- Inform you about products designed to preserve supplemental retirement income, such as annuities and long-term care insurance.
- Help you determine where Social Security benefits fit into your overall retirement plan.
- Assist with managing the tax implications of retirement account withdrawals and insurance payouts.
- Suggest solutions for managing assets beyond retirement accounts, such as real estate or collectibles.
Education Requirements For Financial Planners
Like many jobs in todays world, bachelors degree holders typically maintain a distinct career advantage over individuals who dont have a degree. Financial planning careers are no different, and a quick scan of job listings across the industry confirms this standard. While starting your own financial planning business without a degree is technically an option, the vast majority of financial advisors avoid this route.
As far as specific degrees go, there are a number of different majors that can help propel you into financial planning. The most obvious choices are finance and economics degrees. In many cases, though, mathematics, accounting, real estate and general business degrees will more than suffice.
Finance is one of the most variable businesses in the world. Therefore, its important for financial planners to continue their education even after they get a job. However, not all financial planner and advisory professions require educational credentials. For example, if you pass your Series 65 Exam, you can become a registered investment advisor without having to take coursework in financial planning.
Read Also: How To Find Missing 401k Accounts
What Information Are 401 Plan Administrators Required To Provide Participants
Plan administrators must provide plan participants with a variety of different documents on a regular, specified schedule. When an employee joins the plan, they should receive a Summary Plan Description , which details the rules of that particular plan. If the SPD is amended, the administrator should provide a Summary of Material Modification .
Each year, the administrator should also provide a Summary Annual Report, describing the plans financial condition. Either quarterly or annually, depending on the plan, administrators must provide each participant with an individual benefits statement showing how much money they have in their account and how much of it is currently vested. Those are some of the most important documents, but there are others as well.
Conflicts In A Rapidly Changing Fiduciary Landscape: Broker
While the outcomes of the Dodd-Frank mandate and the DOL’s proposal remain uncertain, for the foreseeable future, broker-dealer firms are likely to experience increasing pressure to demonstrate that they have policies and procedures that identify and prevent conflicts of interest. This 8-page paper discusses some of the common broker-dealer practices that the authors believe to be potential conflicts.
Read Also: How Do I Get A Loan From My Fidelity 401k
The Need For 401 Plan Advisors
It’s impossible to know everything about everything. When setting up 401 plans, employers often find themselves overwhelmed. They know their business, but they don’t know the intricacies of retirement plans and they don’t have time to become an expert. As a result, they rely on 401 advisors to coach them and coordinate with other service providers.
While every 401 advisor is different, some of the most common services are described below.
When Do You Plan To Move To Canada And Will It Be Permanent
Transferring 401s and IRAs to RRSPs only makes sense for people who are moving to Canada permanently , since its not possible to transfer RRSPs to IRAs.
Lets assume the move is permanent. If she knows several years in advance, and her marginal tax rate isnt too high, it may make sense for her to convert from an IRA to a Roth IRA so shell have paid tax on the capital at a lower rate.
Read Also: Why Is Ira Better Than 401k
Types Of Financial Advisors In Canada
Financial advisors can work in a variety of different industries and organizations. Some common types include wealth managers, investment advisors and personal financial planners.
Financial planner: Financial planners help create plans for individuals or businesses to achieve their financial goals. They work with clients on issues like debt management, retirement planning and tax filing.
Financial coach: A financial coach is an individual who provides advice on personal finances. They are often paid by their clients but may also receive commissions from the products they recommend or sell such as insurance plans and investment funds.
Investment advisor: A registered investment advisor helps clients invest their money in stocks, mutual funds and other securities. They provide advice on what to buy and when to sell in order to make the most profit.
Financial consultant: A financial consultant provides analysis and recommendations on financial planning, investment opportunities and debt management. They usually work for banks, accounting firms or other businesses.
Portfolio manager: A portfolio manager is responsible for the investment portfolios of their clients. They make decisions about what stocks or funds to buy and sell, how much money to invest and when to take profits.
But Wont You Steal My Clients
Thats a valid concern, and as Ill explain below, I believe you protect your relationships by working with me. But yes, some advisors use 401 plans as a way to gain access to business owners. They get a foot in the door by talking about the 401, while theyre really after the owners individual business.
Thats not the case with me Im happy to be just the 401 guy. But that might not be reassuring enough, so lets talk more:
What if your client asks me for advice on topics beyond the retirement plan? My standard answer, because it is 100% honest, is:
Thats a good question. But Im probably not the best person to answer that since I know youve been working with Pat . Pat knows all the other details about your finances, and Im ignorant about all the bigger-picture aspects. Pat can give you the best advice thats aligned with everything else you have going on. Can I help you draft an email to Pat that summarizes your question?
Recommended Reading: Can An Individual Open A 401k Account
Network With Local Business Owners And Decision
Joining your local Chamber of Commerce is a great way to meet local business owners and decision-makers you may never have come into contact with otherwise, and attending events put on by the Chamber offers a great way to network and connect with these potential prospects. Again, youll want to emphasize the value you have to offer them by working with you, so be prepared to discuss the various services you provide and how each service could benefit them as a business owner. Make sure to bring business cards with you, and try to secure follow-up meetings while you are face-to-face if possible.
Who Needs A 401 Advisor
If you are a business owner looking to offer a 401, a 403, a profit-sharing plan, or any other type of ERISA retirement plan, you should consider hiring a 401 advisor.
The truth of the matter is that you are not required to have a 401 advisor in order to establish a 401.
It is possible to have a plan recordkeeper and an officer as the only two parties running the plan. If you are going that route I would recommend you emerge yourself in the ins and outs of the rules and regulations first.
You are considered a fiduciary of the plan and you are to do whats in your employees best interest.
Creating a plan that would allow you to put away a ton of money tax-deferred is great but it cant be discriminatory. You cant offer a plan that is top-heavy and expect the government to be happy with that- your plan would not pass the yearly testing when filing your 5500.
Read Also: How Much Can You Contribute To 401k Per Year
Undergo A Background Check
As part of the registration process as a new financial advisor, youll need to undergo a background check. Your firm will coordinate this processthough it may take a few weeks and you may be restricted in your activities until its completed. For example, you may have to work under the supervision of a fully-licensed broker until your background check is processed.
Average Salary And Work Environment
According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary for a financial advisor is $59,988 per year. This salary may vary depending on location. For example, financial advisors in British Columbia earn $60,602 per year, on average. A financial advisor’s experience, qualifications, and skill set can also influence how much they can make.
Financial advisors work in various environments, such as banks, credit unions, insurance companies, financial planning organizations, and brokerage firms. In these organizations, they typically work in offices and use office equipment to perform their duties. Financial advisors may attend networking events to attract potential clients or meet with clients outside of the office.
Also Check: How Do I Check My 401k For Walmart