Thank you, and I agree also, as stated in my second post of this thread. I did pick up a few helpful hints here, but have come to the conclusion that there is no way around putting in a fair amount of time investigating options for my particular situation. It's not unlike the challenges of hiring a good mechanic, lawyer, or surgeon. In my case, I want to steer my retirement finances in a certain direction, but I do not have the expertise to manage it on a day-to-day basis. The options ARE overwhelming!
Unlike surgery, most lawyering, and tough mechanic work - you can do it yourself
. I JUST retired and frankly could have retired a bit sooner. The last few years of work were not pleasant any more and frankly I was ONLY working for the $50,000+ per year going to savings. (nothing wrong with that I suppose). Point is I was in somewhat similar circumstances several years ago wanted help, but knew this would be on ME - I say I had a bit of "analysis paralysis". Although I possess enough investment knowledge to be dangerous, I lacked the confidence to live without that magic pay check or confidence that I could, in a very different way, give myself a paycheck, so to speak.
First, though, you are correct in your attitude - just assume all investment advisor types will screw you. I am somewhat in the same boat as far as looking the department - well except I am trying to find a tax advisor.
Seems like a very rare species! My tax guy retired...........really no one to turn to for some pretty huge decisions. I have over $2.5meg in tax protected accounts (401K and several stripes of IRAs) and maybe a year+ worth of after tax dollars. I'm 62, own a couple businesses that earn decent side money, I have a small pension and am deciding not to take SS early (maybe). Health care insurance is our #1 expense, (~$1500). House payment is small ($800), moving in 2021.............my point is not to bore you with my stuff, but I'm thinking someone reading my details may be thinking "Why hire someone for that?" And indeed that is what I am thinking for you.............so while you still can look for someone, I'm telling you, you don't really need someone at this point - plus you can get started NOW.
It's interesting that couple guys mentioned Fidelity selling them annuities - oddly I have been with Fidelity for 35+ years and they have never tried to sell me much anything. (Well OK I did get, in the mail a credit card ad once). In fact, Fidelity just doesn't reach out to me.
As for advisors - always you will need some level of knowledge to judge them - I also see you know this. I'm sure you know enough to avoid the pushy type who are just sales weasels. You don't need that kind of help. People who promise or talk dreams...........well you don't need that either. Look locally, there might be someone, a fiduciary, but I have my doubts.
They will talk positive, ok I guess, but it's not them doing the moving, it's the market. There is no magic they will tell you that will help you, over time, beat the market. Period. I see the Fisher ads, they claim they are fiduciaries but I really don't think they will have their heart and soul in your best interests - but will have claws in you for their fees from what I read and heard,
Again as far as finding an advisor, a good advisor - you are
correct, it's a tough nut. I am not recommending this but my brother uses LPL Financial, and I must, say - his guy, is actually not bad. The fee is negotiable, but he's not a ripoff dude. I've met and chatted with him multiple time. I've seen his work and been on a couple trusts when he was the finance guy (we had a separate tax person). Problem is, this guy is not young and I think he will retire next year, so my brother just doesn't want the next person in line if you follow my logic. How did the LPL place get involved in the first place? My aunt used him.
Have I had help - personally? I did get some help from Fidelity - through my workplace at the time. The first guy I worked with didn't help much, , just oohed and aahed (weird) - but later this gal who actually came to our workplace (a weeklong event, make an appointment) was very helpful in a 1:1 meeting early 2019. Since my wife has her savings plan at Fidelity this retirement specialist pulled up everything and gave me an OK written report, but her summary: "Why aren't you retired now?" THAT gave me a confidence boost.
YOUR current accounts - what are you invested in? This needs some real attention, IMHO. Maybe I missed it - but have you spoken in detail with a knowledgeable person there? I don't know anything about TIAA, but they should have a retirement advisor.
Point here as others have mentioned, you are young enough to need some market growth. There is such a thing as being TOO conservative. Leo99 - has sage advise about bucket. Take some time to learn about bucket investing - don't get too hung up on the word "bucket". It's just a word for segregating. I'm not going to tell you to invest in individual stocks, or great/particular funds, but I say at this point it's just to difficult to pick. So again, back to the wide market funds as others have alluded to. Of course - Avoid sectors, speculation, checking too often, moving in and out, trying to time the market...........
Although we did OK in the end (end of working phase) I made four stupid large investment decisions in my life (and a bunch of minor ones hahahhaha) - each sort of branch out, but I will avoid the details in my summary here:
1) Being TOO conservative when I should have been fully invested. This is somewhat interwoven with my other mistakes (thematic of trying to time the market)
2) Allowing politics to impact what and how and when I invest. (This was awhile back) - keeping it simple: just keep saving and investing in the wide market. At the time this probably cost me $30K, but over time this was money that could have helped build a larger retirement.
3) Getting too sector oriented, doing fine, becoming overconfident then getting distracted by life, business, everything and thinking I can autopilot. When energy got whacked really really hard a few years back, ok maybe it was like 5+ years ago now, I took a $100,000+ hit...........on 3-4 companies that basically went bust. Ouch. Linn Energy (LINE), SDRL, etc.......I still feel like an idiot. I looked at my account and I was pretty devastated. Luckily my wife didn't leave me!
4) Not saving a huge % amount early enough. I really wish I started saving 20% from day one and going up from there. I started at 8% and stayed there for too long. Although the last 20+ years, the percentage was much higher, playing catch up is hard to do. I could have retired much much sooner if I hadn't believed that 8% was enough. Everyone need to up their savings NOW and keep it up.
Again, I hope you can take something from this. Not meant to include everything nor am I trying to come off as an expert.