Financial planner

Questions To Ask A Certified Financial Planner Before Retirement.


1 out of 4 retirees may live past 90 years!!! That means, we need to plan for a retirement corpus that can take care of us for 30+ years after our retirement.

Though Retirement Planning is crucial, sadly, except a few people, most of us do not plan well for their retirement. And, people without a proper financial plan inevitably face the complexities of retirement.

Before we proceed with the questions to ask a financial planner before retirement, let’s see first, the complexities of an unplanned Retirement.

The complexities of an unplanned Retirement

The major complexities of an unplanned retirement would be

    1. Compromised Lifestyle
    2. Compromised or postponed Goals
    3. Insecure Financial Life
    4. Stressful Retirement Life

These complexities will be due to

  • Inadequate Retirement Corpus
  • Expensive or Low Savings Lifestyle
  • Irregular Income Source
  • Poor Investment Planning
  • Inflation
  • Rising Healthcare Expenses
  • Lack of Contingency Fund
  • Poor Portfolio Management
  • Poor Tax Planning

How to be retirement ready

To avoid all the above-mentioned complexities after retirement, we need to do retirement planning well in advance with the help of a Certified Financial Planner (CFP).

A Certified Financial Planner (CFP) you hire should be able to help you achieve your post-retirement financial goals in life confidently, and eliminate all the possible complexities in future.

“One of the fastest ways to find the solution to an issue or challenge

you are facing is to ask the right questions” – Robin S. Sharma

Retirement planning doesn’t fall into one size fits all bill. So, it’s very important that you ask right questions. The questions given below will help you get clarity from a financial planner to achieve your Dream Retirement.

Q1) How much of corpus do I need?

Corpus is the capital – wealth of a person in the form of money or property. Your financial planner will calculate the corpus based on your current age, expected retirement age, life expectancy, current monthly expenses, expected inflation, expected return on investment, and expected retirement expenses including healthcare expenses.

If the calculated corpus is, for example, 1 Crore, then you need to grow that corpus of 1 Crore to get regular monthly income from it post retirement for 25 years to meet your desired lifestyle and retirement goals. You can also include your spouse with your corpus plan. If you add your spouse, then the retirement corpus and retirement years have to be calculated for both of you.

Q2) What kind of Investment Strategy do I need to achieve my required corpus?

The total amount of money you need to save for a comfortable retirement is clear now. Now it’s time to find an investment strategy to create that corpus. Your retirement dream mainly depends on your current investment and financial planning. So, your investment strategy for retirement should align with your current lifestyle – income, expenses, savings, inflation, loans, and assets.

Your financial planner will create a strategy based on your risk taking ability on your investment and the number of years left to achieve the retirement corpus. You should know how the proposed strategy will cover all your expenses after retirement. It is best you start your retirement planning as early as possible, ideally in your 30s & 40s so as to flexibly plan your dream retirement.

With an investment strategy in hand, you will know-

    How much to save from the income and invest on a monthly basis.
    How much to cut your expense now to achieve your required corpus.
    Where to spend surplus money wisely.
    When to withdraw money from an investment considering taxes and goals in mind.

Q3) Do I need to Revamp my Existing Portfolio?

If your existing investments have not been performing well for the last 6 months, you may wonder whether you need to revamp your portfolio or not. You would have aligned your goals with your investment returns. So, if your returns are not up to your expectation, then you may have to compromise on your goals.

This is where the situation gets emotional and stressful.

A Financial Planner will study all your existing investments (like insurance policy, mutual funds, shares, bonds, fixed deposits…) and find out, to what extent, these investments will support your financial goals. If there is any better alternative to course correct the poor performance of your investments, the financial planner will advise you to revamp your portfolio.

Q4) How can I deal with my loans?

If you have both the personal loan as well as home loan, you can ask the financial planner which loan you should pay off first and how.

Mr. Ramalingam Kalirajan, MBA, CFP, Director & Chief Financial Planner – Holistic Investment Planners, has given his comments to Money Control on this article :

Personal versus Home Loan: Which one should you pay off first?”.

Generally, home loans are cheaper than personal loans. So, personal loans should be repaid first. The only exception would be in the case of subsidised personal loans where interest rates may be lower than home loans.

Remember, Loans should be taken only in case of an absolute emergency. As a thumb rule, no household should have loans in excess of 40% of their incomes.

 Read the article: How to be Savings Friendly in today’s world?

Q5) Do I need medical insurance after retirement?

If you take medical insurance policy after retirement, insurance companies may reject or charge a higher premium based on your health condition. There will also be some waiting period for the fresh policies to get coverage for major diseases. You can avoid these issues by taking health insurance when you are young and healthy.

If you have not taken a medical insurance before retirement, you can ask a financial planner which insurance policy to take after retirement.

Generally, these are the 6 basic things to consider in a medical insurance policy:

  • Monthly premium,
  • Medical service deductible,
  • Plan renewal,
  • Coinsurance,
  • Copayments, and
  • Upper coverage limit.

Q6) How much Emergency Fund do I need Post-Retirement?

Once you retire from your job, you won’t get your regular monthly income. But at the same time, your monthly expenses will remain the same and increase year by year. A financial planner will advise you to have an emergency fund equivalent to 3 – 6 months of your monthly expenses to cover your unexpected or sudden need for money like in case of a serious health problem or any important family expense. You can also save money for the predictable health care expenses like cataract operation, dialysis, etc in your emergency fund.

You should not use the emergency fund to meet your regular monthly expenses.

Your financial planner will help you invest the contingency or emergency fund in a suitable investment scheme to withdraw quickly in case of a sudden need.

Q7) How can I do Tax planning after retirement?

The next important thing in retirement planning is Tax planning. Taxes will become a burden to you if you don’t have a tax saving strategy in the first case while choosing investments schemes. Many investment schemes offer tax exemptions specifically to people above 60 or 65 years of age. Based on your investment strategy, your financial planner will help you choose the right plan from where you can save maximum tax on your investments.

Your financial planner’s Tax Planning should also include a withdrawal strategy for your investments, which will reduce taxes while you withdraw money after an expected time.

Q8) What other challenges do people face after retirement?

You can simply ask a financial planner about the other challenges commonly faced by people after retirement. If the financial planner is an experienced retirement planner, they can definitely say a few more measures to protect your post-retirement period.

Some other challenges would be due to

  • emotional decision making in a volatile market,
  • early retirement without proper financial planning,
  • retirement planning for lesser years than the average of 25 years after retirement, and
  • non-consideration of the spouse’s age in retirement planning.

Also, read the article – 10 Financial Doctrines of Wise Retirement Planning

Assigning beneficiaries to your investments and writing a will in advance, though are small tasks to do, if done rightly, will keep you and your family on track and stress free in later stages. A dedicated retirement planner will assist you on these things as well.

Also, read the article – How to bequeath wealth to our legal heirs using nomination, joint accounts and will

A retirement vision with a strong financial planning is crucial for attaining your dream retirement. A financial planner should understand your vision well to create your customised financial plan.

Before you decide on any financial planner, make sure you get the appropriate guidance and services you require. The best way to find a suitable financial planner for your retirement is by asking the above questions.

Also, read the article – How to Choose the Best Financial Planner for Retirement

If you are satisfied with the answers, you can proceed. If not, continue your search to find the ideal financial planner. Retirement is not the phase of your life you can take chances with your finance.


“Once you start asking questions, innocence is gone.” – Mary Astor

Asking questions may seem silly. But, they will help you to get rid of the darkness. Choose a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) from whom you get satisfying answers. Choose the right plan after consulting the financial planner, and make sure your retirement is planned well to your best satisfaction.

Related Article: The Definite Ways to Find Trustworthy Financial Planners

Share your opinion in the comment section below on how these questions help you achieve your dream retirement.

If you are interested to get a customised financial plan from us (Holistic Investment Planners) for your retirement, kindly register here to fix the appointment for your Financial Plan Consultation:


13 thoughts on “Questions To Ask A Certified Financial Planner Before Retirement.”

  1. I always worried about my life after retirement. This article really useful one. Thank you Holistic. You are doing a good job.

  2. Thank you so much for writing this article on Retirement Planning. I could not find similar articles anywhere with many details.

    This would definitely help me do good.

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