Financial planner vs retirement planner: What’s the difference?


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Figuring out when to retire can be tricky. You want to make sure you have enough money saved up, but you also don’t want to retire too early and run out of money.

It’s hard to know how much money you need to save in order to retire comfortably. Do you save as much as possible so you can retire as soon as possible? Or do you play it safe and wait until you’re older? The difference between retirement planning and financial planning is crucial to developing a sound, secure future.

Retirement involves long-term goals like funding an old age with money from savings or Social Security while finances are more short-term in nature such as making sure you have enough cash available for emergencies today so that there will be no worries tomorrow!

Related: Traditional IRAs & Roth IRAs: What’s the difference?

Difference between a financial planner and a retirement planner

So, what’s the difference between a financial planner and a retirement planner? A financial planner is someone who helps you manage your finances and make sound investment decisions. 

A retirement planner is, by default, a financial planner, but is highly specialized in the field of retirement. These planners help you put together your life after you’re done working. Obviously, these plans include financial planning, but a retirement planner puts together more than just that. 

The main difference between financial planners and retirement planners is their focus. Financial planners are more general and can help you with various financial planning tasks. 

Retirement planners are focused specifically on retirement planning and can help you save for your retirement years.

“A great retirement plan not only includes these financial plans, but takes into account lifestyle choices such as where you should live, when you should stop working, and, if interested, the idea of a second career”, says Brandon Brown, CEO of GRIN. The first step to a retirement plan is establishing your retirement goals, which is what a retirement planner specializes in.

Related: Planning for retirement: How to get started

Financial planners

Financial planners are experts in assisting you in accumulating and investing your money. In fact, financial planning is a highly specialized field that has many different areas of expertise.
Financial planners often help you choose the best investment vehicles for your money. They can also help you determine how much life insurance coverage to get and for your specific needs.

  • Financial planners are usually associated with a bank, however, they could work with a boutique wealth management firm, or even on their own. Wealth managers perform financial planning services for clients who have significant income and savings. They also offer advice on building and protecting wealth over the long term.
  • The aim of a financial planner is to help clients plan their finances based on the time horizon they have set, their goals, their cash flow needs, and their willingness to take risks.
  • Financial planners also assist with budgeting, debt reduction, saving, and investing. They also take into consideration alternative sources of income such as side gigs, rental income, and others.

Financial planners can help you create programs to reach your long-term financial goals, whether it’s investments or retirement plans – they’re there for the client!

On the other hand, a financial advisor is a person who can help you with your finances and the management of investments, stocks, or funds. There are many different types that will provide advice on how to save money for retirement as well!

Retirement planner

A retirement planner helps people determine how much money they need to retire and ensure they don’t run out of money in retirement.
As part of creating a retirement plan, retirement planners can also help you estimate how much money you or your spouse might receive from Social Security, dividends, pension, rental income, and any other retirement benefits you might be eligible to receive.

  • Retirement planners are usually associated with wealth management firms as well, but they also offer advice on when you should retire.
  • They advise on when clients can stop working and how to draw income from their investments in order to supplement Social Security, pensions, and any other benefits.
  • A retirement planner may steer clients away from taking on too much risk (I.e. cryptocurrencies).
  • They may also work with clients to assist in managing their money while they are retired.

Related: How to find a financial planner

Final thoughts

Financial planners are a valuable resource for ones’ financial life. They can help you determine how much money to save and invest, what types of investments will be best suited for you, based on your individual circumstances and goals.  However, if you’re looking for someone that can help ensure a comfortable retirement, then a retirement planner will be the best person to get in touch with.

Rick Orford is a Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Amazon best-selling author, investor, and mentor. He’s appeared on Good Morning America and has been featured in the Washington Post, Yahoo Finance, MSN, Insider, and more. His passion is personal finance, and he works tirelessly to deliver content in an easy-to-understand manner.


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