Standing in line at the bank today I couldn't help but overhear a conversation between the bank manager and a senior gentleman and his female companion. The man seemed confused about his investments and the lady was loudly explaining to the gentleman what the manager was telling him. The gentleman told the manager he wanted to meet with his accountant first to which the manager offered up this tid-bit of advice,"Your accountant will charge you $200 an hour. I can arrange for you to talk to a financial advisor right right here in the branch at no cost to you" The gentleman was still not clear, so the manager repeated it another way " Why would you pay an accountant $200. an hour when I can get you in to see a financial advisor for free?". Why indeed? Although I deal with banks every day, I never lose sight of the fact that they are in the business of making money off our money and nothing they offer is truly free. If his customer was seeking a professional opinion from an impartial party, namely the gentleman's accountant- who by the way is a bargain at $200 an hour- he should not be deterred in any way. Accountants look at the big picture- investments, taxes, estates and are an invaluable resource who's advice will pay for itself over time.
In my real estate dealings, I am sometimes asked by my clients whether they need to have their lawyer review documents. While I have been writing agreements of purchase and sale for 23 years, I do not deter anyone from seeking a lawyer's opinion and will add a clause to an offer contingent upon a lawyer's approval.
Working closely with seniors and their real estate needs, I have learned it is not always a one to one relationship. I find myself in close contact with family, trusted friends and other professionals and advisors. That way, none of us are alone in looking out for their best interests. Click on the link below for a checklist by CBC's Marketplace for what to ask prospective financial advisors.