With Valentine’s Day quickly approaching, love is in the air. While couples are reflecting on all they appreciate about each other, it may be time to reflect on another relationship – the relationship between you and the experts you’ve selected to help with your retirement plan.
At TriStar, we’re lucky enough to work with best and brightest Advisors, CPAs and auditors in the business, but we realize that others, especially plan sponsors, aren’t as lucky. So, we’ve put together a list of things to watch for as you’re evaluating your service providers. Do they deserve your love, or is it time to kick them to the curb?
They’ve Stopped Calling
You may have heard that poor communication is the number one reason couples split up. Well, when a relationship is built entirely on a financial foundation, consistent and clear communication about those finances are all the more important. Here are a few things to consider:
How long has it been since you’ve talked to your Financial Advisor, CPA and TPA? If it’s been over a year, it’s time to pick up the phone. However, this responsibility shouldn’t fall only on your shoulders. A minimum of one annual, in-person meeting with your advisory team is best to ensure everyone is on the same page and has your best interest in mind.
They Never Reply
Are your service providers available to you? When you call or email them, do you hear back within the same day? If not, it may be time to demand better service or make a change. In a service provider role, the focus should be placed on ensuring your needs are met and information you need is provided to you in a timely manner. A 24-hour turn around is the general rule for returning your call or email, with few exceptions.
They Don’t Put Your Needs First
As the plan sponsor, your needs come first in this relationship. Your advisor, CPA, TPA and anyone else helping you navigate your retirement plan should put your goals first. If you feel your needs are unheard, or ignored, schedule a meeting to lay out your expectations and address any concerns.
Do you have different communication styles? If this is the case, collaborate with your service provider on a solution that eases the communication flow without disrupting your schedule. However, if the issue is a lack of understanding on their part, it’s time to search out a proper representative willing to listen to your needs and put them first.
They’ve Moved On
If your service provider is guilty of the previous three items, you probably no longer feel like a priority. If this is the case, and you’ve already tried to reconcile your differences by meeting with your service provider to address any concerns or issues, it may be time to look elsewhere.
If this is the case, take the lessons you’ve learned as you search for a new service provider and don’t settle for mediocre service! Need a referral? Call or email us, 405-848-4015 & firstname.lastname@example.org