Financial Planning

Looking for a Financial Advisor Who Can Help You Retire Early?

By  Brian Thorp

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Turning your dreams of early retirement into reality requires smart financial planning. Find financial advisors who specialize in helping their clients retire early.

The earlier you begin planning for early retirement, the more likely you can make it happen. While predicting your financial future with any degree of certainty is difficult without a crystal ball, making the right money moves today can put the odds in your favor.

While some people may feel they know the steps necessary to achieve their early retirement goals, many people recognize the benefit of hiring a financial advisor who understands how to build a realistic plan to get there.

You’ll likely find dozens of nearby financial advisors well-suited to help you reach your money goals with a personalized plan. But it may be more difficult to find a financial advisor who specializes in helping their clients achieve their early retirement aspirations.

Fortunately, many financial advisors offer virtual services so you can meet online no matter where you (or they) live. This means you can choose to hire a specialist financial advisor who lives hundreds of miles away if you decide their knowledge and experience in helping people retire early is a better fit to help with your unique financial planning needs.

💡 In this guide, you’ll gain insights from financial advisors who specialize in helping their clients retire early while enjoying their lives to the fullest today. Use the interactive map to connect with financial advisors who may be a good fit to help you retire early.

🙋‍♀️ Do you have questions about how you can retire early? Use the form on this page to submit your questions, and we’ll update this article with answers from the financial professionals and educators in the Wealthtender community. You can also contact the financial advisors featured in this article directly to set up an introductory call or ask your questions by email.

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Smart Tips for Finding a Financial Advisor

Before hiring a financial advisor, here are a few quick tips to help you find the best advisor for you.

1. Decide Which Services You Need

Before hiring an advisor, determine what services you need from them. Whether it’s full-service investment management or a plan focused on a specific area of your finances, put together a list of what you’d like help with before contacting an advisor.

Though most people use a financial planner simply to invest for retirement, this is only a small part of what many advisors offer. Here’s a quick rundown of potential services a financial advisor may offer you:

  • Budgeting and money management
  • Debt management
  • Insurance planning
  • Retirement planning
  • Other investment planning
  • Inheritance planning
  • Estate planning
  • Tax planning

As you can see, financial advisors can help you with your entire financial picture, not just investing. As you start to plan for life’s bigger milestones, you should consider finding a financial advisor that specializes in those areas.

Finding the right advisor can help you minimize risk, maximize gains and take advantage of tax breaks while investing for your future. They can also help you protect your assets with the right kinds of insurance and help you pass on your financial legacy with a proper estate plan.

2. Consider Your Budget and Payment Preferences

Once you have a list of services you would like, review the fee structures financial advisors offer. Finding a balance between the services you need and the cost of those services will help narrow down the field of advisors you may want to work with.

If you are looking for a full-service advisor to manage all of your investments, consider searching among fee-based financial advisors. If you want to manage your money yourself, consider the flat fee and monthly subscription advisors for ongoing support.

3. Interview Multiple Financial Advisors

Once you have chosen the services and fee structure you prefer, it’s time to contact a few advisors and interview them. Here are questions to ask financial advisors:

  • What services do you provide?
  • What are all the ways you get paid? (fee transparency)
  • What is your investment strategy?
  • How do you measure investment performance?
  • How do we communicate about my plan?

Interview multiple advisors to get a feel for who you want to work with. A combination of fees, services, and customer service will help you determine the best fit for your financial advice.

4. Review Financial Advisor Credentials

Once you find an advisor (or two) you feel comfortable with, it’s always a good practice to check their credentials and the firm’s details. You can do this at the Investment Adviser Public Disclosure (IAPD) website

You can check both the individual and the firm to view their background and experience details, as well as any disciplinary action taken against them or their firm.

As licensed financial professionals, there is oversight into how financial advisors conduct business, so running a quick (free) check on them is recommended.

For additional information about advisor credentials, read our article to learn the most popular designations held by financial advisors, as well as specialized credentials which may be important to consider if you have unique financial planning needs.

Get to Know Financial Advisors Specializing in Early Retirement

📍 Click on a pin in the map view below for a preview of financial advisors who specialize in helping their clients retire early and can help you reach your early retirement goals with a personalized plan. Or choose the grid view to search our directory of financial advisors with additional filtering options.

Tips from Financial Advisors Specializing in Helping People Retire Early

We asked financial advisors in the Wealthtender community for their tips useful to people who aspire to retire early.

Decide What You are Retiring “To” Not “From”

Traditionally retirement has been defined as retiring from a regular job to do something else. A lot of people retire from a job because they don’t like it.

Redefine your idea of retirement, and get clear on what you are retiring to, not what you are retiring from. Be as specific as possible, for example, “I want to travel to XYZ country to do…”

With that clarity, you can work with a financial advisor or figure out on your own what you need to save and what steps you need to take to get there. You have a lot of options for where (outside the US), but that’s a part of the how and the what. Don’t limit yourself. 

Jane Mepham | Elgon Financial Advisors

Use the Right Investment Accounts

An often overlooked item for those on the path to early retirement is what we call “savings location”. It’s important to save money in the correct account type, and that is magnified for people retiring before age 59 and-a-half. Saving into accounts other than 401(k)’s, IRA’s, and Roth IRA’s is key – meaning that taxable accounts can still be your friend.

My clients with large taxable accounts often have more optionality than those that don’t. There are still tax-efficient ways to invest using a taxable account, and they don’t have an “age padlock” with penalties like many retirement accounts do. A lot of retirement is focused on accumulating dollars for later. It’s important to accumulate those dollars in an efficient way so that the (even more important) withdrawal phase can go as smoothly as possible.

Doug Oosterhart, CFP® | LifePoint Planning

Increase Your Earnings

A lot of tips related to retiring early focus on limiting spending (bananas and saltines for dinner, anyone?). 

With my clients, I talk about how the equation to achieve early retirement has three major factors: aggressive saving, mindful spending, and increasing earnings. For many people who want to enjoy life now while also saving for financial independence, increasing earnings is one of the most powerful tools in their toolbelt.

Three ways that I help clients increase their earnings are self-advocacy, entrepreneurship, and side hustling.

Self-advocacy includes directly asking for a raise, taking on high-visibility projects, and exploring career options outside of your current employer. Entrepreneurship is about using your unique set of skills to build your own business that allows you to earn a premium wage and build equity within your business. Side hustling is more than driving for Uber Eats (although that is certainly an option!).

We talk about freelancing, consulting, and project-based work that utilizes your existing skillset and expands your network, all while YOU get paid. 

Melissa Walsh, CFP®, CFA, AIF | Clarity Financial Design

A Handful of Tips to Earn More, Spend Less, and Build Savings

5 easy things you can do right now to decrease expenses, build savings, or build income:

1) We live in a subscription society – comb through your credit cards and debit cards to determine which subscriptions can be canceled that you no longer use.  Pay for an app you no longer use?  Online yoga subscription? Magazine/newspaper? Streaming service?  I’m certain you can find a few to trim.

2) Renegotiate or revisit any bills that may be negotiable or interchangeable (i.e., internet, cell phone, gym membership)  Is there a new deal out there you can ask for from your current provider?  Or is it time to switch providers to reduce costs?

3) Try my “Amazon challenge” – give yourself only 1 day per month you can buy items from Amazon, Target, or Walmart+ or anywhere you can click and buy in seconds.

Instead of buying everything the moment you think of it, add each item to your cart and ‘save for later’.  On your one buying day, look at that long list and divide items into 3 categories a) Items you truly want and need now – add those to your cart for purchase today. b) Items that someone could gift you for your next birthday or holiday – add those to your public wish list. and c) Items you probably don’t need – delete them!

Slowing down this buying process and using the rational brain can reduce your impulse buying throughout the month and decrease your spending.

4) You own too much stuff, and you have cash sitting in your closets, attic, and garage.  Sell items you no longer use or need on Facebook Marketplace, LetGo, Mercari, or other sites.

5) Stop scrolling social media in your spare time and pick up online freelance gigs.  There are many different websites like that post short freelance jobs with hundreds of categories.  Can you help someone edit their website? Provide a voiceover? Provide financial, legal, or business consulting? 

Emily Rassam, CFP®, CRPS, AIFA, NSSA, CDAA | Archer Investment Management

Hire a “FIRE” Financial Advisor

If you plan to retire early, having a financial advisor who specializes in working with FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early) clients can help catch financial mistakes that are common within the FIRE community.

Financial Planning is the process financial planners use to better understand their client’s financial situation and work together to create an effective action plan to help them reach FIRE. During the financial planning process, a financial planner will provide solutions for health care when you FIRE, help you optimize your taxes efficiently, and help reduce unnecessary fees.

For those who are planning to FIRE soon, consider hiring a financial planner to double-check your finances before making the big leap. Reaching FIRE takes accountability and resilience, having someone along your journey who can help you make the most out of every penny. 

Danielle Miura, CFP® | Spark Financials

Invest Beyond Your Retirement Accounts

Invest outside of a retirement account. Typically you need to be debt-free, be maxing out retirement sources, and still have money left over to consider this option. Be sure that you don’t want to invest money that you may need in the short run, however.

Investing outside retirement is one of the best tools to use for leaving the option open to retire early since retirement funds aren’t accessible until after age 59 ½ without penalty. Funds outside of a retirement account are accessible before then.

Cady North, MBA, CFP® | North Financial Advisors

Practice Makes Perfect

Within five years of your planned retirement date, it is important to practice retiring. We call this “pivoting.” The idea is that you participate in new hobbies, adjust your sleep schedule, and modify your budget. If possible, try to pay off all consumer debt and save one year of cash reserves heading into your retirement. 

Darryl Lyons, CFP, AIF, BFA, ChFC | Pax Financial

Get Health Insurance

Health insurance is a topic all retirees think about, and for early retirees leaving the workforce before Medicare eligibility (age 65), it’s a key concern. It should be a concern, typical medical expenses can run $300,000 per couple over the period of their retirement.

Before you leave your job, have a solid healthcare option lined up. That could be private insurance via the marketplace, a part-time job that offers health insurance as a benefit or opting into coverage through a spouse’s plan. Don’t wait to get this issue resolved – any gaps in coverage could be an issue should you come to file a claim later in life.

Dave Grant, CFP® | Retirement Matters

Optimize Your Social Security Benefits

Prepare a budget and determine how your cash flow needs will be met.  Yes, you can take Social Security as early as age 62.  However, if you’re in good health and have access to other sources of income, it usually pays to wait and let your benefit grow. 

Taking your benefit at 62 will reduce your lifetime payment, and spousal survivor benefit, by as much as 30%. On the other hand, you’ll receive an 8% increase, plus inflation increases, for every year you wait after your full retirement age, up to age 70. 

I’d consider a part-time job to bridge the gap and let your benefits grow.  Receiving a guaranteed, lifetime revenue stream, inflation-adjusted, and not subject to market volatility should not be underestimated.

Work with a CFP professional who performs Social Security optimization as part of their retirement planning process.  

Brett Tushingham, CFP® | Tushingham Wealth Strategies

Avoid Telling Yourself Big Money Lies

To retire early, avoid telling yourself these Big Money Lies:

  • I’ll be happier when I have $_______.  If you make the mistake, some magic number will flip a happiness switch for you, think again.
  • I deserve it, regardless of whether I can afford it.  We usually say this to ourselves after an expensive purchase we know, deep down, we don’t need.
  • I have strong financial willpower.  The 374 million of us shopping with credit cards typically spend 10% more than we would if we were paying with cash.
  • I’ll save more later.  Fewer than 1 in 6 of us are saving more than 15% of our income, and 1 in 5 aren’t savings at all.
  • I have plenty of time to plan for my financial future (& I don’t need to think about it yet).  It’s the rationale we use when we have a hard time managing our negative feelings or uncertainties about our financial futures. And it makes us turn a blind eye to the years of interest that we lose out on when we don’t plan.
  • There is good and bad debt.  Instead of focusing on whether debt is “good” or “bad,” concentrate on the total cost of the interest over time (it’s often higher than you think) and on deciding whether the loan is really helping you achieve your goals.
  • Wanting more is bad.  When we frame wanting more as a positive motivator, it can be easier to take the chances or do the work needed to get to that next financial level we may want.

Richard Archer, CDAA, CFA, CFP, MBA | Archer Investment Management

Focus on What You Can Control

Retiring early is a great goal to have. The biggest question is whether or not it is realistic.  If we’re not saving the right amount of money in all the right places then retiring early, pre-59 1/2 can become further from reality.

Things to consider as you strive toward retiring early:

-Save 25% or more of your annual gross income

-Make sure you have great balance between your ‘liquid’ and ‘illiquid’ investments

-Consider the extraordinary expenses you’ll incur by not having access to health insurance at early retirement

-Try to map out when you anticipate turning on Social Security Income in order to maximize your benefit and where you’ll pull income from until then, i.e., “Mind the Gap”. 

At the end of the day, retiring early can be achievable if we focus our efforts on the things we can control, such as how much we save and put back onto our balance sheet annually and making sure we’re being efficient with our asset location strategy. 

Michael R. Acosta, CFP®, ChFC® | The Dumas Team, Consolidated Planning, Inc. 

Focus on the Personal Finance Trifecta

For those that want to retire early, we recommend a greater focus on what we call the personal finance trifecta: Cash Flow Management – Investment Management – Tax Planning. Cash Flow Management allows you to have increased control over where your money goes so that you can divert more towards investment opportunities.

We believe that your Investment Management should be nimble and tactical, in order to improve performance and reduce risk. Advanced Tax Planning may help you keep more of your money. Those are our 3 keys to building wealth. By following these principles, you can set yourself up for a bright financial future – and an earlier retirement date. So start planning today, and enjoy your golden years sooner than you thought possible.

Patrick Traverse, CFP®, EA, CEPA™ | Breakaway Financial Group

Fund Your Brokerage Account

Years before you step away from your job, you should be funding your brokerage account while saving for retirement. Adequately funding a brokerage account will allow you to potentially:

  • Lower your taxable income in retirement
  • Have the resources to be able to choose to delay Social Security
  • Keep your retirement assets growing longer and uninterrupted
  • Create other favorable tax planning opportunities

By getting started today, and understanding what it takes to retire early, you can increase your odds of being able to achieve early retirement.

Nick Covyeau, CFP® | Swell Financial

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Resources to Help You Choose a Financial Advisor

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About the Author
Brian Thorp, Founder and CEO of Wealthtender profile picture

Brian Thorp

Founder and CEO, Wealthtender

Brian and his wife live in Texas, enjoying the diversity of Houston and the vibrancy of Austin.

With over 25 years in the financial services industry, Brian is applying his experience and passion at Wealthtender to help more people enjoy life with less money stress.

Connect with Brian on LinkedIn

To make Wealthtender free for readers, we earn money from advertisers, including financial professionals and firms that pay to be featured. This creates a conflict of interest when we favor their promotion over others. Learn more. Wealthtender is not a client of these financial services providers.
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