Q. I am 59 years old and will have 38 years civil service (FERS) in October. I hope to work until age 62. We went to a financial adviser when my husband retired two years ago, and he invested his 403 in an insurance fund and another fund recommended by this adviser. It has earned around 5 percent. The adviser now wants me to withdraw most of my Thrift Savings Plan at 59½ and invest with him. I know 5 percent is pretty good, but it will be locked in for several years. He also recommended I purchase whole life instead of survivor benefit through the government. We use the Federal Employees Health Benefits plan as primary and Tricare secondary, as my husband is retired military. I am hesitant to withdraw (roll over) all of my TSP and don’t feel I need SPB or whole life as my husband has two retirements, Social Security and investments. He will also receive the money I have in the TSP, should I predecease him (he is four years older and has had two heart attacks). I have checked this adviser on finra.org and he has several certifications, has been CEO of the company since 1982. Is this sound advice, or is he lining his own pockets?
A. Certifications don’t mean much and guarantee nothing. He gets paid by other people to sell stuff to you. His success is, at least in part, determined by how much of your money he can extract for the benefit of himself and others. Why would you take important financial advice from a salesman?