As the U.S. Department of Labor wraps up years of work on a regulatory overhaul, it looks like August might bring some big changes for financial investment advisor representatives. The Department of Labor could announce its proposal that month, which would govern the way retirement investment advisors advise their clients, effectively reducing conflicts of interest.

This is good news for aging employees looking to start planning their retirement. While the vast majority of investment advisors genuinely want to help their clients plan a financially secure future, there are those out there who are more interested in their own profits. While it is possible to plan for retirement on your own, it’s much safer and smarter to get professional help. This new proposal makes this choice all the more clear.

All that being said, it’s still wise to be a bit wary when looking to hire a retirement planning investor. The SEC advises investors to fully understand and comprehend their advisors’ registration and licensing requirements. One of the key credentials to look for in a financial advisor is the Retirement Income Planning Professional credit.

In addition to the proper licensing and credentials, there are a few other areas of expertise to search for. Here are a few to look for.

Estate Planning.

Your investment advisor should be able to help you plan how your heirs will inherit those assets you’ve worked so hard to earn. A good estate planner can help your heirs avoid the common pitfalls that result from a large inheritance, create liquidity for your spouse, and minimize tax liabilities as well.

Capital Gains Minimization.

Investment advisors should be able to help you determine the advantages of capital gains and trade-offs of holding rather than selling. Essentially, they can help minimize the liabilities of unforeseen taxes and expenses.

Tax Efficiency.

An investment advisor should have expertise with hedging strategies, equity funds, tax-exempt bonds, split-interest charitable trusts, and other tax-deferral strategies.

Hopefully your licensed investment advisor search yields many good candidates whom you can trust to help plan your future. If you have any questions about hiring an investment advisor, please feel free to ask in the comments. More like this blog: