My cousin is about to retire at 55. In the meantime, my last financial advisor told me to pay off my mortgage, which was not good advice. How can I get on the right track?

Question: My cousin recently informed me that he has been working with a financial planner for years and will be retiring at 55. I live in the UK. Is it advisable to hire a financial planner in the UK or have advisors in the US work with international clients? When we sought financial advice 2 years ago, I was told to pay off my house and then consider financial planning, but I now think that’s not good advice because I could do more to save money and live frugally. Help!

Answer: There are many nuances to financial planning around topics such as tax and estate planning. For these reasons, the professionals we spoke with said it’s probably best to opt for a domestic financial advisor. (Readers looking for a U.S. financial advisor can use this free tool to be matched with an advisor who may meet their needs.)

Most US advisors are probably unfamiliar with the rules in the UK compared to what they are in the US. That said, some may specialize in clients residing in both countries, says Joe Favorito, a certified financial planner at Landmark. Asset management.

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There are definitely benefits to working with someone in the same country you reside in. As someone who provides cross-border services to clients outside of the United States, I can tell you that there is no such thing as a specialist planner in your country of residence, as there are many factors different in each country, such as laws, taxes, pensions and economic factors. conditions, says Alonso Rodriguez Segarra, certified financial planner at Advise Financial. Therefore, having an experienced specialist in these areas can be extremely beneficial.

If you live in the UK full-time and your entire financial life is centered there, Kashif Ahmed, a certified financial planner with American Private Wealth, says his advice is to look for someone local. However, if you have assets and liabilities, including any U.S. tax status, you can work with a U.S.-based planner who has experience working with clients in the U.K., says Ahmed.

In addition to finding someone in the same country, you want to find an advisor who has experience planning for situations similar to yours. Advisers in the UK are likely to know what health and welfare benefits you have access to, says Sensible Financial certified financial planner Josh Trubow. Consideration of taxes is also important and a local person will have a better understanding of UK tax laws than someone working in the US.

To ensure you get the most accurate advice regarding your finances, you will want to work with someone who understands the laws, rules and regulations in your country. Since American CFPs are unlikely to be familiar with the UK tax code or pension plans, you should look for a CFP in Britain, says certified financial planner Jim Kinney of Financial Pathways. Try the locator at to find someone near you.

Was paying off your mortgage a bad idea?

When it comes to paying off your home, you’ll need to think about the rate your mortgage is locked in to. Although Favorito notes that he often prefers to see debt-free retirees retire for behavioral finance reasons, he adds that with the recent surge in rates, it’s hard to tell someone with a mortgage rate of 2 .5% over 30 years to repay this amount when he can get 5.25% in cash or CD. Much of this answer depends on opportunity costs and what else you could do with the money.

In fact, Ahmed says, “Deciding whether or not to pay off the house is part of the planning process. It is very often possible to pursue multiple planning needs at the same time and may even be necessary.

If you’re disciplined enough to not spend your money and maintain a solid savings strategy, Favorito adds that the gap between cash and many mortgage rates locked in over the past few years is large enough to not pay off that debt.

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