There’s nothing wrong with seeking professional help when it comes to formulating your retirement plans or building up a nest egg. In fact, it’s very common for Americans to turn to financial and retirement professionals to help them set their retirement goals and get on the right track for meeting those goals. Hence, the reason why I have a job! However, not all advice is created equal and, just like with anything, there are good financial planning professionals and not-so-good financial planning professionals. When you seek out a financial planner or professional, you need to make sure you properly vet them before you hire them so that you can protect yourself and your money. During this vetting process, don’t be afraid to have discussions with a financial planner about things such as how they operate, the type of products they tend to sell, and their investment strategies. Furthermore, be on the lookout for testimonials. If you’re being referred to a particular financial planner by friends or family, talk with that friend or family member about that financial planner and what they do and don’t like about him or her. Remember, it’s your future and your money at stake and you want to make sure that the person you hire to manage and grow that money is someone you trust and someone you a comfortable with. Beware of financial planners who are not certified (don’t be afraid to ask for proof or certifications) and be careful of those who tend to peddle certain products, companies, or investment strategies that are high risk or are known to be gimmicky. You want to hire a financial professional who will help find the strategies and products that work best for you and, most importantly, puts your interests above his or her own. A good financial planner will help you to meet–and possibly–exceed your retirement goals in a manner that suits your life, both presently and in the future.