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Take advantage of Fidelity’s guidance consulting service at no cost

Jan. 21, 2016, 4:29 PM

Americans are 1.5 times more likely this year to focus on health over finances in their New Year’s resolutions, according to an annual survey from Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America. Even so, the same respondents said they were more open to getting help with their financial decisions, especially if they were given free access to professional guidance.

As a Vanderbilt employee, you can take advantage of Fidelity’s guidance consulting service at no cost, even if you aren’t currently participating in the retirement plan. And to give you an idea about what to expect at a guidance session, we sat down with Fidelity representative Brandon Hall to ask him how you can get the most out of your appointment.

Read on to see how this benefit can help make sure you are on track for retirement. Then schedule an appointment!

What is the Fidelity guidance consulting service?

Brandon Hall: You can meet with me or my colleague, Brock Goodwin, on campus. Both of us support Vanderbilt University and Medical Center employees. It is a great opportunity for you to evaluate your retirement and investment planning needs, whether you are just getting started, mid-career or nearing retirement. Together, with you, we will review and look at your current financial picture and provide you strategies for you to consider as your next steps. If you have a retirement account from a previous employer, IRA, annuity or other investments, our Fidelity representatives can help you address how those assets fit into your overall financial picture, too. Be sure to consider all your available options and the applicable fees and features of each before moving your retirement assets. Ultimately, we want to help you make the most of your Vanderbilt retirement plan benefits.

What can I expect in a guidance session?

BH: We start each 45-minute educational session discussing your goals for the appointment so we can maximize our time together. If applicable, we use our retirement planning tools to generate an analysis of your current position. Basically, we want to be able to show you if you are on track, a little behind, or ahead of your retirement planning goals. Then we outline some possible next steps so you can create a better retirement outcome.

How can I best prepare for the session?

BH: Be prepared to learn. We are committed to providing you with a review of your current financial picture in relation to your retirement goals. We also want to empower you with education and knowledge so you can make informed decisions. Investing involves risk, including the risk of loss.

What should I bring to the session?

BH:  Bring all current retirement and investment statements and any applicable social security or pension plan statements.

How do I schedule an appointment?

BH: Go to www.netbenefits.com/vanderbilt and click on “Meet” at the bottom. Choose a location, and select a date and time that fits your schedule. Go through the steps, and click “Confirm Your Appointment” to submit your request. You will receive an email confirmation.

Where do the appointments take place?

BH: Normally the following locations are scheduled and confirmed a few months in advance:

  • Main Campus — Children’s Hospital
  • Main Campus — The Vanderbilt Clinic
  • Main Campus — Medical Center North
  • Main Campus — Sarratt Student Center
  • Main Campus — Vanderbilt Commons
  • Main Campus — 2525 West End, Human Resources Office, 5th Floor
  • Off Campus — Vanderbilt Health One Hundred Oaks

On average, there are 15 to 20 days available each month for appointments. If you can’t make it to any of these locations, we can also attempt to schedule appointments across Vanderbilt University and Medical Center. Keep in mind that the general schedule is confirmed a few months in advance, so there may be a delay in availability based on the timing of your request. Also, we highly encourage employees to take advantage of our phone-based guidance consultants. They can be reached by contacting Fidelity Investments at (800) 642-7131. The phone number is also on your statement and the www.netbenefits.com/vanderbilt website.

How many sessions can I schedule?

BH: There is no limit to the number of sessions you can schedule.  Depending on the complexity of your financial situation, we may need to meet multiple times to help you accomplish your goals. You can also take advantage of our phone guidance teams at (800) 642-7131 to complement on-campus appointments.

Can I bring my spouse, partner or an adult child to the session?

BH: Yes, we highly recommend you bring your spouse or partner so we can gain a better understanding of your overall financial picture. Adult children are welcome as well.

For more information, visit Fidelity NetBenefits.

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