Throughout your adult life, you should be in periodic communication with your financial advisor who oversees your retirement accounts so that you can monitor the progress you're making. There are a few particular times, however, when you should have a detailed meeting with your advisor to determine what strategies you should use. Here are those times.

When You Start Your Career

You don't necessarily need to meet with a financial advisor when you get your first job, for most first jobs don't offer much income, and young people are usually focused on paying for things like school when they begin working. When you first launch your career with a long-term position, however, you should sit down with a financial advisor.

At this point in time, a financial advisor can give you an overview of what tax-advantaged savings accounts are available to you and help you determine how much to set aside for retirement each pay period. They'll also help place retirement within the broader context of your overall financial situation, including expenses such as debt and future homeownership.

Even if you don't make much progress toward retirement in the first few months or years of your career, you should still meet with a financial advisor to get a handle on the basics of retirement savings. This will help you better appreciate where you need to get to and what you can do to get there.

When You Begin a Family

There are a few reasons why you should meet with a retirement advisor when you begin a family.

First, an advisor can help determine how best to save for retirement between you and your spouse. In some situations, one spouse has access to savings options (e.g., a 401(k)) that another doesn't. 

Second, an advisor will also help you adjust your retirement savings strategy to account for any children you have. You might choose to slow down retirement savings in order to save for college, for example.

When You're Ready to Retire

When you approach retirement, make sure to review your situation with a financial advisor before you actually retire. They can confirm whether you have enough saved up for retirement, and they can run simulations that show what your financial situation would be like in different scenarios. In some situations, financial advisors might also work with certified public accountants to develop a plan that mitigates your income tax liability during retirement.