Finding a financial planner

<p>anyone know where we can get a free seminar meal? Great deal of the day?</p>

<p>The local newspapers are often publicizing them, plus many of the banks, brokerage houses and American Express was offering them regularly for a while. Haven't seen them as much recently--perhaps poor economy? Perhaps if you ask where you bank they may point you in that direction, if they're aware of any (probably affiliated with them).</p>

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anyone know where we can get a free seminar meal? Great deal of the day?

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<p>I am guessing that you need to get on some list. We get one probably every other month and we only pick new ones to call. Those at fancy place will get filled up really quickly. Most of the meals are in the $35 per person range.</p>

<p>CC could be losing out on some serious change. Googleee isn't. up to snuff because they are worried with Faceebookee. All get on the banner ads are our local state unis with the pretty girl. </p>

<p>maybe we haven't said the magic words? </p>

<p>MONEY and more Money.</p>

<p>nope.
wrong combination of words.
just getting banners for, Loans.</p>

<p>Move to a retirement haven for well heeled retirees like Naples or Sarasota, Florida and you can go to free seminar meals every night!</p>

<p>Ask your friends who they use. It's really that simple. If you trust your friends and they trust your planner it will work out most of the time. I have complete faith in our planner. Is he the "best in the business" no, but he knows us, understands us, understands what we want and makes recommendations off that. I fully understand that if we get a life insurance policy from him, he makes a commission off of that, so what. If he can give me a good reason WHY we should buy it, we do. I have no problems saying no if I don't agree too. He usually gives us 2 or 3 options and explains the pros and cons of those options. It's like anything else, we pay him for his time and experience because we don't want to mess with it. I don't see it as being any different than paying $100 to the garage door guy that is going to install our new garage door opener to replace the one that broke. DH put one in an old house we had and swore NEVER AGAIN so we pay the installation fee.</p>

<p>Several people at the office use the same financial planner including some people in the 8-figure area. I asked to talk to him for a while when he was visiting a co-worker and asked him about his methodology for investments. His approach was to offer the two best performing mutual funds the past year for the next year in each of the categories that they offered. I was dumbfounded. I gave him a little test in technical analysis - I showed him a chart and asked him what he thought about it. He didn't have an answer.</p>

<p>I told him that I exited the market in 2000 just before the crash and kept the gains made in the 1990s. He said that was pretty good - he was in buy and hold mode through the crash. I had the feeling that he didn't understand fundamental analysis either.</p>

<p>He did understand various forms of planning though and I could see where those services would be useful if you didn't feel like doing them on your own. But I consider investments to be the most important part of financial planning.</p>

<p>I DON'T believe in diversification - diversification gives you lower risk and lower returns. I prefer higher risk and higher returns or, ideally, lower risk and higher returns - and sometimes you find these but it takes effort. I'm also a big believer in market-timing - basically I don't have a lot of interest in the conventional wisdom.</p>

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<p>Market timing works if you do it right, but most people can only get it right in hindsight -- analysis of inflows and outflows in mutual funds indicates that most people buy high and sell low, basically timing the market the wrong way. (Why are people afraid to buy investments when they are on sale?)</p>

<p>lizard
sounds like a Best deal of the Day.
get a few days stay at Condo for Sale, Lunch and super at Retirements Made Easy 4 investors.</p>

<p>Honestly, I think our financial planners (we have two) are the best money we have ever spent. One handles ONLY people who are from my profession. They have a lot of knowledge about the pension/retirement options for folks retiring from my line of work. Their advice and information was invaluable to me in planning my retirement. We have someone who handles a good chunk of our investment income as well. Again..knowledge is the key.</p>

<p>Dad II...I suppose this could all have been done using some online tool, but the INTERACTION we were able to have with our planners was the key for us.</p>

<p>We got recommendations using word of mouth. And yes, I attended three FREE seminars with very nice fancy appetizers and desserts...no cost to me (well I suppose the final fee I paid the planner included this overhead).</p>

<p>You should already know how much you could put in every month and how much you will need after retirement. Those calculator will tell you how much return you need to reach your target.</p>

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<p>It's just not that simple for some of us. I put money in every paycheck, as does my H. The question is, are we putting it into the best fund available to us (H has Fidelity, I have America Funds). Then there is the issue of my TIAA-CREF money ... mysterious stuff, in my opinion. The idea of asking my accountant is a hoot, because if I couldn't do my own taxes, I would be even dumber than I feel. Believe me, my financial situation is not comfortable enough to have accountants or lawyers. :) I have a paid off house, a kid halfway through college, a job that pays better than the last but still sadly quite little, a husband who works for an automaker that froze pensions long ago and no longer gives raises (just profit sharing checks that range from nothing to an amount that is not great but not bad, depending on the year). I have to take the standard deduction, it's that bad! </p>

<p>The thing is, I have money here, money there ... I am going to have to hire an accountant when I am retired in order to figure out how I am supposed to take distributions and report them on taxes. I try to understand ... and truly, I am a very intelligent woman ... but my cone of ignorance kicks in when I try to figure all of it out.</p>

<p>My MIL is amazing with money & does it all herself. I think I am going to ask HER for help. It will be free, too.</p>

<p>Yea, what a lot of the folks who are "financial planners" don't know is pretty scary. I don't feel I need a LOT of choices for my TSP/traditional IRA & would be happy if it just tries to stay ahead of inflation. The TSP seems to do an OK job of that & have NOT done very well with the other brokerages mutal funds on this. We will have many choices in the ROTH IRA, which does not require minimum mandatory distributions. Also, I am not interested in buying an annuity, since H will have a pension that covers him & me for our lives.</p>

<p>Don't know what pcg stands for, but didn't realize that people who considred themselves "dirt poor" also needed a financial advisor.</p>

<p>Last year DH and I attended a financial planning class at the local CC (series of 3 Monday nights). It was $70/couple (or $65 single), including class materials and on free consultation with teacher if desired. </p>

<p>At the personal consultation, he gave projections - the same kind of thing that I'm sure could be done on the web. After that we had a choice to do investments through him, hire him per hour for advise, or nothing more. So far we've haven't done any more with him.</p>

<p>Although the investing info was very familiar to DH, I learned some things. Another huge benefit was doing a better job pulling together our paperwork in prep for the consult. DH had spreadsheet of assets, but we used it as an opportunity to pull together our various life insurance info into one binder. The class also gave us a chance to have some conversations about retirement priorities. We had intended to update our ancient will, but it turns out in CO it's not a big deal whether we do - most assets will go to heirs outside of probate. (I'd still like to do a new will anyway - it's "on the list").</p>

<p>As you try to plan for retirement, it will help if you have a ballpark estimate of what annual "income" you'll need. Then the estimate tools work back from theer. Ha, they may say you need to work til you are 79.... and then you may need to scale back the dreams or find ways to earn more on investments. </p>

<p>We spent a fair amount of time in the class talking about long term care insurance. It turns out that many retirees use LTC insurance not for nursing homes, but for home care that allows them to stay in their own homes. I liked that. It sounded like mid-50s is a good time to start.</p>

<p>We bought LTC insurance about 6 mos ago. Glad we did.</p>

<p>jym626--we also have LTC insurance and glad we have it.</p>

<p>Financial planning is more about how you will take your money OUT of your accounts than it is about putting it in. Yes, there are some differences between accounts, comfort levels, etc. when you are growing your accounts but where a good financial planner can really help is structuring your accounts to minimize taxes in the end. If you just have your 401K and a traditional IRA, you will need to save a lot more than someone that has so pre/post tax balance in their accounts. They can also help you with issues like how to pass along your assets (if you choose) in the most tax efficient manner, etc.</p>

<p>BCEagle - from your posts over the years, I know you are financially savy and pay attention to the market to be a market timer. The OP is in a different place and needs advice and I doubt her risk tolerance is close to yours. Frankly, I do believe in Modern Portfolio Theory and the benefits of diversification - the Nobel Prize committee obviously does too, as Harry Markowitz won the Ecominics award for this theory in 1990. </p>

<p>If you have under $350,000 to invest, I would recommend staying with the name brand groups - Fidelity, Schwab, TD Ameritrade (the current CC banner ad!), etc. Talk to their reps and attend a few seminars. Even though these people are salaries and often young, they can give you reasonable advice. A good fee-only CFP will likely charge $2500+ for a comprehensive financial plan.</p>

<p>I think that you should learning financial planning, including investing, on your own and whether or not you use a financial planner.</p>

<p>One thing that people need to understand is the OP as a military spouse has a very unique situation, and something that needs to be understood when planning.</p>

<p>Her spouse is military, and will retire as an AD member. As long as he is alive he will get a paycheck the 1st of every month. It is tied to how many yrs he served, and the base pay he retires at, plus for many military members they will move after retirement. Every state dictates whether military retirement pay is taxed by the state, However, many military members when they retire still are interviewing or weighing offers.</p>

<p>This is important for multiple reasons:
1. If you have 2 equal jobs/salaries the state tax issue may be a factor.
2. If pug's DH dies before she is 65, a large chunk of their income will disappear. Bullet is retired AF, 21 yrs, his retirement pay is way over 3K a month. If he dies tomorrow at 47, I would be up the creek if we didn't invest in life insurance to cover that loss for 20+ yrs. Pug has a child in college just like I have 2.</p>

<p>Not every financial advisor understands how retirement pay works. Honestly, when you out process from the military, you sit down with their financial advisors, this is where they sell VSSB (Veteran Surviving Spouse Benefits). They can make your head spin because they through in costs, VGLI (life insurance), SS, etc where you are overloaded.</p>

<p>Our heads did spin, but because we had 1st Command, we already knew to check the box NO for VSSB and to check yes for VGLI. It is cheap until you hit that 60 yr marker. 400K is about 100 a month for a 45-49 yo. It is Whole, not term.</p>

<p>Once Bullet went to his 2nd career, we also had his life insurance from that career. We will drop the VGLI from 400K to a lower amount in the next few yrs because the kids will be out of college.</p>

<p>Again, the reason if you are not savvy why the planner may be a good option. A couple of our friends opted not to go with a financial planner, but a strong Certified Tax Acct. The acct was able to also address from a tax structure where they needed to shore up tax liabilities, and that allowed them to invest in areas that a planner would not have suggested. The acct took into account how much they would make next yr. how much they would pay in taxes. From there they suggested not a specific mutual, like a planner, but how to shelter their money from tax obligations.</p>