Finding a financial planner

<p>When searching for financial planners, make sure you interview a few and find someone you are comfortable with. Some are big into fancy stuff that you don't understand. Some are way too conservative. Nothing wrong with either one as long as it equals your outlook on the subject. I would also recommend NOT investing in something you don't understand at least basically.</p>

<p>From Suze</a> Orman's Warning Signs of a Bad Financial Advisor:</p>

<ul>
<li>They rush you </li>
<li>They don’t tell you how they're paid </li>
<li>They want to put everything in one investment</li>
<li>They want to meet with you alone (not with spouse) </li>
<li>They don’t ask about your needs </li>
<li>They don’t have answers to questions or concerns </li>
<li>Advisor wants a check directly made out to him/her</li>
</ul>

<p>I agree with BCEagle. </p>

<p>Generally, I don't think this is rocket science. You have a given amount of existing assets. You have a particular level of savings. You have a predictable retirement plan (in some cases). It seems to me that the issue is always seen by people to be "how can I get the returns I need to retire the way I want to." The question to answer should be "given the likely realistic level of investment returns, how can I regulate my spending and lifestyle so that I don't run out of money". Those who follow the second formula usually succeed, and a lot of the ones who follow the first path wind up paying a lot of commissions and often losing money.</p>

<p>Most of this is eight grade math. I don't mean to imply that its not worrisome, but more want to second BCEagles comment that you probably are as much an expert as anyone.</p>

<p>A lot of financial planners sell investments with very high commissions which also are not liquid. They have the "advantage" to the planner that the owner doesn't see fluctuations and worry about whats going on. I like regular stocks and bonds. You can own them with very low transaction costs, you can change your mind when you want to, and you can get your money in cash with relative ease.</p>

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

<p>Being a military family may be an advantage from the medical coverage angle. Not sure about current coverage... but my in-laws felt very lucky to have their military medical coverage in retirement years. </p>

<p>One thing I used to worry about a lot was low interest rates... giving low returns. But now I've decided the key thing is the difference between inflation rate (now low) and return on investment.</p>

<p>About military families...Our medical insurance is great. It is a Hopkins HMO and with anything unusual, we head to Hopkins.</p>