Author Topic: Financial planner guidance  (Read 362 times)

trompowsky87

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Financial planner guidance
« on: February 09, 2021, 06:40:27 PM »
Hey all,

My wife and I are just starting out with saving and investing. I'm wanting to meet with a financial planner, so that they can create a plan that works for both of us.  I can not do it as my wife and I don't agree on savings goal. We need an intermediary.

Since we are starting out, we don't have a lot of savings to justify most CFP's. What kind of financial planner should I seek out? Where s the best site to find them?

How much do they usually cost? Is it worth the cost?

jeromedawg

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Re: Financial planner guidance
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2021, 06:49:00 PM »
Hey all,

My wife and I are just starting out with saving and investing. I'm wanting to meet with a financial planner, so that they can create a plan that works for both of us.  I can not do it as my wife and I don't agree on savings goal. We need an intermediary.

Since we are starting out, we don't have a lot of savings to justify most CFP's. What kind of financial planner should I seek out? Where s the best site to find them?

How much do they usually cost? Is it worth the cost?

A lot of folks here are going to tell you to bypass a planner all together and spend the time getting on the same page and educating yourselves, starting with Bogleheads - https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Getting_started

It's seriously worth the time at least educating yourselves on the basics.

If you HAVE to hire a planner, once you've sought out references from friends, relatives, etc you'll want to pay them ad-hoc to help you create the plan. Don't pay them 'ongoing maintenance' to execute or manage your plan.

Aside from that, do you have any goals in mind? What are you saving and investing for? Are you seeking FIRE? Are you looking to find a deal on a house and therefore are trying to save up now? More information there might help too. When you say "I cannot do it as my wife and I don't agree on a savings goal" what are you referring to?
« Last Edit: February 09, 2021, 06:51:22 PM by jeromedawg »

reeshau

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Re: Financial planner guidance
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2021, 07:02:43 PM »
Look for a fee-only Certified Financial Planner (CFP), preferably one with a fixed cost for a full financial plan, or an hourly rate.  The largest number of them will be at the Garrett Planning Network.  It has nothing to do with your net worth; education should absolutely be part of the process.

I have always been DIY, but went through a financial plan in 2015 when my son was born.  It cost $1,200, flat fee.  (Detroit area) It was worth it.  If I had wanted to keep up with it, the planner had a discounted rate for an update, because he didn't have to start from scratch.

If you want a much cheaper starting point, try reading Your Money Ratios by Charles Farrell.  It's a planner-in-a-box, and touches on all phases is life.  Everyone I give it to finds it speaks to them, but for entirely different reasons!  Of course, there are limitations to the format; the advice is generally geared for household income of $75k or less.  If you make more than that, then his assumptions on things like social security's role in retirement start to break down.  But if you found you still had questions after reading the book, it could lead you to specific research, or maybe it will be clearer that you want to sit with a CFP--certsinly, you will have more specific questions.

SimpleCycle

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Re: Financial planner guidance
« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2021, 07:47:24 AM »
How far apart are you and your wife on what your goals are?  What are your areas of agreement?

A planner will put together a plan for you, but will rely on you for what the goals are.  They can help with clarification of those goals, but I don't think I'd look to a planner to resolve a big difference between spouses in what the goals should be.

In terms of cost, I'd expect to pay a fee-only planner in the range of $1500 to $4000 for a one time plan, and $150 to $300 hourly for ongoing advice after that.  Good advice costs money, and a fee only planner is relying on the fee for compensation since they are not getting fees and commissions for selling you specific products.  Good places to find fee only planners are the Garrett Planning Network and XY Planning Network.

I agree with the advice to educate yourself as much as possible, even if you decide to engage a planner.  It is important you understand any plan the planner comes up with.  Early in our married life, DW and I paid for a financial plan from a large fee-only planning practice.  The plan was complicated and I didn't understand it and it turned out to be a total waste of money.  Now we do our own planning and keep everything simple.  We don't agree on some of the details of our goals, but our areas of agreement are larger than our areas of disagreement.  That is enough for me to do most of the planning and we can adjust as we clarify our goals.

trompowsky87

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Re: Financial planner guidance
« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2021, 11:55:56 AM »
We just are not in agreement. I'd like to save more, but she thinks it would too restrictive. That's a good point that a financial planner is not going to help us get to a healthy middle ground.

Thanks for the link to the bogleheads site!
We'll just dig into this stuff more and create a plan together. We don't have enough assets to justify the cost of a financial planner anyway.


slappy

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Re: Financial planner guidance
« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2021, 12:30:38 PM »
We just are not in agreement. I'd like to save more, but she thinks it would too restrictive. That's a good point that a financial planner is not going to help us get to a healthy middle ground.

Thanks for the link to the bogleheads site!
We'll just dig into this stuff more and create a plan together. We don't have enough assets to justify the cost of a financial planner anyway.

I think a financial planner could help. Maybe a money coach or something of that nature would a better fit. It does depend on your goals though. Some people on the forum have reported that once they show the spouse the actual numbers, the spouse sometimes comes on board a little easier. For example, if a financial planner was able to say to your spouse "You can retire at X age if you save X amount", maybe that would help her understand where you are coming from. Sometimes have a third party involved can help.  Some financial planners will be able to talk you through your goals and help you meet in the middle.  Sometimes it just helps to talk through it. This is where having the intro and seeing if a particular advisor is a good fit comes into play.

I know Ramsey isn't popular here, but my understanding is that this is where he comes in helpful with some of his books and courses. If both spouses read the book or take the course, it can help them work together on creating the goals. So maybe Ramsey, or some other financial book (JL Collins) would be a good place to start. You could also watch or read Playing with Fire together (the documentary). That's a story about one spouse being unsure of FI and feeling like she would be deprived.