Author Topic: retired parents want me to manage their money  (Read 2047 times)

des999

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retired parents want me to manage their money
« on: January 02, 2019, 03:44:20 PM »
Backstory:

My Dad has been with his advisor for years, he likes him, but my Dad doesn't know much about finances, so anything he tells him I'm sure my Dad thinks is good.  I have had conversations off and on with my Dad about what I'm doing, how I'm doing, how I plan to retire early, etc..  He was interested at first, but skeptical.  The good thing is that he was willing to listen, and ofcourse the market was doing great, so he was happy, and I chose not to interfere, even though his advisor was a joke.

Fast Forward to today:

My Dad is stressing out about the market and his portfolio.  He has been retired for 4 years, get SS and my mom has a small pension.  To be honest, the portfolio is such a small amount of their total spend, that even if he had to miss a years withdraws he could survive.  His advisor took him into almost all cash in late December when the market dropped.  You can imagine I didn't have too many kind words about him to my parents.

Basically, I showed my Dad firecalc, and said, if you just keep withdrawing 4%, and leave your money alone, you will be fine.  He likes seeing the actual numbers and math behind it.  Today he said come down this weekend and let me know your plan, I'll get my money out under my advisor, and let you just put it in index funds.

So, my question, would you do it?  How would you start?  I'm thinking just dumping all his money into a nice mix of stock/bond Fidelity target funds (60/40 ish).  That way I don't have to do much if anything at all.  I chose Fidelity b/c that is where my money is, and I'm familiar with the site, and I like the software.

Any other things I should think about?  The obvious one being how would I had a 40% or more drop, as I'm not an advisor and it's family.  But, he is just leaking money all over the place with this guy.  Not to mention he was charging 1.5% for years, got him down to 1% a few years ago.  Also, he is in a bunch of random mutual funds charging upwards of .75% expense ratios.  I hate sitting here watching him stress  out.  I just want to set it on auto for him to reduce any stress.

thanks in advance.

Rob_bob

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Re: retired parents want me to manage their money
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2019, 07:10:43 PM »
A simple low ER portfolio and not trying to time the market will be money ahead over that "adviser".

You will need to take your parents risk tolerance into account and be sure you keep them well informed on what is happening and why.  You do not want to hear them say "we should have stayed with that Professional adviser."

davisgang90

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Re: retired parents want me to manage their money
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2019, 03:52:36 AM »
Personally, I'd pass.  My relationship with my parents is worth more than the savings which you admit don't have much of an impact on their budget.

Why risk souring the relationship?

(I have a similar situation, my folks use an Edward Jones adviser.  I decided it wasn't worth rocking the boat)

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: retired parents want me to manage their money
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2019, 04:50:32 AM »
Point him to the famous JH Collins series in investing so he can learn himself and manage his own business. You know, teach him how to fish thing.

reeshau

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Re: retired parents want me to manage their money
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2019, 06:17:26 AM »
I can sympathize with your situation, but I do have two cautions about this, and I wonder if you have thought about them:

1)  Managing money for a client, even informally, is as much about their psychology as it is about the money.  Do you have any experience in a counseling / caring / client-adviser relationship?  This is a whole dynamic and skillset beyond the finances.

2)  You have much more at stake here than the advisor did:  a souring of this relationship (managing the money) could bleed into your relationship with your Dad, or even others in your family.  Of course you are doing this because you care for him, but the risk / reward is quite high.

Having said this, I would recommend that you find him a new, fee-only Certified Financial Planner, (CFP) such as someone from the Garrett Planning Network.  This would be someone he could pay one time, or pay a fixed retainer, and ask the "facts" questions, as well as to help him psychologically through internal and external emotional events, like tough markets, long illnesses, etc.  I would make sure any CFP you filtered for him followed a passive investing strategy.

You can help him by getting him to the right person.  You can limit your relationship risk by letting the professional deliver the bad news, when needed, and temper any irrational exuberance.  You could set, up front, to be involved in the conversation on an ongoing basis, but I think you would do better in your supporting role (just like now) rather than taking on this whole thing.

If your Dad is on his way to managing his own money, then by all means show him the way.  But if he is looking for someone else to do it for him, that just puts you in a lot of jeopardy.

If you really do want to try this, I have found a lot of good insights into the client-adviser relationship through the Radical Personal Finance podcast, by Joshua Sheats.

des999

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Re: retired parents want me to manage their money
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2019, 06:45:39 AM »
thanks for all the advice, and I agree there is some risk.  He doesn't want to be involved at all, he doesn't care to learn, he would never manage it on his own.

so my options are, find a new advisor, or do it myself.

The thinking with doing it myself was to just put all his money into a target fund, and set up auto withdraws of 4% and just leave it on autopilot.

I really don't want him thinking anything has to be 'done', like move money around, trading, etc..  If I can convince him he can take 4% forever, and not worry about ups and downs, I think he's willing to just ignore the balance.

Again, he has enough money between SS and mom's pension that they more than cover their expenses.  He even works 1 or 2 days a week just for fun money.  He didn't even start withdrawing money until last year (retired 4 years ago).  He doesn't need it, but he saved it, and feels like he should spend it (and I want him to enjoy it).

Maybe I shouldn't even have him take out 4% every year, maybe I could come up with a better strategy.

innkeeper77

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Re: retired parents want me to manage their money
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2019, 07:47:09 AM »
It sounds like your father is older. 4% would probably be EXTREMELY conservative if he doesn't want to pass on the entire amount as an inheritance- a fee based planner who can set up an autopilot plan, explain it to YOU, and then also explain it to your father, might be a better idea. Depending on his age, maybe he can take out 8% a year, maybe he wants to maintain the principal, etc. I think the autopilot idea makes sense, but perhaps someone who is well versed in traditional retirement would be a better person to set up the plan.

trollwithamustache

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Re: retired parents want me to manage their money
« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2019, 07:51:04 AM »
Don't do it. If you must write up your plan, give it to him to do on his own with vanguard or not.

I view this like Iphones and computers. Every time I show them how to do something, they yell at me and say computers are stupid and that they want to do the task some other way and have it print/save file overthere/whatever. I mean, I don't know why there isn't a print button on the keyboard, right? it would be useful, but you gotta hit control-P or the little print icon.

Let your Dad pay the man so its not your fault.

des999

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Re: retired parents want me to manage their money
« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2019, 08:12:25 AM »
It sounds like your father is older. 4% would probably be EXTREMELY conservative if he doesn't want to pass on the entire amount as an inheritance- a fee based planner who can set up an autopilot plan, explain it to YOU, and then also explain it to your father, might be a better idea. Depending on his age, maybe he can take out 8% a year, maybe he wants to maintain the principal, etc. I think the autopilot idea makes sense, but perhaps someone who is well versed in traditional retirement would be a better person to set up the plan.

at the amount the advisor has him withdrawing (just a little over 4%), with the allocation he has, and with the fees, firecalc shows a 64% chance of success. 

If I remove the fees (advisor) and put him in more stocks (60/40), the chances go up to 96%.  Just seems silly to me.  But, I agree it's a risk I'd have to accept.  Maybe I can get his advisor to at least move to the proper allocation/funds with lower fees.  Or some other advisor to do that.

reeshau

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Re: retired parents want me to manage their money
« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2019, 08:41:41 AM »

If I remove the fees (advisor) and put him in more stocks (60/40), the chances go up to 96%.  Just seems silly to me.  But, I agree it's a risk I'd have to accept.  Maybe I can get his advisor to at least move to the proper allocation/funds with lower fees.  Or some other advisor to do that.

Removing the advisor is a good idea.  Don't use anybody who has a fee structure of percent of assets.  We are all suggesting a financial planner--tells you what to do, then you do it. (and, specifically, has the CFP designation)  You can still help your Dad with the doing, but you can point to the plan, and if he has questions or accusations he can go back to the planner.

Should cost you $500-$1000.  One time.

You have the right idea.  We just don't want it to blow up in your face.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2019, 08:43:52 AM by reeshau »

mxt0133

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Re: retired parents want me to manage their money
« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2019, 09:53:45 AM »
Don't manage his money for him, in the event that we go through a great depression and he looses 90% of his portfolio it will be on you, are you willing to strain your relationship with you parents like that?

In my situation I help my parents with their finances, but in the end they make all the decisions.  I painstakingly go through the pros and cons of their options and recommend what I would choose in their situation and why, it is up to them to decide what to do.  I agree with what was said about dealing with psychology and how they react to losses. When my parents can no longer mentally make the decisions, I am their power of attorney and only then will I be managing their money for them.

You say that their current cash flow is more than enough to cover their expenses, so why do they need to withdraw money from their portfolio?  Is it because of RMDs, if so then only take the minimum required to avoid penalties and revinest it in the same funds, hopefully ones with very low expenses.  You seem to be leaving a lot of details out which is concerning that you either haven't thought about them or don't think they are important.  I would think really hard about managing other people's money.


Basenji

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Re: retired parents want me to manage their money
« Reply #11 on: January 03, 2019, 10:17:36 AM »
You write this:

thanks for all the advice, and I agree there is some risk.  He doesn't want to be involved at all, he doesn't care to learn, he would never manage it on his own.

But also this:

Basically, I showed my Dad firecalc, and said, if you just keep withdrawing 4%, and leave your money alone, you will be fine.  He likes seeing the actual numbers and math behind it.  Today he said come down this weekend and let me know your plan, I'll get my money out under my advisor, and let you just put it in index funds.

It seems like he COULD learn if you set the parameters. If he can get the money out from his advisor, why does he need you to put it into a index fund? I personally would not do the work for him. Mixing money and family is just too fraught. You can certainly give some opinions, but I would also have a professional financial planner (not the current advisor) give a second opinion.

des999

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Re: retired parents want me to manage their money
« Reply #12 on: January 03, 2019, 12:07:41 PM »
thanks again for all the honest feedback, I do appreciate it.  I think I will have him talk to a financial planner, as suggested, and let him go from there (with some advice from me).


2Birds1Stone

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Re: retired parents want me to manage their money
« Reply #13 on: January 03, 2019, 02:08:00 PM »
I will chime in and say I would not to be responsible for my parents nest egg.....to many cans of worms.

If they need an adviser, Vanguard has a low cost PAS .3% AUM service.

clifp

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Re: retired parents want me to manage their money
« Reply #14 on: January 03, 2019, 10:07:10 PM »
thanks again for all the honest feedback, I do appreciate it.  I think I will have him talk to a financial planner, as suggested, and let him go from there (with some advice from me).

I'm sorry but the advice you've gotten is awful.  This is your parents we are speaking who presumably love you and you love them.  Are they going to disown you if there is a bear market and you put 1/2 their money in the stock market?  I doubt it.

 This is a huge gift that they are giving you that is going to save you a ton of aggravation in 20-30 years.  Almost every person I know over 55 is dealing with their parent's financial problems as they age.  They are uncovering, the high load mutual funds their parents money is invested in and fees their advisor are charging.   Almost are discovering that their parents either have a lot less or a lot more money than the thought. It so much better to manage their investment now when your parents are under 70 and with it than when your parents are suffering dementia and you have to wrest control of their money from some financial advisor because they are facing high medical expenses.  This is going to give you the opportunity to know exactly what type of care your parents can afford as they age.

What possible advice could a financial advisor give your parents that you can't give them?

I suspect everybody on the thread could give the same advice.

You take their money which is now all in cash, and you transfer it to Vanguard (or Schwab, or Fidelity using equivalent funds)
You take 40-60% of the money and stick it in Vanguard Total Stock Market
20-50% in the Vanguard Total Bond Market
10-20% in Vanguard Money Market and maybe some CDs.

If you want to put 10-20% in Vanguard Total International Market be my guest.  I suppose you could give Vanguard advisors .3% for doing exactly the same thing, but why?

Then a once or twice a year while visiting with them you sit down, and you go over the statement or show them on the website. You show them how much money they made during an up year, and compare it to CD rates.  In down years you point out how much less you lost than the S&P 500 index. You also show them how much their FA charged them in fees and expenses and how little Vanguard charges. For me, it's been a bit of bonding exercise.


Then you talk about withdrawals. You tell them they can certainly spend 4-5% of what they have or if they don't need it can just leave it compound.  Alternatively, give them the Vanguard Money Market checks and ask that they give you a heads up before they make a major purchase so you can move money.  I did this for the 25 years, and the last 5 when my mom's dementia got worse I just took away the checks. 

My parents who retired in 1980 at 55 with less than $300K and a $500/month pension ask me to help with their finances about 8 years later. My mom hit $1 million at Vanguard about 5 years ago and it's damn good thing because at 93, she is in a memory care unit, and burning through $100K a year.

When I was working I spent maybe 4 hours a year dealing with their investments, and never more than a couple hours month even after I took over more responsibility. Her nursing home is near my sister so she does the day to purchasing of medicines and Depends and such.

Don't let the nay sayers talk you out of following your gut.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2019, 10:13:12 PM by clifp »

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: retired parents want me to manage their money
« Reply #15 on: January 03, 2019, 10:51:55 PM »
Despite what I wrote, Id love if my mother and brother would ask me to do this for them. They wont cause theyre afraid Ill take all their fun away.

reeshau

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Re: retired parents want me to manage their money
« Reply #16 on: January 04, 2019, 02:07:07 AM »
thanks again for all the honest feedback, I do appreciate it.  I think I will have him talk to a financial planner, as suggested, and let him go from there (with some advice from me).

I'm sorry but the advice you've gotten is awful.  This is your parents we are speaking who presumably love you and you love them.  Are they going to disown you if there is a bear market and you put 1/2 their money in the stock market?  I doubt it.

To be fair, I have seen the alternate case directly: parents not ready to handle their own finances, and children meaning to help, but not equipped to lead others in financial matters.  Yes, it did blow up--and not just the parents, but all the siblings, too.  A single example, positive or negative, does not disprove the other.  It could work well, or not: that's the risk / reward.  I am absolutely comfortable with my own investing approach, but I would never risk my parents relationship with me on my hubris that my own research and experience means I know the answer for them, as well.  This is particularly the case where the money in the investments isn't an absolute necessity--it needs to drive particular goals.  Who is teasing them out?  A generic portfolio is a dangerous answer without understanding where we are going.

I do agree with you on one point: the numbers are easy.  A portfolio is easy.  It's the psychology which will vary wildly among people, depending on their experience, condition, and personality.

I never said not to be involved.  I said get professional help to deal with the psychology of investing.  Love them, advise them, and stay involved so that you can step in more directly if and when the time comes.

des999

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Re: retired parents want me to manage their money
« Reply #17 on: January 04, 2019, 08:16:30 AM »
thanks again for all the honest feedback, I do appreciate it.  I think I will have him talk to a financial planner, as suggested, and let him go from there (with some advice from me).

I'm sorry but the advice you've gotten is awful.  This is your parents we are speaking who presumably love you and you love them.  Are they going to disown you if there is a bear market and you put 1/2 their money in the stock market?  I doubt it.

 This is a huge gift that they are giving you that is going to save you a ton of aggravation in 20-30 years.  Almost every person I know over 55 is dealing with their parent's financial problems as they age.  They are uncovering, the high load mutual funds their parents money is invested in and fees their advisor are charging.   Almost are discovering that their parents either have a lot less or a lot more money than the thought. It so much better to manage their investment now when your parents are under 70 and with it than when your parents are suffering dementia and you have to wrest control of their money from some financial advisor because they are facing high medical expenses.  This is going to give you the opportunity to know exactly what type of care your parents can afford as they age.

What possible advice could a financial advisor give your parents that you can't give them?

I suspect everybody on the thread could give the same advice.

You take their money which is now all in cash, and you transfer it to Vanguard (or Schwab, or Fidelity using equivalent funds)
You take 40-60% of the money and stick it in Vanguard Total Stock Market
20-50% in the Vanguard Total Bond Market
10-20% in Vanguard Money Market and maybe some CDs.

If you want to put 10-20% in Vanguard Total International Market be my guest.  I suppose you could give Vanguard advisors .3% for doing exactly the same thing, but why?

Then a once or twice a year while visiting with them you sit down, and you go over the statement or show them on the website. You show them how much money they made during an up year, and compare it to CD rates.  In down years you point out how much less you lost than the S&P 500 index. You also show them how much their FA charged them in fees and expenses and how little Vanguard charges. For me, it's been a bit of bonding exercise.


Then you talk about withdrawals. You tell them they can certainly spend 4-5% of what they have or if they don't need it can just leave it compound.  Alternatively, give them the Vanguard Money Market checks and ask that they give you a heads up before they make a major purchase so you can move money.  I did this for the 25 years, and the last 5 when my mom's dementia got worse I just took away the checks. 

My parents who retired in 1980 at 55 with less than $300K and a $500/month pension ask me to help with their finances about 8 years later. My mom hit $1 million at Vanguard about 5 years ago and it's damn good thing because at 93, she is in a memory care unit, and burning through $100K a year.

When I was working I spent maybe 4 hours a year dealing with their investments, and never more than a couple hours month even after I took over more responsibility. Her nursing home is near my sister so she does the day to purchasing of medicines and Depends and such.

Don't let the nay sayers talk you out of following your gut.

thanks.  this was my line of thinking.  I do see valid points on both sides.  I'll talk it over with my parents this weekend.  I do have a great relationship with my parents and do feel I could make it work, just have to talk it over with them and explain all possible scenarios.

jeromedawg

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Re: retired parents want me to manage their money
« Reply #18 on: January 04, 2019, 09:27:45 AM »
Following this thread. We are in a similar situation with my in-laws, except they have none of their money invested and don't have more than $200k saved up in full outside of the pending sale of their restaurant business (which would add another $160k probably after all the fees) as well as their home (which they still owe a mortgage on but have maybe $200k worth of equity in). Not a good place for them to be. They're in their 70s and so I am very hesitant to make any sort of moves with what little they have. This is going to become more of a problem especially after they sell the restaurant. They will be getting a small stream of income since they're seller-financing but even that isn't guaranteed. Other than that they only have their social security to fall back on.

BicycleB

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Re: retired parents want me to manage their money
« Reply #19 on: January 05, 2019, 07:12:26 AM »
@des999, it sounds like you have 2 good options - new paid advisor, or DIY.

Congratulations on getting to this point; it's an advance. Like others, I see relationship risk. However, in taking care of my own father who got Alzheimer's, we got closer by the interaction even though he was often unhappy about the details. Your own situation has different details, like a father who may be in better mental shape. You have to judge for yourself where the risks AND rewards lie, then do what you think is best.

My guess is if your Dad is trusting you, set up the no-hassle withdrawal at 4% of current principal and put him in 50% bonds 50% stock. The stable payout will minimize problems because it won't change for many years. The 50/50 is a known high-safety allocation that few people could argue is irresponsible, again minimizing attack lines, yet as you say providing high probability of not failing. When he asks what's going on, say "Everything's fine, you can live another 30 years and never run out. How ya feelin'?"

One issue with such accounts is beneficiary. Most such accounts are pay on death. They don't go through probate, aren't affected by a will. Whoever fills out the paperwork designates a beneficiary. Once the owner dies, then as soon as someone shows a death certificate to the investment company, the company transfers the assets to the beneficiary. If you fill out the paperwork on your dad's behalf, who is the beneficiary? Does he want that to be you? Do you have siblings who will accuse you of self dealing?

Be careful to get paperwork witnessed properly. Make sure your dad understands the beneficiary aspect, and that the papers do what he wants them to. Make sure other beneficiaries who would benefit in the absence of such a designation are aware of Dad's decisions, at least if you value your relationship with the other possible beneficiaries. Not giving legal or financial advice here, just relationship commentary after experiencing family events; do your own research, get professional advice when needed. Note that inheritance law appears to be state by state, so learn the details for the state dad lives in.

clifp

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Re: retired parents want me to manage their money
« Reply #20 on: January 05, 2019, 09:28:47 PM »


To be fair, I have seen the alternate case directly: parents not ready to handle their own finances, and children meaning to help, but not equipped to lead others in financial matters.  Yes, it did blow up--and not just the parents, but all the siblings, too.  A single example, positive or negative, does not disprove the other.  It could work well, or not: that's the risk / reward.  I am absolutely comfortable with my own investing approach, but I would never risk my parents relationship with me on my hubris that my own research and experience means I know the answer for them, as well.  This is particularly the case where the money in the investments isn't an absolute necessity--it needs to drive particular goals.  Who is teasing them out?  A generic portfolio is a dangerous answer without understanding where we are going.

I do agree with you on one point: the numbers are easy.  A portfolio is easy.  It's the psychology which will vary wildly among people, depending on their experience, condition, and personality.

I never said not to be involved.  I said get professional help to deal with the psychology of investing.  Love them, advise them, and stay involved so that you can step in more directly if and when the time comes.

I'm certainly guilty of hubris at times when it comes to FIRE investing.  But I hardly consider telling anybody in retirement to put 40-60% in broad based stock index funds and skipping advisors to be hubris. It is the truth and the basis of FIRE investing. It is backed up by countless studies and mirrors the advice of some the wisest investors of our time Jack Bogle, Warren Buffett, to name just two.

I agree with everything else you said except for this.  "I said get professional help to deal with the psychology of investing."  I couldn't possibly disagree more.  Especially, since @des999 has been around for several years and his dad current advisor was a disaster.   Who better than their son to help them figure out the answers to good questions you asked?

How would you go about figuring out who to hire as a professional to give them advice?  Is it some type of certification?  If so which ones, CFA, RFA, CFP, CPA, CIC, CLU, CAIA, FRM, CMA, CMFC, ChFC or one of the other dozen certifications out there?  Would you base it on their fees? Their track record? Have you met a financial advisor that will actually give you detailed information on their track record?  I haven't and, believe me, I've asked. What financial advice would these provide that's better than what Des or I telling them to put their money in index funds?  I've paid for and started a CFP program, there aren't classes on the pyschology of investing, and CFP is near the top of the heap of the alphabet soup of certfications.

I'm sorry for being so strident but I can't emphasize enough how bad it is to send somebody you care about to a "professional money manager", who has limited financial resources.  We see this on the forum all the time.

Quote
Newbie: I'm not sure my financial advisor is giving me good advice, followed by a catalog of financial horrors.
Forum: Fire his ass, read XYZ and invest in index funds.

The same rule should apply to parents and relatives.

The psychology of investing isn't that complicated for most people.  The financial industry has spent tens of billions convincing that investing is really complicated and they need professional help to be able to do it well.  Many people believe this and blindly trust advisors to help them, many others think the entire stock market is rigged casino, and keep their money in savings accounts or CDs.  (My sister confessed today that she has $60,000 in her checking account, I told her it was costing her $100/month to have it sitting there and we are getting together next week to move to Schwab and index funds). A number of others like my sister are paralyzed by fear to make a bad decision so they keep it in a checking account.  Mustachians actually understand that none of this true and the big risk you can take with retirement funds is to not take any risk.

Who can blame people for turning to experts?  We are conditioned to talk to experts, if you are sick you go to a doctor, your car is sick you go to an auto mechanic, confused by taxes go to a CPA/tax prayer, and on aggregate this is good advice, they make us healthier, or cars run better, and we save more money on taxes then we spend on CPA fees.  But this is not true with financial helpers, on aggregate financial advisors cost us a lot of money.  Warren Buffet explained this beautifully starting page 18 of http://www.berkshirehathaway.com/letters/2005ltr.pdf annual letter very much worth reading.

Several people suggested just educating the OP's parents. Now that is fine advice but...  Of the 19 years, I've been FIRE, I have had more than a dozen people seek my financial advice, IRL.  I customize it a bit but its fundamental no different than outlined here.  Every single person has thanked me for the advice, but barely 1/2 have actually followed it. The rest have either done nothing, or for few people found an adviser who without exception have put them in some flavor of annuity, typical variable annuities, or Equity-Index annuity, costing these people tens of thousands of dollars worth of fees and more than that of lost appreciation.  By all means, give your parents or in-law opportunities to do their own investment. But be prepared to step in and sit by their side and help them do it,  if they do nothing.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2019, 02:23:00 AM by clifp »

reeshau

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Re: retired parents want me to manage their money
« Reply #21 on: January 06, 2019, 11:14:23 PM »
clifp, I hardly know how to respond.  In fact, I think I am done responding directly to you; it seems, by your last response, that you have not actually read 75% of what I wrote.  Instead, you have re-stated your position on a topic, and are now simply ranting about something that was never suggested.  I'm sorry the discussion has gotten to this point.  While I have tried to be as specific as possible, you have gone more and more into a general case.

For anyone else still reading, my suggestions to the OP are about getting some coaching; not at all about getting someone to run his father's money.  This can be helpful, and in fact is similar to services that many FI bloggers offer themselves--an hourly-rate or one-time-fee consultation.  But the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation does two things:  it does mean they have been through a comprehensive set of courses on money topics, and it sets a fiduciary commitment for their clients.  While this is no guarantee this is the right person for you, it is the highest standard available, and is a starting point to finding the right person for you.  Furthermore, the Garrett Planning Network is an association of CFP's, built on the concept of fee-only planning.  This removes the conflict of interest of being paid through sales commissions.


While my personal experience in this matter doesn't exactly line up with the OP's case, I will outline it and hope you see the parallels:

Just before my son was born, I decided to get a check-up on my financial plan.  While I was quite confident planning for my wife and I, as we have openly discussed our goals, strategies, and current state often over the years of our marriage, this was a new twist.  I had certainly studied a lot of information as we prepared for his arrival--not just financially, but in many aspects of how a baby changes your life.  But, with all my studying, the weight of having this new person, whom I already cared deeply for, completely dependent on me was, I admit, a little scary.  So, I went about my search for someone to help.

I did quickly filter out a lot of people I did *not* want to help: I wasn't interested in an ongoing relationship, and I was already wise to passive investing; both of which ruled out any kind of fee based on percent of assets.  I stumbled upon the Garrett Financial Network for two reasons:  they were a network of CFP's, and to belong as a member, you had to be fee-only.  (note:  this is not an ad for Garrett; there are a number of members whose fees *are* on a percent-of-assets basis.  However, this was a smaller pool to search through)

I eventually found someone I thought would work.  For an $800 fee, we would go through a comprehensive financial planning exercise, including budgeting, insurance coverage, investing, yes, education and home financing, etc.  But it started with a free, initial discussion about my goals.  This is the important part.  In this discussion, we set the direction I wanted to go.  I could also ask questions to be comfortable that this person could help me with areas I was most unsure about, and would not get hung up on certain decisions and perspectives I had, like passive investing.  After that initial meeting, I was comfortable with the person, and we went forward with the process.  He had a comprehensive questionnaire that supplemented my financial statements, took a few weeks to look through everything and follow up with some specific questions, after which we sat down for a few hours to review the plan.  He answered every question I had, and made some useful suggestions.

In the end, though, what I came away with was confidence in my plan going forward under the new condition of having a child.  And, now that we knew each other, I could come back to him for specific questions on an hourly basis, or go again through the comprehensive process for 1/2 cost, since he already had a level of knowledge of my situation.

Does everyone need this thorough process?  No.  I didn't, until someone else depended on me.  But it is available, and it is not a rip-off.  This process is similar to hiring a lawyer or CPA for their specialties; when your situation goes beyond the standard advice, or simply is more complex than you can be confident in handling, there is objective help available.

This is what resonated with me based on the OP's situation.  It has nothing to do with "financial helpers."  There was no ongoing fee basis, nor even access to my accounts.  What I got was a plan that I could execute, with confidence.

@des999 , I wish you luck in this challenging situation, however you decide to proceed.

patrickza

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Re: retired parents want me to manage their money
« Reply #22 on: January 07, 2019, 12:01:09 AM »
+1 on the pointing him in the direction of the JL Collings stock series. Then tell him you're there to help, but that he'd probably be the best person to manage his own money after some reading.

Maybe you could take on the role of a firewall to prevent dumb decisions from going through, but letting the good ones go ahead.

des999

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Re: retired parents want me to manage their money
« Reply #23 on: January 07, 2019, 08:30:03 AM »
@des999, it sounds like you have 2 good options - new paid advisor, or DIY.

Congratulations on getting to this point; it's an advance. Like others, I see relationship risk. However, in taking care of my own father who got Alzheimer's, we got closer by the interaction even though he was often unhappy about the details. Your own situation has different details, like a father who may be in better mental shape. You have to judge for yourself where the risks AND rewards lie, then do what you think is best.

My guess is if your Dad is trusting you, set up the no-hassle withdrawal at 4% of current principal and put him in 50% bonds 50% stock. The stable payout will minimize problems because it won't change for many years. The 50/50 is a known high-safety allocation that few people could argue is irresponsible, again minimizing attack lines, yet as you say providing high probability of not failing. When he asks what's going on, say "Everything's fine, you can live another 30 years and never run out. How ya feelin'?"

One issue with such accounts is beneficiary. Most such accounts are pay on death. They don't go through probate, aren't affected by a will. Whoever fills out the paperwork designates a beneficiary. Once the owner dies, then as soon as someone shows a death certificate to the investment company, the company transfers the assets to the beneficiary. If you fill out the paperwork on your dad's behalf, who is the beneficiary? Does he want that to be you? Do you have siblings who will accuse you of self dealing?

Be careful to get paperwork witnessed properly. Make sure your dad understands the beneficiary aspect, and that the papers do what he wants them to. Make sure other beneficiaries who would benefit in the absence of such a designation are aware of Dad's decisions, at least if you value your relationship with the other possible beneficiaries. Not giving legal or financial advice here, just relationship commentary after experiencing family events; do your own research, get professional advice when needed. Note that inheritance law appears to be state by state, so learn the details for the state dad lives in.

thanks for the advice, I hand't thought about the issue of beneficiary.

thanks to everyone, you all have given me a lot of great insight and lot to think about.  I do appreciate it.