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Financial Overview

By Terry Savage on March 19, 2018 | Financial Planning / Retirement

Hi Terry, I am 62 years young and my husband is almost 57. He has been with AT & T for 30 years this month. Our original financial adviser was from Edward Jones but he moved so we were referred to Baird by our accountant & we transferred to them late last year. I don't pretend to know much about the market or stocks very sad. I'm also very concerned about the hidden fees, commissions and most of all a younger adviser who may not have enough experience especially with my husband's potential buyout & our retirement in the next five to eight years. I have asked a family friend who recommended Merrill Lynch to us and the adviser is in his 40's as well. Meanwhile, I have decided to take early social security benefits. Can you please help us with some suggestions based on all of your insight & experience? I do not want to keep moving around, paying fees and feeling this stressed & worried. What is the best way to select a company and adviser who will genuinely put our welfare first not the company they work for? We are really looking for someone who will take the time & put in the effort to make sure we thoroughly understand our portfolio as well as not take advantage of our finances. Thank you so much in advance for your assistance and advice we would really appreciate your feedback!

Terry Says

Happy to try to point you in the right direction.  FIRST, though, DO NOT TAKE SS EARLY!  That is a huge mistake.  It's not just the lower money now and in the future -- but the lower base on which future inflation adjustments will be made.  You definitely should wait until full retirement age (66) to start taking social security.   Taking it early costs you about 7 percent a year in lost immediate benefits, not to measure the future impact! And that's a good reason for you to search for a FEE-ONLY Certified Financial Planner.  They are not selling products for commissions, and they must pass a comprehensive series of tests in everything from investing to estate planning and taxes.  Interview several.  Go to to learn what you should ask in selecting an advisor.  And to check their regulatory history. Then go to to find a certified financial planner near you.  Some of them do charge commissions on products, so if you just want an advisor who is paid a flat fee, go to -- the website of fee-only advisors. And, let me add that it is not just age that determines a planner's value.   Yes, experience is a plus.  But the profession (as opposed to the salespeople) of financial planning has developed greatly in the past decade.  Finding a Certified Financial Planner greatly increases your odds of good, thorough advice!

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