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By Terry Savage on July 12, 2016 | Financial Planning / Retirement

I am an 80 yr. old woman that worked and saved all my life. I don’t trust anyone with my money because of the endless scams, etc. by financial advisers. I’ve made all my own investment decisions with limited knowledge I’ve gleaned over the years from reading financial books and magazines.
I have $900,000. in several Vanguard funds and $602,000 in bank CD’S.
Approximately half of those funds are in IRA’s.
Do you think I should consult a financial planner? If so, how do I choose one that is trustworthy? I won’t allow anyone to take control of investing my money, I want a knowledgeable fee only adviser to lay out an investment plan for me to implement & follow. I deeply appreciate any advise you give me.

Terry Says:  Well, it doesn’t seem like you need any investment advice; you’re doing a great job!  And since you have so much money at Vanguard, they can certainly give you free advice (which you can take or not) about your asset allocation.  I assume you are already having them calculate your MRD — minimum required distributions from your IRA accounts.

What concerns me is the other aspects of financial planning that you may be missing — outside of investment advice.  For example, have you created a recent will, or better yet a revocable living trust? Do you have the correct beneficiaries for your retirement accounts?  For that matter, do you have anyone you trust enough to give power of attorney (or become your successor trustee for your revocable living trust) if you are unable to act for yourself?  Have you created a healthcare power of attorney, and a separate living will, detailing your end-of-life wishes?  Does your physician have a copy of those documents?  Whom have you designated to act on those powers?

Are you living in your own home or condo — or have you moved into a senior community?  Do you have long term care insurance — and a good agent who will help you activate the policy when needed?

You don’t mention children, or heirs.  The absolute scariest thing for a woman is growing older alone, without anyone to help you through the issues that will inevitably arise.   The reason to find a competent financial planner is not only for investment advice, but to walk you through solutions to these issues.  Start by going to http://www.campaignforinvestors.org/, to learn more about what questions to ask.  Then go to www.FeeOnly.org — the organization of financial planners who do not charge commissions on products sold.

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