Do you have (or do you have a source for) a list of questions to ask when looking for a financial planner? My wife and I are looking for a new one and have an interview set up for next week with a Fidelity representative.
Terry Says: OK, the first thing you need to know is the difference between an investment advisor and a financial planner. A financial planner will look at all aspects of your life — not only investments, but your estate plan, your tax situation, your need for long term care insurance, etc. When you ask about investments, you are opening yourself up to anyone who wants to sell you anything!
Fortunately, Fidelity is a great place to get investment advice. And if you are nearing retirement, they will also help you craft both an investment and withdrawal strategy to make your money last as long as you do! But they are not total financial planners.
If you want that kind of advice, you should search at www.feeonly.org — the association of financial planners who do not charge commissions but instead work on a set fee. The Financial Planning Assocation maintains a searchable data base at www.plannersearch.org.