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Old 12-24-2011, 12:51 PM   #1
Confused about dryer sheets
 
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Hello. I'm a new member here, trying to find answers and help to some retirement questions. What are everyone's thoughts on using a financial planner vs researching and making your own moves?
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Old 12-24-2011, 12:54 PM   #2
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Is that a trick question ? I do believe that most here are DIYers.
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Old 12-24-2011, 12:58 PM   #3
Confused about dryer sheets
 
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Not so much a trick question as I know most everyone here is a DIY, but just getting thoughts on if using one for help with some areas is worth it, or if it's better to go about it yourself. I could really use help in certain areas on educating myself.
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Old 12-24-2011, 01:07 PM   #4
Confused about dryer sheets
 
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Any good books on planning for early retirement that anyone would recommend?
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Old 12-24-2011, 01:07 PM   #5
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Sorry if I was a little sarcastic. You may want to try a fee based FP that charges by the hour. I would suggest listing the specific areas or topics you would want him/her to cover with you. Also many on this board are a wonderful resource and if nothing else can give you guidance to find the answers you are looking for.

Welcome aboard Keithw1977.

We also have a wonderful search function you should give a try.
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Old 12-24-2011, 01:17 PM   #6
Confused about dryer sheets
 
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No problem. I probably didn't phrase my question the way I meant to ask... I'm really looking for some books or advice on strategies for early retirement. I feel directionless right now. I have a term life insurance policy I bought 2 years ago, but it increases everyone year in premium. I recently found out that might not be the best idea. And as far as investing, I'm 34 right now and have money invested in some stocks separate from my 401k. I feel like I should be doing more. Like I said, I'm motivated to learn but feel directionless.
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Old 12-24-2011, 01:40 PM   #7
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Welcome Keithw1977,
You're question is a good one, and the fact you're asking it at 34 is a strong statement about where you stand about money. Over the years I have talked to, and sometimes paid, financial advisors to help me with investing/retirement decisions. I listened to their advice, but always balanced it against my person beliefs and education. They often offered insights about things I had not considered, but ultimately it was my decision.
Now having said that I will note that I have had conflicting recommendations from different advisors who had exactly the same data from me. So even with their training and experience, personal opinion matters, and your opinion matters the most. So read, read a lot. And read different things until you find a method or philosophy that fits your own expectations and beliefs. This stuff is not a one-size-fits-all plan. And to make matters worse, everything is a variable, so plan accordingly.
If you look through some of the threads on this site (try the search function), you will find a number of book titles that will be useful to you. You're still young. So while you read these books, and form your strategy, continue to save and invest. The more you keep of your earnings, the easier it will be to craft a plan that works.

Good luck, and welcome again. There are many on this board with better and more helpful insights than me...Tight
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Old 12-24-2011, 01:42 PM   #8
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Welcome aboard. This is a great resource, and DIY seems to be the consensus here.

There are lots of good sites to help with picking an FP, Google will help. But the adage 'by the time you know enough to pick a financial planner, you don't need one' comes to mind. I want to understand exactly what I invest in and why, and how our $ are managed - leaving to someone else could be a disaster. And FP's can be unreasonably expensive, you'll want to do your homework. There are good FP's, but there are more awful ones than most people expect.

I will go out on a limb and suggest you stay away from Ameriprise unless you know someone you trust already. I've read horror stories and my wife worked at a Chicago branch for about 18 months. They did not have customers best interests in mind at all, she left because of their practices even though she was not an advisor.

This is the best reading list I know of Investment Books.

And lots of worthwhile reading here too Early Retirement FAQs - Early Retirement & Financial Independence Community.

Good luck whatever you decide...
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Old 12-24-2011, 01:47 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keithw1977 View Post
No problem. I probably didn't phrase my question the way I meant to ask... I'm really looking for some books or advice on strategies for early retirement. I feel directionless right now. I have a term life insurance policy I bought 2 years ago, but it increases everyone year in premium. I recently found out that might not be the best idea. And as far as investing, I'm 34 right now and have money invested in some stocks separate from my 401k. I feel like I should be doing more. Like I said, I'm motivated to learn but feel directionless.
Do you need life insurance? Do you have dependents who rely on your income? If not, why do you feel the need to carry this policy?

It sounds like you have an annually renewable term (ART) policy. These are a trade-off vs. level term. Level term policies start out at a higher premium and stay at the same premium level for the guaranteed term period. ART policies start out with lower premiums than a term policy but they rise over time. When I took out my 20 year level term policy, an equivalent ART policy from the same carrier had premiums almost 40% lower than my term policy. 8+ years later, the ART premiums would now be higher than my term premiums. There isn't anything really wrong with an ART policy, it is just a tradeoff vs. a level term policy.
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Old 12-24-2011, 03:54 PM   #10
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I'm reminded of an old friend of mine who was quite successful, a ceo of a large regional retailing firm. I asked him if he took any advice from anyone, and he said "every time a broker told me to buy something, it went down - so I don't listen to anyone except myself". My recommendation - read, talk to others who DIY, read more.
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Old 12-27-2011, 11:16 AM   #11
Confused about dryer sheets
 
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Thank you for all of your ideas! This really helps. As far as life insurance, a "friend" of mine that works for a large insurance company told me I should carry term while I'm young and then I can buy a whole life policy at the reduced rates due to having a term policy. I don't have any children and will be married in August. My employer provides substantially less expensive rates on life insurance. I obviously want to have something, but am wondering if the term policy I have, which is renewable to age 80, is worth it.
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