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Old 11-26-2012, 09:00 PM   #1
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This is Worth Saving For!

Hello, Everyone--

It's been fun (and VERY educational) to get acquainted with this on-line community. Along with books read and research done over the years, your first-hand experience has added to our confidence to "take the leap."

DH retired on disability last winter and I retired in June. We have enough monthly pension income to cover expenses, a paid-off house (from which we could comfortably down-size, but don't need to), plenty of savings, and our pre-residency contract paid for long-term care in a local continuing care retirement community. We have health insurance (including prescription coverage) through his former employer.

I am 59, and DH 63, but he is quite ill; in fact his SS Disability was approved with his first application. We want to enjoy life. While his ability to travel is limited, he and I are able to enjoy much volunteer work, visiting with family and friends, discussing our reading, etc. We moved to the midwest from the SF Bay Area in the '90s, which tripled not only our quality of life, but also the square footage of our house and our ability to save for ER. It all worked.

We live next to a 400 acre woods, so Emerson and Thoreau make for great reading any day, any season.

We have one grown son who is fairly independent.

So that's our background. But, back to the title. When anyone asks how we like retirement, the basic answer looks something like this: . Yeah, DH might be sick, but life is heavenly with self-made schedules; sleeping in; staying up late to watch whatever we like; no need to schedule weekends of chores just to get ready to go back to work on Mon. No 50-60 hr. work weeks with nightly paperwork, computer work, and (for me) 33 years of grading essays. No more research papers to read!

So, here's our basic question (and I'll also ask it on the FIRE thread): has anyone had any experience with Fisher Investments? They keep contacting us, wanting to manage our rollover IRA's (from 401Ks). We've invested quite well on our own over the years, between Vanguard,T Rowe Price, and my husband managing his 401K options through his employer.

From what I can tell, Fisher would simply create for us a portfolio that they think is appropriate, but charge us 1.5% in fees annually, whether the acct. makes or loses $. Vanguard and T.Rowe Price have done the same, in theory, through the specific funds we have chosen from them.........but their fees are quite reasonable. Plus, funds are easy to track on their websites. If they decrease in value, at least we are only paying low fees to watch our $ drop a bit.

We spent years as "do-it-yourself"ers, selling our own house and cars, painting, doing home maintenance, etc. But, we are getting tired...........and, again, my husband is not well. (No, he doesn't have cancer or heart issues; it's a rare form of lung disease, though he never smoked).

Your input would be appreciated. Thanks!
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Old 11-26-2012, 10:26 PM   #2
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Hi LitGal,

I'm not familar with Fisher. But just wanted to say Welcome to the board and sorry that your husband is not doing well.

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Old 11-27-2012, 12:01 AM   #3
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LitGal, welcome.

Sorry to hear of your DH's health issues, but you seem to have a great attitude about it and that is probably half the battle.

I'm not personally familiar with Fisher and don't want to be. I would avoid them. You have done a great job DIY so I would continue to do it and consolidate things with Vanguard if you want to simplify your investments. I have all my investments with VG in seven different accounts (2 individual taxable, 1 joint taxable, 2 tIRAs and 2 Roth IRAs) and finally have things set up so maintenance is pretty simple.
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Old 11-27-2012, 01:12 AM   #4
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Fisher is everywhere and they are quite aggressive. Lots of seminars and once you are on their mailing list they will send you hugely oversized envelopes touting their latest "reports" forever.

I think they are quite expensive as a generic wrap account and they are absolutely relentless. If you are happy with what you have been doing, there's no reason to involve them and their generous fees.
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Old 11-27-2012, 05:33 AM   #5
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Welcome to the forum.

To answer your question - no.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LitGal View Post
So, here's our basic question (and I'll also ask it on the FIRE thread): has anyone had any experience with Fisher Investments?
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Old 11-27-2012, 07:11 AM   #6
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If you find this outfit's offer interesting to inquire about you are in trouble. If you are tired and tempted by 1.5% fees in your 50s, think about the predators who will come calling in your late 70s. You need to do some reading to backstop your DIY chops and then choose a simple set it and forget it approach, maybe a lifestyle fund or something.
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Old 11-27-2012, 08:34 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pb4uski View Post
LitGal, welcome.

Sorry to hear of your DH's health issues, but you seem to have a great attitude about it and that is probably half the battle.

I'm not personally familiar with Fisher and don't want to be. I would avoid them. You have done a great job DIY so I would continue to do it and consolidate things with Vanguard if you want to simplify your investments. I have all my investments with VG in seven different accounts (2 individual taxable, 1 joint taxable, 2 tIRAs and 2 Roth IRAs) and finally have things set up so maintenance is pretty simple.
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Old 11-27-2012, 01:39 PM   #8
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You may want to have a look at today's thread on Fisher Investments if you haven't seen it.

Fisher Investments?

Edited to add:

oops - I see that you have already posted on that thread .....
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Old 11-27-2012, 06:15 PM   #9
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Welcome LitGal!

My DH is also disabled (MS) and I ER'd a few years after he did. Fortunately, he is still able to be quite independent and travel moderately.

I would avoid Fisher even if you don't want to completely DIY. They are just too pushy. And expensive. We have a local independent financial professional who manages a small part of our portfolio for a 1% annual fee and in exchange I get a couple of hours a year of talking with an expert and looking at the bigger picture. I DIY everything else, mostly through Vanguard. I would probably drop the financial professional except for the fact that DH isn't really comfortable investing on his own, so this is our "backup" if something happens to me. (He has already agreed to provide advice to DH on an hourly fee basis if that is needed.)
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Old 11-27-2012, 11:46 PM   #10
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Turn around, run as fast as you can!!! I don't know Fisher per se, but I do know that you don't want to pay 1.5% to have your assets managed for you.

If you are managing on a 4% SWR right now, tacking on 1.5% would make it 5.5%. You won't last very long in retirement on a burn rate that high. Most planners say that a 4% SWR will last you about 30 years, and that a 4% rate is about right for a 65 year old. You are 59. Mathmatically (never quite right because markets fluctuate) a 5.5% WR will give you 22 years. This means that you would likely outlive your money.

I am quite certain you can do better in a simple DIY solution, or perhaps even a single product (if UncleMick stops by, he'll say, "psssstttt, Wellesley, hehehe").

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Thank you, everyone, for your input!
Old 12-21-2012, 04:54 PM   #11
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Thank you, everyone, for your input!

It's been awhile since I originally posted; but that's because my husband and I have been discussing all of your input (also the info. that folks posted on the FIRE and Money forum). We appreciated all the food for thought. So, with additional reading/ongoing research, we'll continue to invest on our own, to avoid Fisher's 1.5%.

My husband doesn't have the energy to do this; but he's the family guru at keeping all our accounts/expenditures/budgets up to date on Mint.
Personally, I find the investment research much more fascinating, and am actually a bit proud of what I've accomplished on my own with my 401K over the past 12 years.

So, eventhough I'll never be a Ken Fisher, I am a stubborn former referee of teenagers. If I was able spur them on to earn college AP credits over three decades, maybe I can also rise to the challenges of Wall Street math in this decade ahead.

We'll see. Thank you to all.

And Merry Christmas!
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