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Do Financial Planners do comprehensive plans ?
Old 06-12-2007, 08:07 PM   #1
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Do Financial Planners do comprehensive plans ?

Hi All,
I have been to a couple of financial planners and found it to be a waste of time and money. Has anyone worked with a Fin Planner (fee-only) that develops a good overall plan ? My wife and I are a few years from retiring, but I have so many questions. (e.g. is Long Term Care worth the premiums, we have an old whole-life ins policy (I know, but we were young folks when we made that mistake), should we cash it in for face value, etc). I would love to find a Fin Planner to provide guidance from an overall perspective. I was just wondering if others have had good results with a planner.

:confused:

- Joe 1954
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Old 06-13-2007, 02:50 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe1954 View Post
Hi All,
I have been to a couple of financial planners and found it to be a waste of time and money. Has anyone worked with a Fin Planner (fee-only) that develops a good overall plan ? My wife and I are a few years from retiring, but I have so many questions. (e.g. is Long Term Care worth the premiums, we have an old whole-life ins policy (I know, but we were young folks when we made that mistake), should we cash it in for face value, etc). I would love to find a Fin Planner to provide guidance from an overall perspective. I was just wondering if others have had good results with a planner.

:confused:

- Joe 1954
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Welcome to the Financial Planning Association

Usually fee-based planners do comprehensive planning. Keep in mind the software is pretty much the same from planner to planner, it's the INTERPRETATION of results that differs quite a bit..........
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Old 06-13-2007, 09:29 PM   #3
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Hi Joe,

I'm getting my "free" annual plan from VG next week. I'll let you know how it comes out.
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Old 06-13-2007, 09:35 PM   #4
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Welcome to the board, Joe.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe1954 View Post
but I have so many questions. (e.g. is Long Term Care worth the premiums, we have an old whole-life ins policy (I know, but we were young folks when we made that mistake), should we cash it in for face value, etc).
Well... start asking!

The LTC insurance policy's value usually depends on your net worth. People with low net worths usually want it, people with over $2M net worth probably don't need it. Search for old threads on the subject and see if anything hits the buttons for your situation.

The life insurance policy is probably best cashed in, but again that depends on its surrender charges and its performance.
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Old 06-14-2007, 02:42 PM   #5
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Home Page - NAPFA - The National Association of Personal Financial Advisors

Is a national organization of fee only planners. Describe your situation and ask if they cover all needed areas and what it would cost. The planners at my work model just about everything in Excel and don't use prepackaged software. So you might want to ask to see a final product example of the comprehensive plan they provide before paying. Half the value a fee only planner provides is the relationship with other professionals: accountants, lawyers, insurance... So if you have one type of professional that you trust and is well established you may consider asking them for a referral to a planner.

There are certainly many bad planners out there so I am not surprised that you have had bad experiences so far. Looking for a fee only planner is a good first step as they have no incentive to promote one product over another. They also tend to be further down the road career wise than the average commissioned advisor.

I also noticed that this is your first post. Feel free to read through old posts and ask questions. Most people here handle there own financial affairs. You may find that you also want to handle things on your own. No one cares more about your future than you do. If nothing else you will be more prepared when speaking to a planner and the results of any planning should be better for it.

Good luck and keep us apprised.
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Old 07-24-2007, 11:36 AM   #6
Confused about dryer sheets
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Hi, I found a great article:

Is Your Financial Planner Going to Pay Your Long Term Care Bills?

Long term care bills, will your financial planner pay?

The site has other great info and you can ask questions and get help.

I have never had a finatial advise tell me about "LTC ins".

Terry
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Old 07-24-2007, 03:27 PM   #7
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joe1954,

I agonized over this one also, but finally went with a CFP probably because I was searching for anything I might have missed myself. Whether it's worth the money or not, the jury is still out. I may not know for years. But to the points you mentioned...

LTC insurance: I've read that if you can "self-insure" you don't need it. Where that number begins is arguable I suppose. Most of the smart money says somewhere north of $2M. I always add a little extra, say $2.5M for no particularly good reason. My financial planner suggested that I would probably be fine, but suggested that a partial policy might be prudent. So I did a 50% policy with both DW and me. I probably would not have done it were it not for the fact that mom's side of the family all have a terrible consistency for getting Alzheimers. I'm praying for dad's genes, but I figured I'd better hedge my bets.

Whole Life Insurance cash value: I also started married life with DW urging me to get life insurance. What did I know. I just called up NW Mutual Life Insurance agent and he came right over. Signed me up that night for $100K policy. Only later did I learn that term insurance was the way to go, and only as much as you needed to cover replacing yourself. I later added a USAA term policy which I will terminate when my daughter finishes college or sooner. But it's cheap. Anyway, when I asked the CFP about the cash value, he suggested that I hold on to the policy and take the "my life only" option to the miserable company pension. That way the old corporation will have to fork over the maximum. I really liked the justice in that, so that's what I'm going to do. I don't need the cash value anyway, and the payout when I croak will be a tidy sum by then (since I hope to keep going for at least 30 more years.)

Having a second opinion on these things was helpful, but the "plan" is just a huge pile of paper with many redundant graphs so it looks like your getting something for your money.

Good luck.
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Old 07-24-2007, 03:33 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry View Post
Is Your Financial Planner Going to Pay Your Long Term Care Bills?

Long term care bills, will your financial planner pay?
Wow. That article writer must work for the insurance industry.
Pure scare tactics, no worthwhile analysis.
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Old 07-24-2007, 04:20 PM   #9
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Hi Joe,

I'm getting my "free" annual plan from VG next week. I'll let you know how it comes out.
No offense, but those folks aren't financial planners................they're asset allocation guys........
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