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is $11,000 reasonable for a year of financial advice from a fee-only planner?

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  • #16
    No. Not too cynical. It is certainly possible to find fee only and flat fee advisors that will tell you the cost up front without providing all of you financial info. Have you checked out the WCI LIST? https://www.whitecoatinvestor.com/financial-advisors/

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    • #17
      It sounds like you are a careful person. I agree that 11k for a year long engagement is expensive. You can likely do well with a review and a plan without needing long term engagement. And for your spouse, you likely just need to have a person lined up and designated who will help when the time comes.

      One thing to consider in your planning, when you reduce market fluctuation risk by transitioning from stocks to bonds, is how your asset allocation will do if inflation continues to be high. Inflation risk over a long retirement is one risk I have tried to mitigate with our personal asset allocation.

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      • #18
        Regarding disclosure before getting advice, that is not a red flag. Scope of work and repetitive and incomplete information leads to inefficiency and miscommunication. Still high priced for the services you seem to want.

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        • #19
          It is hard for me to believe that answering the first two questions, should cost $11000. Unless it requires a lot of buying and selling and rearranging assets. The third question in regards to your wife is different. If you feel she will need ongoing financial advice help , finding someone you can trust for the future is important. My MIL had a disaster of vulture financial advisors over the years, before I started looking at her statements.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by rcw View Post
            In retrospect, I find something interesting about my exploratory meetings with the $11,000 firm. I first contacted them several years ago, but at that time they only offered an AUM approach, which I did not want. They have since added this flat-fee approach, so I thought I'd give them another chance. But both times, prior to the exploratory meeting, in order to get their "bid" so to speak, I had to provide all my financial information--what types of accounts, and balances. Now I wonder about that. It seems like a firm with all that info up front could then base its price on what they think the prospective client is willing to pay. Feels like going in to buy a car, but having first to disclose all your financial info to the dealer. Does that put the prospective client/customer at a disadvantage? If I had all the exact same accounts, but each balance was half what it is, would they have quoted me the same 11K? Am I too cynical?
            If a FA can't justify his/her proposed fee to your satisfaction that's a sign to move on.

            There are good FAs out there but you have to do your due diligence.

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            • #21
              If you are paying him $500 an hour, that is 22 hours of work. Does the plan require 22 hours of work?

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              • #22
                Originally posted by The White Coat Investor View Post
                I've always said a fair price is a four figure amount. Maybe that's up to $11K now with inflation.
                Would $9999 be. fair amount?

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by burritos View Post

                  Would $9999 be. fair amount?
                  I think my rule of thumb is to point out that if someone is paying $30K a year, they can probably find someone charging 1/6th-1/3rd as much that is providing service that is at least as good. Not to put a definite ceiling on "fair".
                  Helping those who wear the white coat get a fair shake on Wall Street since 2011

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                  • #24
                    A little follow-up. I decided to go with Penobscot Financial Advisors in the state of Maine. Doing it all remotely. I've only had the first substantive session, so this could be premature, but so far I'm impressed. Two of their advisors will be working with me; one is the firm's founder, I think. They both seem personable. The seem thorough, and they asked insightful questions--always a good early sign, I think. Their "niche" is working with University of Maine faculty and staff, and they claim some expertise with TIAA products, which is relevant to my situation. Total cost for a one-year "planning engagement" is $3600 (for us--they have two other income-based tiers below that price point.) Fingers crossed.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by rcw View Post
                      A little follow-up. I decided to go with Penobscot Financial Advisors in the state of Maine. Doing it all remotely. I've only had the first substantive session, so this could be premature, but so far I'm impressed. Two of their advisors will be working with me; one is the firm's founder, I think. They both seem personable. The seem thorough, and they asked insightful questions--always a good early sign, I think. Their "niche" is working with University of Maine faculty and staff, and they claim some expertise with TIAA products, which is relevant to my situation. Total cost for a one-year "planning engagement" is $3600 (for us--they have two other income-based tiers below that price point.) Fingers crossed.
                      good to hear.

                      reading through the old thread i was going to offer to do it for $10k with a 50% money back guarantee!

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by MPMD View Post

                        good to hear.

                        reading through the old thread i was going to offer to do it for $10k with a 50% money back guarantee!
                        Sorry man. He who hesitates is lost.

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