Thank you,afan wrote: ↑Tue Oct 24, 2017 4:10 pm It is possible Vanguard may have changed policies as they emphasize PAS, but I have received a free financial plan from them without being a PAS client.
The plan was not what I would call a full plan. Rather, it was a plan of how to invest marketable securities. There was nothing about life insurance, disability risk and insurance, Social Security planning, Roth conversions, estate planning, or the many other topics that one might look for expert help with.
As an investment and retirement plan, it was fine. Nothing I did not do for myself routinely, but perfectly fine. No crazy schemes, no unrealistic promises of investment returns.
I have also used the "ask a CFP" feature that, at least in the past, Vanguard offered for free to customers. I have done this several times to see whether their advice is as good as what I get from Bogleheads. The answer is "no". The advice tends to be amazingly vague. The CFP's seem to have little idea about things outside of index investing. I don't think I will try them again, since they seem so weak.
Since, as far as I know, the CFPs with whom I have spoken are the same as those who advise people as part of PAS, I doubt one would find the noninvestment advice useful at all.
But if you really don't want to manage your money yourself, Vanguard PAS is low cost compared to the competition and does not claim to have some secret sauce to beat the markets.
After doing some research it does seem like the plan the PAS would come up with would be pretty similar to something like a 3 or 4 fund option. We should be ok doing that ourselves.