Garrett Fee Only

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captaindorky
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Garrett Fee Only

Post by captaindorky » Tue Sep 24, 2019 1:12 am

Looking for some opinions regarding the use of a Garrett Network fee-only planner.

My wife and I are getting close to making a significant life change involving leaving our jobs and living on the road for a few years. While I have taken the liberty to run the numbers and make certain that we should be okay, one would think using another source to give the thumbs up on our plans would be reassuring. (Note: I posted regarding this topic a couple of years ago and back then it seemed like a possibility. One would think 2 years down the road we should be even better.)

We have gone through the initial interview and provided our financial documents. After the conversation today, the pricing of the service was $2200. Gulp. For some reason that seems steep to me. I feel like I can utilize resources available from this forum along with the linked calculators to come up with some degree of certainty with our situation, but for some reason, in my mind, it would be reassuring to have someone who does this kind of thing for a living to give it one last review.

What would you do?

Thanks.

CD

nps
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Re: Garrett Fee Only

Post by nps » Tue Sep 24, 2019 4:39 am

$2200 for what?

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RickBoglehead
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Re: Garrett Fee Only

Post by RickBoglehead » Tue Sep 24, 2019 5:01 am

I would have asked the question before handing over my financial documents. Don't you now owe the fee? Nothing I read about the Garrett network tells me that they do any vetting, so seems meaningless to me.

Two years ago you verified you had enough. Now you have more. Am I missing something?
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Longdog
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Re: Garrett Fee Only

Post by Longdog » Tue Sep 24, 2019 5:47 am

A couple of thoughts.

First, if you’re only talking about “a few years” then it would seem like an easy calculation of multiplying your yearly expenses by the number of years of travel, and adjusting upward a bit for inflation. Keep that amount in a laddered CD or similar arrangement because you can’t risk a serious market decline. The stock market is not the place to hold money needed in the short term.

The bigger risk, in my opinion, is whether you’ll be able to jump right back into whatever career you now have, at comparable salaries, once your adventure is over. Maybe you will, maybe you won’t, maybe it doesn’t matter to you. Whatever the case, I hope you give it some consideration and make a thoughtful decision.

I don’t see how any financial advisor can help you with either of those points.
Steve

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Stinky
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Re: Garrett Fee Only

Post by Stinky » Tue Sep 24, 2019 6:47 am

I’m surprised that you would have given over financial documents before you have at least a general idea as to what the cost would be. :oops:

It sounds like you feel the need for some additional outside confirmation of your financial plan, beyond what you can do yourself or what this Board can provide. If so, feel free to go ahead.

If there’s anything “good” about your situation, it’s that you went to a one-time fee firm rather an an AUM fee firm.
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Topic Author
captaindorky
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Re: Garrett Fee Only

Post by captaindorky » Tue Sep 24, 2019 9:33 am

Thanks for the responses.

No, I don't owe the fee. I still have to make the decision to move forward with it.

As far as turning over the documents, it was required in order for the planner to get an overview of the complexity (or lack thereof) of our portfolio and then determine how many hours of work it would take to complete the plan.

Our plan is to walk away from our careers for a few years and travel around North America. It's a big life decision. I had felt that a CFP would be able to provide some additional clarity.

If at all possible, we would NOT go back to the careers we currently have and do something that we would enjoy.

CD

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WoodSpinner
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Re: Garrett Fee Only

Post by WoodSpinner » Tue Sep 24, 2019 9:38 am

OP,

Was this a flat fee or an hourly rate?

I interviewed on of Garrett advisors and he produced an estimate for anticipated work to review my plan. Came out to about $200/hour which seemed reasonable.

Ended up passing for other reasons and am back to looking.

WoodSpinner

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Re: Garrett Fee Only

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Tue Sep 24, 2019 9:42 am

captaindorky wrote:
Tue Sep 24, 2019 1:12 am
What would you do?
I would continue to do it myself. As I see it, you need to figure out:

1) What are your expenses going to be?

2) What income will you have (social security, pension, something else)

3) What do you have saved?

I'd then take expenses, subtract income, multiply by my favorite number (most use 25, I use 50) and if #3 is that number or higher, you're good. If not, you need to save some more, delay or figure out how to reduce cost.

It's all pretty simple math.
Bogle: Smart Beta is stupid

Topic Author
captaindorky
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Re: Garrett Fee Only

Post by captaindorky » Tue Sep 24, 2019 9:47 am

The estimate was hourly. Came out to $165 an hour, which I was aware of up front. I have no reason to believe the fee would exceed the estimate.

I'm comfortable with the guy and he has good credentials.

After looking at the responses to my question I'm obviously second guessing myself and most likely will not proceed forward. $2200 is not chump change. It's not like I haven't done leg work with looking at expenses, running simulations, etc. But there still is that seed of doubt that I might be missing something.

I'm probably over complicating this.

pkcrafter
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Re: Garrett Fee Only

Post by pkcrafter » Tue Sep 24, 2019 10:09 am

captaindorky wrote:
Tue Sep 24, 2019 1:12 am
Looking for some opinions regarding the use of a Garrett Network fee-only planner.

My wife and I are getting close to making a significant life change involving leaving our jobs and living on the road for a few years. While I have taken the liberty to run the numbers and make certain that we should be okay, one would think using another source to give the thumbs up on our plans would be reassuring. (Note: I posted regarding this topic a couple of years ago and back then it seemed like a possibility. One would think 2 years down the road we should be even better.)

We have gone through the initial interview and provided our financial documents. After the conversation today, the pricing of the service was $2200.
That sounds about average or a little less. If it makes you feel more comfortable with retirement then do it, but keep in mind that you won't get a BH type of portfolio recommendation, but you will probably get an OK, go.

I paid for a review and recommendations as well because the thought of no more income felt something like being put on a tightrope with no net below (no room for error). I did it just before I discovered the Vanguard Diehards on M*. The advice I got on the Diehards was as good as the advisor and portfolio recommendations were pure Boglehead.

Paul
When times are good, investors tend to forget about risk and focus on opportunity. When times are bad, investors tend to forget about opportunity and focus on risk.

KingRiggs
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Re: Garrett Fee Only

Post by KingRiggs » Tue Sep 24, 2019 10:15 am

$165/hr sounds reasonable to me. $2200 computes to about 13 hours spent on your account. Depending on how complex your situation is, that might be reasonable, might not.

I had a two-hour face-to-face meeting with a fee-only adviser who probably put a few hours into reviewing my finances, total cost $750.
Advice = noun | Advise = verb | | Roth, not ROTH

donaldfair71
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Re: Garrett Fee Only

Post by donaldfair71 » Tue Sep 24, 2019 10:17 am

If you just want someone to give you a one-over, look through your finances without paying so very much, try https://planvisionmn.com/.

cherijoh
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Re: Garrett Fee Only

Post by cherijoh » Tue Sep 24, 2019 10:23 am

captaindorky wrote:
Tue Sep 24, 2019 1:12 am
Looking for some opinions regarding the use of a Garrett Network fee-only planner.

My wife and I are getting close to making a significant life change involving leaving our jobs and living on the road for a few years. While I have taken the liberty to run the numbers and make certain that we should be okay, one would think using another source to give the thumbs up on our plans would be reassuring. (Note: I posted regarding this topic a couple of years ago and back then it seemed like a possibility. One would think 2 years down the road we should be even better.)

We have gone through the initial interview and provided our financial documents. After the conversation today, the pricing of the service was $2200. Gulp. For some reason that seems steep to me. I feel like I can utilize resources available from this forum along with the linked calculators to come up with some degree of certainty with our situation, but for some reason, in my mind, it would be reassuring to have someone who does this kind of thing for a living to give it one last review.

What would you do?

Thanks.

CD
I think their hourly fee is reasonable for the services they provide. Prior to finding Bogleheads, I paid a fiduciary financial planner for a financial review when I was at a fork in the road financially.

What specifically were you asking them to do? If it was just to confirm that your plan won't sabotage your future retirement, then I'm not sure it would be worth it. They are just going to plug your numbers into a sophisticated version of a FP tool. Their value for a simple analysis is simply validating assumptions and making sure you have considered everything (e.g., properly accounting ofr taxes in your budgetting). In other words, lots of overlap with a Boglehead review.

I think the financial planner adds more value if you have a more specific and complex question - how to deploy a windfall most effectively, what is the best plan to minimize taxes throughout your entire retirement wrt Roth conversions, SS claiming strategies, healthcare expenses etc. In other words, multi-factor optimization which can yield very different results than looking at one factor at a time.

Katietsu
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Re: Garrett Fee Only

Post by Katietsu » Tue Sep 24, 2019 10:44 am

I think that $165 an hour is lower than the any of the per hour advisors that I am considering. And I would think that the 13 hour time estimate is reasonable if they are going to look at everything. Anything less than that could not be comprehensive.

So the question is comfortable are you with your plan and how comfortable would you be trusting the planner’s recommendations.

I can think of a lot of questions someone might want looked at besides just do I have enough to take a break. From which account will your withdraw your expenses and in what order. What about your asset allocation? What about the placement of your assets? Should you do Roth conversions and in what order? Should you forego Roth conversions to take advantage of ACA subsidies? What will your SS look like if you never work again? How much impact could a part time job have on SS and long term financial picture.

This forum is great. But no one is going to put 13 hours into a comprehensive analysis of your situation. For myself, I think this transition from accumulating to decumulating at a young age with no pension and years until social security is the situation where an advisor can have an impact. But that depends on what the advisor covers and what you already know.

MikeG62
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Re: Garrett Fee Only

Post by MikeG62 » Tue Sep 24, 2019 12:54 pm

captaindorky wrote:
Tue Sep 24, 2019 9:47 am
The estimate was hourly. Came out to $165 an hour, which I was aware of up front. I have no reason to believe the fee would exceed the estimate.

I'm comfortable with the guy and he has good credentials.

After looking at the responses to my question I'm obviously second guessing myself and most likely will not proceed forward. $2200 is not chump change. It's not like I haven't done leg work with looking at expenses, running simulations, etc. But there still is that seed of doubt that I might be missing something.

I'm probably over complicating this.
You are not overcomplicating this decision. It is one of the most important decisions you are going to make and the reason why there are so many threads on here from people who want to retire and then get trapped in the OMY (One More Year) syndrome. A fresh set of eyes looking over your situation is a good idea.

I wonder if you appropriately scoped the level of advice you were looking for? $2,200 at $165 per hour is 13.3 hours of work. That sounds like way more than you are after.

What if you scope it differently with the advisor? Suggest you only want to buy his/her time by the hour. Tell him/her exactly what your plan is (as you have articulated it here) and what you expect of them (to sanity check / poke holes in your plan). Tell them you will bring a few spreadsheets - one showing your current assets by account type, another being what you spend on average per year by expense line item (make sure you include a placeholder for buying health insurance as this is going to be one of the large ones that will change once you are retired) and a third being how you expect to finance your retirement spending from the collection of accounts you have (year by year for at least the next 5 or 10 years). Include income taxes in the analysis to the extent you will be pulling funds from locations which will give rise to income taxes (or have taxable items of income, such as dividends and interest). Essentially show them the support you have which suggests to you that your plan is clearly and comfortably affordable. As you are walking them through this tell them to chime in with questions or concerns or to validate your analysis. It just does not seem to me this would take more than 2-3 hours ($330-$495 in total).

If the current person you connected with is not interested in helping (because they have their heart set on the bigger fee project) find someone else who will (go back to Garrett or use Harry Sit's Advice Only web site to get a few referrals).
Real Knowledge Comes Only From Experience

StealthRabbit
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Re: Garrett Fee Only

Post by StealthRabbit » Tue Sep 24, 2019 1:51 pm

I think you will get more 'relevant' information dealing with someone pursuing YOUR goals / life plan.

Even a FIRE blog might be better.

There is software to create your income and investment strategy (and good idea to use it, as stuff will change, so YOU can adapt.
Generally, I find paid planners (fee or commission) to be way off on their perceptions of what you are asking (gap yr / FIRE / different lifestyle than a 9-5)

They do not seem to be a very 'creative' bunch. Probably a good thing in their primary deliverable for the 9-5rs

Itemize and plan out your accounts and income requirements.
Sort out your fears / needs and give this or another forum a try.

As mentioned from previous posters... Sounds like you need 3-5 hrs of EXPERT advice / guidance. Then set the investments to 'Auto-pilot' and spend your time planning your RT-USA.
BTDT ($60k / yr USA travel (mostly fuel))+ did a RTW in 2016 ~$40k (mostly transportation / campervans) (election year is good time to be away from USA).

RTW We bought a one-way ticket to OZ and figured it out from there. Learning... use 'hubs' when on LT international travel. (with rail access to desired destinations / or buy a local vehicle)

In USA we have 3 primary modes.
50mpg station wagon
20 mpg small MH
Fly Drive (most frequent and use a SWA companion pass) 140 free ($5.60) flights last yr.
Been using this service for 30+ yrs... free to $20 / night lodging world wide. (often 200 nights / yr)
https://wikitravel.org/en/Hospitality_exchange

FIRE since age 49 (single (low-wage) earner family

Topic Author
captaindorky
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Re: Garrett Fee Only

Post by captaindorky » Sun Sep 29, 2019 7:21 pm

Thanks again for all the responses.

PlanVision sounds very interesting. Given the fact I am looking at over 2K versus $89, I feel like giving PlanVision a shot. We just want an overview of what we have, what we plan on doing with our futures and putting a strategy together for draw down when we step away from our careers.

CD

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prudent
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Re: Garrett Fee Only

Post by prudent » Mon Sep 30, 2019 6:10 am

If $2200 will give you peace of mind that you haven't missed anything and you are on solid ground with your plans, it's worth it. Your original post said you are looking for reassurance, so to me that makes sense.

If the planner's results match yours, don't think "I just wasted $2200." You should think "That's cool, I'm just as smart as a professional" and feel good that your plans were solid.

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tsturbo
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Re: Garrett Fee Only

Post by tsturbo » Mon Sep 30, 2019 11:05 pm

We used a Garrett fee only advisor to get a 2nd set of eyes on our plan, their recommendations and withdrawal plan road map. He was very conservative and tested our plan under multiple good and bad scenarios and for the roughly $1,000 ($150 hour x about 7 hours) spent provided the peace of mind we needed and wanted to ensure we could retire now and have enough to fund our retirement till age 97 for me and 100 for my spouse at the level of wishful spending to achieve our bucket list of world wide travels!

Another family member who I trust has used this advisor before and he came highly recommended, we got a break on the per hour charge, normally 180 per hour which we got for 150 (family referral discount)! I highly recommend an advisor you pay by the hour and who sells No Products, so they are not motivated to sell high commission products. He was also aware of the Bogleheads and aligned to the philosophy!

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