Inlaw Suddenly Wants Financial Security in 60's..

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SeeMoe
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Inlaw Suddenly Wants Financial Security in 60's..

Postby SeeMoe » Mon Mar 20, 2017 8:45 pm

She has a few hundred thousand in IRA's/403 , husband passed on, and about $75k sitting in a Money Market account. Still works, but is ready to retire at 69 due to physical issues and wants to invest the $75k now, and the DCP's later. An employee at work advised her to visit a CFP for a $600 dollar counseling fee. The CFP intimated he could get her up to 9% annually on her $75k and he evidently also sells investment products! I advised her to stay away from this evident shyster like the plague and directed her to Vanguard products such as the Target Retirement funds, as well as two other firms, and explained how to contact a Vanguard Rep. or, at most, visit a fee only advisor who does not peddle investments. This college educated woman said it , Vanguard, looked good to her and she would follow up, but does not want to make investment decisions.
A few days later she , reluctantly, said she did not call Vanguard and the employee at work was silient when she mentioned Vanguard and mutual funds. She does not want the responsibility/aggravation of managing her money, so she is going with the CFP who reassured her that he will draw up a plan and take care of her money!
Moral: Some folks prefer to trust strangers with their hard earned money, it appears. I am dumbfounded and sad for her, but feel that I must let it go...

SeeMe.. :shock:
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Taylor Larimore
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Re: Inlaw Suddenly Wants Financial Security in 60's..

Postby Taylor Larimore » Mon Mar 20, 2017 8:56 pm

The CFP intimated he could get her up to 9% annually on her $75k

SeeMoe:

A claim like that is a red-flag. No one can accurately forecast future returns.

I suggest you send your in-law Mr. Bogle's "Little Book of Common Sense investing."

https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_c ... +investing

Best wishes.
Taylor
"Simplicity is the master key to financial success." -- Jack Bogle

YoungJediInvestor
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Re: Inlaw Suddenly Wants Financial Security in 60's..

Postby YoungJediInvestor » Mon Mar 20, 2017 9:03 pm

I'm going through the same thing, but my parents in their 60's and my dad who found "a really nice guy" at Edward Jones.

Sometimes you can just lay out everything and let them make their own choices. It usually always ends up in an argument for me.

EHEngineer
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Re: Inlaw Suddenly Wants Financial Security in 60's..

Postby EHEngineer » Mon Mar 20, 2017 9:08 pm

SeeMoe wrote:She has a few hundred thousand in IRA's/403 , husband passed on, and about $75k sitting in a Money Market account. Still works, but is ready to retire at 69 due to physical issues and wants to invest the $75k now, and the DCP's later. An employee at work advised her to visit a CFP for a $600 dollar counseling fee. The CFP intimated he could get her up to 9% annually on her $75k and he evidently also sells investment products! I advised her to stay away from this evident shyster like the plague and directed her to Vanguard products such as the Target Retirement funds, as well as two other firms, and explained how to contact a Vanguard Rep. or, at most, visit a fee only advisor who does not peddle investments. This college educated woman said it , Vanguard, looked good to her and she would follow up, but does not want to make investment decisions.
A few days later she , reluctantly, said she did not call Vanguard and the employee at work was silient when she mentioned Vanguard and mutual funds. She does not want the responsibility/aggravation of managing her money, so she is going with the CFP who reassured her that he will draw up a plan and take care of her money!
Moral: Some folks prefer to trust strangers with their hard earned money, it appears. I am dumbfounded and sad for her, but feel that I must let it go...

SeeMe.. :shock:


This is the curse of bogleheads. We think everyone can DIY because those who arrive at bogleheads.org have some aptitude for searching the internet, and intellectual curiosity. But many can't, or won't, learn to invest. I don't think you should be pushy, but you should be non-judgemental and leave the door open if she later needs help.

You have done almost as much as you can. The next thing you could say is:
"Hey, if I were you, I would interview at least 4 advisors before picking one to work with. Here are a few others you could try (and give here a list of fee-only, index recommending advisors.) I'm interested to hear how it goes. Let me know if there is any way I can help."
Or, you can ... decline to let me, a stranger on the Internet, egg you on to an exercise in time-wasting, and you could say "I'm probably OK and I don't care about it that much." -Nisiprius

bonniecrocker
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Re: Inlaw Suddenly Wants Financial Security in 60's..

Postby bonniecrocker » Mon Mar 20, 2017 9:46 pm

I perfectly understand why she did what she did. You gave verbal instructions to someone who said they didn't want to make any decisions. The other alternative was to give it to the "expert" who, of course, must know what he is doing, right? :oops: It doesn't surprise me one bit that she made that decision. Your way required too much of her even if it was just making a phone call vs. a person/expert who would actually physically do it for her.

When someone doesn't have a clue on what to do and needs to make decisions on something as important as money, it is quite natural to seek out an expert and say here, do it! College educated or not, finances are not something most people learn along the way unless they have some keen interest in it or some catalyst occurs like an inheritance or hmmmm...I'm 55, maybe I should start thinking about retirement savings.


I would personally sit at the computer WITH her and navigate to the Vanguard site to show her exactly how to do it and answer any and all questions while she is right there. I would also have the Vanguard # handy if she wanted to call herself but you would be there to encourage her and answer questions or give suggestions on what to ask. Yes, it requires a bit of coddling but so what? We all need to be coddled sometimes. :)

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nedsaid
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Re: Inlaw Suddenly Wants Financial Security in 60's..

Postby nedsaid » Tue Mar 21, 2017 9:11 am

The only place where I give much financial advice is here on this forum where at least there is a willing audience. I can't tell you how many times I have gotten the "deer in the headlights" look from people when I have attempted to give investing advice. People are sometimes paralyzed with fear and indecision. Others are just not interested. Others just react emotionally when faced with a financial decision and do silly things. Others are just overwhelmed. Bogleheads really are a pretty select group.

I have pretty much adopted a "mind your own business" policy. If someone wants my advice, I will give it to them making it clear that I don't want responsibility for their finances. Sometimes ignorance really is bliss, I try not to get too involved in others finances. Fortunately my immediate family members have managed their affairs pretty well.
A fool and his money are good for business.

Jack FFR1846
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Re: Inlaw Suddenly Wants Financial Security in 60's..

Postby Jack FFR1846 » Tue Mar 21, 2017 9:37 am

"up to 9%" means that it would never be more than 9%. -20% fits this. I can say "up to a million percent" and it means the same thing.

Some people need "a guy", even when that guy steals their money.
Bogle: Smart Beta is stupid

Nyc10036
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Re: Inlaw Suddenly Wants Financial Security in 60's..

Postby Nyc10036 » Tue Mar 21, 2017 9:40 am

Maybe I am wrong, unlike a CFP with the fancy paperwork proclaiming their expertise, Bogleheads only have their sizeable assets to show that they too know something about investing. What is a Boglehead to do? Pull out his/her Vanguard statements? :P

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House Blend
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Re: Inlaw Suddenly Wants Financial Security in 60's..

Postby House Blend » Tue Mar 21, 2017 10:26 am

SeeMoe wrote:Moral: Some folks prefer to trust strangers with their hard earned money, it appears. I am dumbfounded and sad for her, but feel that I must let it go...

"Forget it, Jake. It's Chinatown."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9cWnubJ9CEw

jjface
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Re: Inlaw Suddenly Wants Financial Security in 60's..

Postby jjface » Tue Mar 21, 2017 10:38 am

Some people just do not want to take responsibility and don't want to make any mistakes. Yet that is the biggest mistake of them all.

If everyone who did not know what they were doing and did not want to manage their own money simply put it in a target retirement fund and left it alone until they needed the money -- well the world would be a better place.

Nothing you can do about it though. Humans will be human.

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Re: Inlaw Suddenly Wants Financial Security in 60's..

Postby barnaclebob » Tue Mar 21, 2017 10:42 am

I think if you talk with someone who has already talked to a salesman the best thing to do is say things like. "I bet he made you feel really comfortable, was a really nice person, told you that you were making the right decision etc... Did he ONLY want to charge you 1% a year, that sounds really small... But did you know that 1% a year will reduce the amount of money you have by 15% (or whatever the appropriate number is). If you don't want to manage your money then you can pick a single fund which will take care of everything (Target retirement or balanced funds)"

Normal people invest or pick advisors based on emotion only. They want to feel safe, important, or good about their choices in some way and hitting the submit button on the vanguard website doesn't do that for most. If someone doesn't genuinely ask you to sit down with them or to point you to some good resources then your advice has gone nowhere. Some people also just don't want to take on any responsibility no matter if it will cost them dearly. They would rather live in ignorance, let them.

I've been helping my in laws feel comfortable with retirement (at their request) so I was showing them Firecalc. They are already skeptical of financial planners but just to drive the point home I kept ratcheting up the conservatism in the estimates until they had like a 90% chance of success. Then I said, now if you were to ever think about going to Edward Jones or another place like it they will charge you at least 1% a year if not more by putting you into expensive funds. When I plugged 1% in, their success rate went to the low 70's and they were very surprised that it was such a drastic change.

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Re: Inlaw Suddenly Wants Financial Security in 60's..

Postby The Wizard » Tue Mar 21, 2017 11:45 am

barnaclebob wrote:I think if you talk with someone who has already talked to a salesman the best thing to do is say things like. "I bet he made you feel really comfortable, was a really nice person, told you that you were making the right decision etc... Did he ONLY want to charge you 1% a year, that sounds really small... But did you know that 1% a year will reduce the amount of money you have by 15% (or whatever the appropriate number is). If you don't want to manage your money then you can pick a single fund which will take care of everything (Target retirement or balanced funds)"...
.

Sadly, this sort of explanation tends to make their eyes glaze over...
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CAsage
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Re: Inlaw Suddenly Wants Financial Security in 60's..

Postby CAsage » Tue Mar 21, 2017 11:53 am

Perhaps Inlaw could drop by a Fidelity office, where at least she would meet a real person who could then steer her to nice, cheap, index funds, and maybe fill out the forms for her. If a short observation that 1~2% fees will take 20% of her money over the next years doesn't sink in, nothing will.

I have never understood this total abdication of responsibility for one's financial future - it's like saying you don't want to deal with air. Or food. Or ever choose your own clothes.... day after day... The long term hit for high expenses will keep many people on worse budgets than needed.

Bogleheads - God bless you every one!

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Re: Inlaw Suddenly Wants Financial Security in 60's..

Postby dodecahedron » Tue Mar 21, 2017 12:09 pm

CAsage wrote:Perhaps Inlaw could drop by a Fidelity office, where at least she would meet a real person who could then steer her to nice, cheap, index funds, and maybe fill out the forms for her. If a short observation that 1~2% fees will take 20% of her money over the next years doesn't sink in, nothing will.


I wouldn't have confidence that a "real person" at the Fidelity office would steer her to "nice, cheap, index funds." Fidelity has plenty of high priced funds and it is hardly in their corporate interest to avoid promoting them. Also, sure they would "maybe fill out the forms for her," but she could easily wind up paying over 1% in fees to Fidelity if she lets their employee fill out the forms, possibly putting her into a managed account with an AUM fee as well as fees on underlying investments.

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Re: Inlaw Suddenly Wants Financial Security in 60's..

Postby fantasytensai » Tue Mar 21, 2017 12:14 pm

I tell this to my parents, half-jokingly, that if they invest their retirement funds with low cost index funds, and the market crashes and they need to stay with us for a few years, I would welcome them 100%. However, if they want to invest their funds with a fancy suit at Edward Jones, if they run out of money they should check with Mr. Fancypants if they can stay with him, because my doors will be closed.

May be a little cold but I'm ok with it. FWIW they are following my advice :P

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Re: Inlaw Suddenly Wants Financial Security in 60's..

Postby The Wizard » Tue Mar 21, 2017 12:18 pm

There are too many issues for a newbie to assimilate to be reasonably successful at do it yourself investing, assuming they presently have an Edward Jones kinda guy handling their investments.

I think the only viable exit path is if the person him/herself shows the motivation to learn more and ask questions about investing.
If they get pushed into DIY investing, you may have an untrained, inexperienced driver at the controls.
Then what happens when the market has a 20% decline?
That's right, they sell out and go to cash.
Your urging them to escape from EJ (or similar) has quite possibly made their finances worse...
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Re: Inlaw Suddenly Wants Financial Security in 60's..

Postby Peter Foley » Tue Mar 21, 2017 12:20 pm

To be a bit contrarian, there are people who should use an adviser. Perhaps not a lot, but there are some people who just cannot handle the emotional aspect of investing.

In this particular case, I would recommend that the individual visit a local Charles Schwab office and express up front that they want to invest in low cost index funds or ETF's. However, if you can't get her to even call Vanguard, I'm not sure an in person visit is the answer.

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Re: Inlaw Suddenly Wants Financial Security in 60's..

Postby CAsage » Tue Mar 21, 2017 12:34 pm

Good point, one cannot assume. The only way would be for Inlaw to be given an index card with directions, not more than one sentence, to invest strictly in the Target Retirement fund Index version (because I seem to recall Fidelity has two Target families, one cheap like me, one not).

I'm afraid helping people is often completely futile.

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Re: Inlaw Suddenly Wants Financial Security in 60's..

Postby orca91 » Tue Mar 21, 2017 12:37 pm

.... "Where are the customers yachts?"... :happy

bberris
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Re: Inlaw Suddenly Wants Financial Security in 60's..

Postby bberris » Tue Mar 21, 2017 1:00 pm

barnaclebob wrote:I think if you talk with someone who has already talked to a salesman the best thing to do is say things like. "I bet he made you feel really comfortable, was a really nice person, told you that you were making the right decision etc... Did he ONLY want to charge you 1% a year, that sounds really small... But did you know that 1% a year will reduce the amount of money you have by 15% (or whatever the appropriate number is). If you don't want to manage your money then you can pick a single fund which will take care of everything (Target retirement or balanced funds)"

...


I think a better way to express this is in terms of safe withdrawal rate. If you have a SWR of 4 %, a 1 % asset fee reduces your SWR to 3 %. It's equivalent to a 25 % tax. No one likes paying taxes.

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SeeMoe
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Re: Inlaw Suddenly Wants Financial Security in 60's..

Postby SeeMoe » Tue Mar 21, 2017 1:27 pm

My wife is in touch with this woman in question quite frequently and she has been sharing the above comments with her, and just talking things over, her sudden chronic illness flaring up , the panic and realization it is time to stop working even though she loves her administrative job at a hospital very much. (She planned on working another 10 years even though she is nearly 69 now!)
So today she tells my wife that she wants to at least talk to a Vanguard Rep and explain her situation to them since there really is no hurry to commit herself to anything. She's even surfing Bogleheads, plus MarketWatch, CNN Money and asking questions about basic investing. I think the CFP she was talking to is n hold for now, until he can get her bearings. The Vanguard Target Retirement fund information " fund of funds" Email I sent her appears to be what she finds acceptable...I agree with the above posts that to much investment information ,all at once, was overwhelming her.

SeeMoe.. :idea:
"By gnawing through a dike, even a Rat can destroy a nation ." {Edmund Burke}

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Re: Inlaw Suddenly Wants Financial Security in 60's..

Postby littlebird » Tue Mar 21, 2017 1:39 pm

CAsage wrote: I have never understood this total abdication of responsibility for one's financial future - it's like saying you don't want to deal with air. Or food. Or ever choose your own clothes.... day after day... The long term hit for high expenses will keep many people on worse budgets than needed.


That's why you're a Boglehead. But, sadly, to most people it's like saying you don't want to do your own gall bladder surgery, or dental extraction, or write your own pre-nup.

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Re: Inlaw Suddenly Wants Financial Security in 60's..

Postby Carefreeap » Tue Mar 21, 2017 1:58 pm

CAsage wrote:Perhaps Inlaw could drop by a Fidelity office, where at least she would meet a real person who could then steer her to nice, cheap, index funds, and maybe fill out the forms for her. If a short observation that 1~2% fees will take 20% of her money over the next years doesn't sink in, nothing will.

I have never understood this total abdication of responsibility for one's financial future - it's like saying you don't want to deal with air. Or food. Or ever choose your own clothes.... day after day... The long term hit for high expenses will keep many people on worse budgets than needed.

Bogleheads - God bless you every one!


Or "You're so smart you can figure things out?"

"Uhhhhh, it really doesn't take that much..."

You'd be surprised at how many people I run into think this way. :oops:

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Re: Inlaw Suddenly Wants Financial Security in 60's..

Postby bluebolt » Tue Mar 21, 2017 2:08 pm

Years ago, I had someone who worked for me ask if I could sit down and help him with the basics of investing. He had some money saved up and most invested in individual stocks (some of which had done very well).

I sat down with him, reviewed the basics of asset allocation and told him he'd be best off with a 2 or 3 fund lazy portfolio. I recommended he not invest in individual stocks until his portfolio was much larger.

He sat there dumbfounded and said, "It can't possibly be that easy."

He proceeded to ignore my advice.

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Re: Inlaw Suddenly Wants Financial Security in 60's..

Postby bloom2708 » Tue Mar 21, 2017 2:09 pm

Maybe tell her about a simple 2 fund portfolio using Vanguard funds. Use 50-50 as the riskiest allocation she should probably consider.

Buy all the US stocks (Total US stock index) and a large number of US bonds (Total US Bond index). Give her numbers that won't confuse. But explain that all the eggs won't be in one basket. Explain that the very low fees will allow her to keep any interest from bonds and dividends from stocks.

With ~$300k in IRAs and $75k in cash, there won't be any miracles but the funds should last for a number of years if she doesn't draw out too much too fast. I would not invest the $75k. Use it to supplement her Social Security to the amount needed. 5 years x $15k of income to spend. Once she is down to $15k, then sell 2 or 3 years worth ($15k each year) of stocks/bonds to build the cash back up to a comfortable cushion.

Just using rough numbers, but I think you can get my point. Can she live off SS + $X from cash or investments?

My sister in law will spend dozens of hours planning their next family vacation but won't take 30 minutes to learn anything about investing. They are far from alone. I mention a few very high level concepts and she says "Oh that doesn't interest me...". Not much you can do.
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Re: Inlaw Suddenly Wants Financial Security in 60's..

Postby wolf359 » Tue Mar 21, 2017 3:44 pm

bloom2708 wrote:Maybe tell her about a simple 2 fund portfolio using Vanguard funds. Use 50-50 as the riskiest allocation she should probably consider.

Buy all the US stocks (Total US stock index) and a large number of US bonds (Total US Bond index). Give her numbers that won't confuse. But explain that all the eggs won't be in one basket. Explain that the very low fees will allow her to keep any interest from bonds and dividends from stocks.

With ~$300k in IRAs and $75k in cash, there won't be any miracles but the funds should last for a number of years if she doesn't draw out too much too fast. I would not invest the $75k. Use it to supplement her Social Security to the amount needed. 5 years x $15k of income to spend. Once she is down to $15k, then sell 2 or 3 years worth ($15k each year) of stocks/bonds to build the cash back up to a comfortable cushion.

Just using rough numbers, but I think you can get my point. Can she live off SS + $X from cash or investments?

My sister in law will spend dozens of hours planning their next family vacation but won't take 30 minutes to learn anything about investing. They are far from alone. I mention a few very high level concepts and she says "Oh that doesn't interest me...". Not much you can do.


Target date funds are an even simpler approach. Easy to figure out which one to pick, rebalancing is automatic, and there's no visible moving parts so it appears less volatile than a straight equity fund. She still needs to be ready for it to move up and down, but it will be much easier to take for a novice.

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Re: Inlaw Suddenly Wants Financial Security in 60's..

Postby barnaclebob » Tue Mar 21, 2017 3:57 pm

Don't expect a call to vanguard to make anyone feel good. I don't get the impression that they take care of anyone's emotional needs but just set you up with a basic but great portfolio.

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Re: Inlaw Suddenly Wants Financial Security in 60's..

Postby Vanguard Fan 1367 » Tue Mar 21, 2017 6:59 pm

It took some hours but reading John Bogle's "The John Bogle Reader" convinced me of the magic of index investing. I wonder if your in-law would consider reading that.

My mother in law spent the 22 bucks to download it to her Kindle but hasn't been able to get into it. She is doing the Boglehead thing at T Rowe Price which means she is paying a bit more for the funds but no advisor fees and TRP fees aren't ridiculously high for their mutual funds.

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Re: Inlaw Suddenly Wants Financial Security in 60's..

Postby skibbi9 » Tue Mar 28, 2017 10:35 am

I figured the 9% was just something like setting up a SPIA and have it include the draw down... except in checking the market 5-6% is what a 65 y.o. would likely get... so I don't know whats juicing the other 50%

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Re: Inlaw Suddenly Wants Financial Security in 60's..

Postby junior » Tue Mar 28, 2017 12:28 pm

I think a lot of people in their 60s who don't know a lot about investments want to speak to someone in person, which makes it hard to find the right advisor for them. Not sure a phone call with Vanguard is going to cut it...

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Re: Inlaw Suddenly Wants Financial Security in 60's..

Postby Vanguard Fan 1367 » Tue Mar 28, 2017 1:08 pm

junior wrote:I think a lot of people in their 60s who don't know a lot about investments want to speak to someone in person, which makes it hard to find the right advisor for them. Not sure a phone call with Vanguard is going to cut it...


Unfortunately the advice I heard years ago, that you "need" a financial advisor is pretty popular.

The Boglehead advice that you definitely don't want a financial advisor is a bit different although becoming more popular.

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Re: Inlaw Suddenly Wants Financial Security in 60's..

Postby The Wizard » Tue Mar 28, 2017 1:34 pm

Vanguard Fan 1367 wrote:
junior wrote:I think a lot of people in their 60s who don't know a lot about investments want to speak to someone in person, which makes it hard to find the right advisor for them. Not sure a phone call with Vanguard is going to cut it...


Unfortunately the advice I heard years ago, that you "need" a financial advisor is pretty popular...

Yes, finances and investing are rather complicated.
It's good to have someone who can navigate the shark infested waters for you...
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