What, if any, advisors do I need?

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
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Topic Author
Cara
Posts: 42
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2018 2:02 pm

What, if any, advisors do I need?

Post by Cara » Wed Jul 10, 2019 5:42 pm

I'm a 57 yo woman married to a 71 yo man and thinking about retiring @ age 60. I'd get a smaller pension (work for a public school district) than if I wait to age 67, but I'm ready to go, even if it does mean I have to pick up part-time IT (or even retail) work eventually (assuming my health holds up).

I have been thinking, more and more, that I may need advisement -- not on what investments to hold, as I'm sticking with Vanguard and a 4-fund allocation (plus my 403b which I have in 3 similar funds), but on
1) whether the numbers in my "retirement feasibility" worksheet are correct;
2) whether I'm missing anything I could be saving on, on income taxes (including husband's Schedule C sole proprietor income);
3) the easiest way to put together "incapacitation and end of life" documents;
4) what I'm not thinking about that I need to be thinking about.

So I've been trying to figure out if I need a "financial advisor," a CPA, and/or a lawyer. I'd really like to get all 3 in one person. And, in terms of a "financial advisor," I'm really looking more for a financial math wiz, I think.

What kind of help should I be looking for, and is it common to need help from multiple people to accomplish these things?

I kinda lean toward "fee only" people, and I think that's limiting my search a bit too much.

Thanks

alex_686
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Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2015 2:39 pm

Re: What, if any, advisors do I need?

Post by alex_686 » Wed Jul 10, 2019 6:02 pm

A CFP should be able to answer you spreadsheet / math questions. Some will build plans for a one time fee. Expect to pay +$500. Well worth it for many.

Lawyers for estate planning / living wills, etc. CPA for the tax questions. There are people who combine 2 out of the 3.

Olemiss540
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Joined: Fri Aug 18, 2017 8:46 pm

Re: What, if any, advisors do I need?

Post by Olemiss540 » Wed Jul 10, 2019 8:05 pm

Sounds like you need a good CPA and to post relevant info here under the "asking portfolio questions" format.
I hold index funds because I do not overestimate my ability to pick stocks OR stock pickers.

Topic Author
Cara
Posts: 42
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2018 2:02 pm

Re: What, if any, advisors do I need?

Post by Cara » Wed Jul 10, 2019 8:41 pm

Sorry - didn’t think portfolio info was necessary for a question not related to my portfolio!

bloom2708
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Re: What, if any, advisors do I need?

Post by bloom2708 » Wed Jul 10, 2019 8:48 pm

Bogleheads exists to help you do it yourself for $0. Ask questions here. As many as you need.

Most don’t need a suite of advisors.
"We are not here to agree with you; we are here to provoke thoughtfulness." Unknown Boglehead

artgerst
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Re: What, if any, advisors do I need?

Post by artgerst » Wed Jul 10, 2019 9:01 pm

1) I used a fee-only CFP otherwise or you can share more info here to get input from others.
2) Harder to use this forum since you need to know the questions to ask. I use a CPA.
3) Use a lawyer for basic question/answer session and then their template forms.

alex_686
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Re: What, if any, advisors do I need?

Post by alex_686 » Wed Jul 10, 2019 9:03 pm

bloom2708 wrote:
Wed Jul 10, 2019 8:48 pm
Bogleheads exists to help you do it yourself for $0. Ask questions here. As many as you need.

Most don’t need a suite of advisors.
I will modestly disagree. Not everybody is it a DIY. It is ok to ask a objective 3rd party fot impartially advice. For a free site Bogleheads offer decent advice, but I have seen sone serious mistakes. In particular if you are going to have narrow margins.

carolinaman
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Location: North Carolina

Re: What, if any, advisors do I need?

Post by carolinaman » Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:05 am

bloom2708 wrote:
Wed Jul 10, 2019 8:48 pm
Bogleheads exists to help you do it yourself for $0. Ask questions here. As many as you need.

Most don’t need a suite of advisors.
Bogleheads does provide excellent advice but strategic use of advisers can assure that someone's retirement plan is sound. I think you need a CFP or equivalent for #1. They will likely produce a retirement plan that gives you greater assurance that your worksheet analysis is on track, and, if not, advice on how to get it on track. A CFP should be able to address #2 unless it has some complications, in which case, you would need a CPA. You need an estate attorney for #3. Yes, you can do this yourself, but it is simply too important to go cheap on it and miss things. An attorney may ask questions you have not considered and their documents are easily accepted whereas those done by you may not be. #4 is something each can address in their respective domains.

Following my recommended approach will cost you some money, but these are one time engagements that will assure that your retirement and estate plans are sound. You seem very capable of following through on these matters once you have this work done. Regardless of how smart we are, we all can easily suffer from tunnel vision and miss big things. I think using experts the way I suggested is well advised for almost everyone because these matters are too important to rely solely on your own expertise.

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Sandtrap
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Re: What, if any, advisors do I need?

Post by Sandtrap » Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:22 am

Cara wrote:
Wed Jul 10, 2019 5:42 pm
I'm a 57 yo woman married to a 71 yo man and thinking about retiring @ age 60. I'd get a smaller pension (work for a public school district) than if I wait to age 67, but I'm ready to go, even if it does mean I have to pick up part-time IT (or even retail) work eventually (assuming my health holds up).

I have been thinking, more and more, that I may need advisement -- not on what investments to hold, as I'm sticking with Vanguard and a 4-fund allocation (plus my 403b which I have in 3 similar funds), but on
1) whether the numbers in my "retirement feasibility" worksheet are correct;
2) whether I'm missing anything I could be saving on, on income taxes (including husband's Schedule C sole proprietor income);
3) the easiest way to put together "incapacitation and end of life" documents;
4) what I'm not thinking about that I need to be thinking about.

So I've been trying to figure out if I need a "financial advisor," a CPA, and/or a lawyer. I'd really like to get all 3 in one person. And, in terms of a "financial advisor," I'm really looking more for a financial math wiz, I think.

What kind of help should I be looking for, and is it common to need help from multiple people to accomplish these things?

I kinda lean toward "fee only" people, and I think that's limiting my search a bit too much.

Thanks
Suggestions in order of action:

#1-2 . . . CPA
#3 . . . (definitely) legal counsel, estate planning attorney
#4 . . . Once you have all your numbers, post a "portfolio review" here and make a numbered list of your concerns and questions.

Here is the format: (look at it and see what numbers you need to fill it out, and if you don't have those numbers right now.
The Portfolio Review format is extremely well thought out and doesn't miss much that matters.
Asking Portfolio Questions
https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewt ... =1&t=6212

IMHO: I would do the above first before consulting with a Financial Advisor. You already seem to have a broad understanding of what you want. It's possible, or not, that you would be paying a FA fee to confirm what you already know. Also, it is possible that sometimes a FA might suggest a more complex and expensive portfolio than what you have. Try a "Portfolio Review" here first. It's free. And, the advisors here exremely qualified professionals with a deep well of experience.


If you already have most of your numbers, you can try some projections on your own with these tools.
ONLINE FINANCIAL TOOLS
PORFOLIO VISUALIZERS, PROJECTIONS, AND ANALYSIS
https://www.portfoliovisualizer.com
Firecalc. Retirement. How long will your money last?
https://www.firecalc.com

I hope this helps keep things simple.
j
Wiki Bogleheads Wiki: Everything You Need to Know

Sahara
Posts: 14
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2018 6:21 pm

Re: What, if any, advisors do I need?

Post by Sahara » Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:55 am

I had some similar issues, many of which were answered by reading this forum and posting specific questions.

In my learning & planning phase I attended seminars put on by the union and retirement system. Our retirement system also offers a video conference which I found very helpful for the timing of my retirement and tax withholding on my pension. I also asked specific questions of the school district business office about health insurance coverage and premiums.

I made a spreadsheet of annual income streams and paid for a half hour with a CPA to check my understanding of where I would be regarding taxes when receiving my pension and then adding social security and RMDs. It helped assess whether I should do Roth conversions and was well worth the money.

I met with my Roth 403b representative to discuss my account. He knows I have the majority of my funds at Vanguard and he provided a good deal of information regarding all of my accounts and rolling them over to IRAs after separating from service.

Finally, I utilized a local law firm that has a deal on a legal package. I later found out that the teacher’s union offers a legal service plan for $80 per year for members and $50 for retirees. This includes a “legal security package” every year. This package includes a simple will, a power of attorney, a living will, and a health care proxy at no additional cost for the member and $100 for a spouse.

I also found it helpful to create binders for different aspects of the process.

User avatar
Sandtrap
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Location: Hawaii No Ka Oi , N. Arizona

Re: What, if any, advisors do I need?

Post by Sandtrap » Thu Jul 11, 2019 8:59 am

Here is a recent thread that is in the process of new input regarding Financial Advisors, good and not so good.
It's a good reminder to be very very careful.
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=285382&p=4636371#p4636371
Wiki Bogleheads Wiki: Everything You Need to Know

Topic Author
Cara
Posts: 42
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2018 2:02 pm

Re: What, if any, advisors do I need?

Post by Cara » Thu Jul 11, 2019 9:19 am

Thanks so much, everyone. I guess I will go through the portfolio review, after all!

User avatar
Sandtrap
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Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2016 6:32 pm
Location: Hawaii No Ka Oi , N. Arizona

Re: What, if any, advisors do I need?

Post by Sandtrap » Thu Jul 11, 2019 9:23 am

Cara wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 9:19 am
Thanks so much, everyone. I guess I will go through the portfolio review, after all!
Great!
The format can be a bit arduous but persist and it will be worth it. Be sure to include the words "Portfolio Review" in the title of the post so that the expert forum reviewers will not miss it.
j
Wiki Bogleheads Wiki: Everything You Need to Know

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Eagle33
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Re: What, if any, advisors do I need?

Post by Eagle33 » Thu Jul 11, 2019 4:10 pm

About 3 years ago I began educating myself more about personal finance in retirement. Discovered the book "How to make you your money last" by Jane Bryant Quinn, the Bogleheads wiki and forum, plus a dash of Christine Benz articles at Morningstar gave me the confidence to go without an advisor in retirement.

If after educating yourself you still have a need to pay someone, then may I suggest donating to the John C. Bogle Center for Financial Literacy to satisfy your spending itch.
Rocket science is not “rocket science” to a rocket scientist, just as personal finance is not “rocket science” to a Boglehead.

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