Q. I would like to know if there are financial adviser services knowledgeable in federal retirements that can review a person’s current situation on a one-time basis and make recommendations. What would be a ballpark price range for this type of service and do you think this type of review is worth the effort? Basically, I have been doing most of my own financial planning and I am about 10 years from retirement and would just like an expert to do a one-time review.
A. There are financial planners who specialize in federal retirement planning (I’m one), but finding them is not easy. There are a couple of listing services, but I won’t endorse or advertise them since they don’t appear to be anything more than paid advertising services with little, if any, quality control. One of the biggest problems with the financial planning industry is that any salesperson can call themselves a planner or adviser and most do. You’ll have to carefully interview planners to find one who is qualified. A one-time review, if properly done, can be useful to find weaknesses in your current assumptions, but it won’t do anything to ensure good results in the end. It can determine that you are off course, and help you correct your course toward your destination, but like any long journey, you must regularly re-check your position and recalculate along the way if you want to give yourself the highest chance of reaching your goals.
The cost for financial planning services varies widely and, in my opinion, is usually too high. You can visit www.variplan.com for information about my service, including pricing (on request, through the site).