My husband plans to retire in about four years. We'd like to see
a financial planner for a one-time checkup to make sure we're on
the right track. How do we find someone who will do this, and how
much will it cost? --D.F.G., South Windsor, Conn.
, which has more than 300 fee-only financial advisers throughout
the country who charge by the hour. Member advisers taking on new
clients must offer one-time financial checkups as one of their
services. Most of the advisers charge $150 to $300 per hour, or
$600 to $1,500 for a one-time review.
Many members of the
also offer one-time checkups, as do some members of
, a national association of more than 2,400 fee-only financial
The scope of services can vary. Margot Dorn, a certified
financial planner in San Diego, charges $210 per hour for
retirement planning, cash-flow analysis, investment advice, and
insurance and estate-planning reviews. Basic planning, she says,
takes one to three hours; detailed retirement projections and
investment allocation can take longer.
You may also have access to advice through your 401(k) plan or
brokerage firm. Vanguard will connect you by phone to a financial
planner who will assess your progress toward your retirement goal,
discuss asset allocation and show how much you can safely spend in
retirement (the fee is $250 for clients with $50,000 to $500,000 in
investments at Vanguard).