A One-Time Financial Checkup
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.
Try the Garrett Planning Network , 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.
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).