Most financial planning projects include two meetings after we receive materials back – a working session and a recommendations meeting. In the working session, we’ve reviewed your situation and have preliminary reports to share with you along with questions to confirm data points and fine tune priorities. In the recommendations meeting, we have your financial plan ready for you with all the supporting reports and your written action list. Clarification questions as you’re implementing your action list are included for up to a year at no additional charge.
Flat fee quotes for projects are calculated based on a $200 per hour rate for engagements led by a Financial Planner or $250 per hour for engagements led by the Firm Principal. A $500 deposit and signed agreement are needed to start the engagement. The remainder is due in the recommendations meeting. We accept payment by check or credit card.
Following are some sample initial engagements.
Retirement Planning & Investment Analysis: $1,000 – $3,500
This is our most popular engagement. We look at all of your retirement savings, potential sources of income, and your desired retirement lifestyle and work with you to tailor a plan that works for you. It includes multiple “what-if” scenarios, analysis of your current investments, and retirement savings needs including tax-efficiency considerations. For these in or near retirement, we also analyze social security filing strategies and distribution plans to start drawing from your savings. In addition, we provide specific asset allocation and investment recommendations including your IRAs, employer retirement plans, and taxable accounts.
Basic Financial Plan: $1,600 – $5,000
A Basic Financial Plan takes the Retirement Planning & Investment Analysis and builds on it by adding a review of insurance, employee benefits, estate planning, college planning, cash flow, and tax planning issues as relevant to your situation. It’s the recommended approach for getting the overall financial health check and avoiding mistakes from what you don’t know.
College Planning: $500 and up
This project includes review of college costs at desired institutions including projected inflation, projections on savings amounts needed to fund college, recommendations on tax-advantaged savings methods, tax credits, financial aid and loan options available to you, investment recommendations for ear-marked college savings funds, and, for children in college, recommendations on funding order. Included in the Basic Financial Plan.
Investment Analysis: $600 and up
Investment analysis is a detailed look at your portfolio including your current asset allocation, fund expenses, and performance, followed by specific recommendations for asset allocation and fund holdings designed to improve your long-term investment performance and reduce costs. We consider the tax cost of any recommendation compared to the expected benefits prior to recommending a change. It includes review of options in your employer retirement plans as well as asset location for tax efficiency. Included in the Basic Financial Plan.
Insurance Analysis (life, disability, and long term care): $400 and up
This engagement can be as simple as reviewing a single current policy to let you know its strengths and weaknesses, followed by a recommendation on how much insurance you need and the most advantageous type of insurance for your situation. On the opposite end of the spectrum, it can be as complex as reviewing multiple cash value variable life policies and considering how best to optimize them within your financial plan considering insurance needs, investment returns, and tax consequences of surrender. Included in the Basic Financial Plan.
After the initial project …
Ongoing updates are important to the success of your financial plan. At least once a year, you need to review your portfolio, rebalance, update your plan based on any life changes, and revise projections based on actual savings and investment performance. We enjoy helping you with this review, and this service is available to you after you’ve completed one of the initial projects listed above. Because we don’t have to re-create your entire plan, the time needed is usually about half the time needed for your initial engagement. It can be more or less depending on how much or how little has changed and what we’re going to cover.
The process starts with a phone call to go over your action list from last year, discuss changes in your situation, and receive a flat fee quote for the review. If we decide during the call that a formal review isn’t necessary, the fee for just the call is equal to 30 minutes planning time ($100 – $125 depending on advisor). If we proceed with the review, the phone call fee is included with your fee quote.