Fee based CFP - how much to expect in cost?

marys1000September 10, 2007

I just got a call back from a CFP - I left a message, they left a message. Found them on a website. Small, 1 or 2 people, do fee based in 2 small cities.

She left a message saying "it sounds like you'd be interested in our "tune-up" which is 800.00"

That seems like a lot to me? Am I just uninformed and naive?


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That sounds about right. What are you looking to get out of a CFP? Retirement planning? Getting advice on your current portfolio? They will generally charge $150 an hour, and offer programs like this woman's "tune-up".

    Bookmark   September 10, 2007 at 7:58PM
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I'm looking for an overview of my relatively simple finances with some basic recommendations - buy a house, rent, reallocate between a small "portfolio" (not even sure if what I have can be called that) and
running retirement numbers - how am I doing, will I ever be able to, when, what do I need to do to get there.
I'm a single spinster. No insurance issues, no children to provide for.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2007 at 5:51AM
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I wonder if any of the "credit counseling" places could help you, or recommend someone. I know they are primarily focused on helping people get OUT of trouble, but...maybe?

The Chicago Tribune has a regular feature in its business section where a couple of planners disect a family's or person's financial situation and make recommendations.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2007 at 10:30AM
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If the CFP is any good - and you should be investigating their references and calling to ask what working with that CFP is like/how useful such a "tune-up" is - it could be the best $800 you have ever spent.

Could you do this kind of appraisal yourself? Sure, if you wanted to spend the time to educate yourself. I've done it, and I can barely operate a calculator. There's always a ton of websites with lots of financial calculators to help you run simulations, admittedly geared towards simple scenarios.

But realistically, if you don't know where to start and haven't got a lot of interest, then you are paying about the cost of a transmission job on a cheap car, to get a roadmap for your financial stability. What's worth more in the long run to you?

    Bookmark   September 11, 2007 at 11:48AM
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I agree that it's well worth it. The info is available to you online but you have to analyze and put it together for yourself. I went with my husband last year around this time, and met with a CFP - 4 meetings, to get a tune-up and sample retirement plan. She did a bang-up job. Now mind you, most of them are using software programs to plug in the numbers and spit out charts, etc. But the CFP went through all the results point by point, ran different scenarios at our request, and answered a whole bunch of questions. We left with a hard-bound notebook full of charts and numbers we can refer to over and over for different decisions.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2007 at 12:14PM
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It would likely be a good idea to have done some serious thinking about your income, assets, and various scenarios of whAt you're interested in before you go.

Sometimes the charge is fairly inflexible, but may well be somewhat negotiable, depending on the amount of time that you negotiate for needing.

Do you know anyone who may have been through something like this recently? Any professional persons in a related field? Some clergy have some knowledge ... or may know someone who could give some guidance.

I have no knowledge of the U.S. scene, so can make no valid suggestion as to the validity of the proposed charge.

Have you made a list of all the folks you've known since you were young, with phone and email? Including various info re their training, interests, hobbies, etc. I'll bet that such a list might well save you hundreds, during your lifetime. Maybe thousands?

If so, put the word out on that network ... you might be surprised at what info you might turn up.

They might have some guidance to offer.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   September 11, 2007 at 10:38PM
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I'm not sure how they can say the "tune-up" will be about 800.00 withouth knowing the complexity or simplicity of my situation?
I think I'd be more comfortable with an hourly rate with an estimation of time based on a consultation.
What are some examples of hourly rates out there?

    Bookmark   September 12, 2007 at 4:17PM
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Maybe something like what's in this link would be useful? It was mentioned in a Washington Post article today about how much to save for retirement.

Here is a link that might be useful: Financial planning software

    Bookmark   September 12, 2007 at 5:54PM
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Most will give you a free consultation, and around here they charge about $150 per hour.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2007 at 7:41PM
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