Email question: How do I find a financial planner?

Written by
Peter Dunn

Hi Pete,

What is the best way to find a financial planner? I am retired, receive a monthly pension, and have just over $200,000 in TSP (government 401K). Also have (I know - not smart) over $150,000 in bank savings accounts.



Hi Betty, I answered your question on The Pete the Planner Radio Show this week on 93 WIBC. Listen below to hear my answer.

Man, such a simple question, but unfortunately there is no simple answer here.

I've said it before, the financial planning industry is weird. As a consumer, it would makes sense if you thought, I'll just go to one of the big financial planning companies and I'll get a good advisor there. But the thing is you can't count on that. Marketing and advertising make you believe these big companies have the best financial planners in the industry, but the reality is more complicated. There is nothing more subjective than financial advice. Betty, you have your own set of beliefs about money and so does every financial planner out there. What you need to do is find a financial advisor who is willing to work with you and your low risk tolerance.

In order to find a financial planner who will work with you, you'll have to do some digging. And the best way to dig for information is to interview a potential planner. Take the time to interview 3-5 financial planners and ask them very specific questions about your situation. Are they willing to let you keep your $150k in savings? If not, what would they like you to do with it? If you don't like their answer, move on.

As for where to find advisors, your best bet is asking friends and family if they have any recommendations. Beyond friends and family you can go the Certified Financial Planner Board and search there, but I'm of the opinion a license doesn't necessarily mean you are a good financial planner.

Like I said, there really is no easy answer, but I wish you the best of luck on your search!

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