Fee-based financial advisor for retirement planning

I need help figuring out if I am financially secure enough to retire soon. I will have income from a pension, social security and some savings. But I am not sure how to estimate how long this will last. In addition, I am getting a larger inheritance from my parents in Germany. I believe, there are no taxes due on this, but I would also like to discuss any potential tax effects and help with investing the money from the inheritance.

I would like to work with a fee-based financial advisor. I am not sure if one professional would have the expertise for all these questions, or if I need to work with multiple advisors.

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What good questions! Note that you are looking for three specialties: financial planning, tax advisor, financial advisor. I've been putting this together for myself over the past year or so in preparation for retirement. I have yet to find one person or entity that does all three in-house, certainly not fee-based. That said, I've found solid solutions for each.

I recommend Sarah Behr at Simplify Financial (http://simplifyfinancial.com) for fee-based financial planning. She's in San Francisco and meets clients over Zoom during this time of pandemic. Sarah is straight-forward and thorough in her approach. Sarah helped me assess my overall financial picture in preparation for retirement and made recommendations for adjustments to my investment portfolio (self-managed, mostly in mutual funds). 

Sarah is not a tax specialist, nor would I expect any financial planner to be, although she does know a lot about taxation issues related to investments. She can refer you to a tax specialist or coordinate with your tax preparer if you are already working with one. 

As for help with investing the funds, I don't know of any financial advisors that offer fee-based service; all that I am aware of charge a percentage of assets managed. That said, you may not need to pay for this service if you are willing and able to self-manage with a little help. Consider looking into any of the major online investing platforms—Vanguard, Schwab, Fidelity, TM Ameritrade, etc. They all have automated programs where you can plug in your assets, goals, etc. and your assets will be invested accordingly. Schwab has free in-person support in their local branches.

Search online to educate yourself before talking with professionals. Good places to start are https://www.wisebread.com and https://www.forbes.com/advisor/.

Good luck in moving toward a stable retirement.

Mary Robinson is wonderful...she's an effective listener, is patient, and very thorough.  She's on the East Coast and we had several virtual meetings to get my finances in order.

202.659.7432
mrobinson32 [at] ml.com ()

Mary Robinson - Merrill Lynch Wealth Management