Personal Finance 

Jumpstart Your Retirement Plan Days (Kiplinger Magazine Giveaway!)

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Retirement: Get Back To Work!For the last seven years, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine and the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) partner up and put on an event called Jumpstart Your Retirement Plan. During Jumpstart Your Retirement Plan days, you can call into 888-919-2345 and talk to a fee-only financial planner absolutely free between 9 AM and 6 PM. If you would rather do it on the web, you can just log onto the Jumpstart website and post your question there. This year the event will be held on January 13th (next Tuesday!) and again on January 30th.

Fee only financial planners are, in my humble opinion, the best kind of financial planners available because you pay for their time, often $150 to $300 an hour! Why are they the “best?” The alternative is a financial planner that often advises you for free but earns a commission on the products they sell. For example, I recently talked to a financial advisor who worked for a major investment and insurance firm who gave great advice but always recommended his firm’s products. With a fee-only planner, you are guaranteed to get the most unbiased advice because they don’t get paid based on what you buy, they are paid simply to advise. That’s not to say commissioned financial planners are automatically bad, far from it, but they are less likely to recommend the 100% best possible option (no one ever recommends Vanguard index funds because there is no commission!).

Last year, 90 NAPFA volunteers answered 4,100 calls across the two days, or about two and a half calls an hour each day. If you assume each call lasted about twenty minutes, you’re getting about a hundred bucks worth of advice absolutely free. I think that if you have a pressing retirement or financial planning related question, it’s a no brainer to call them up to ask. As much as I enjoy having you all read my site, I’m not a financial planner, I’m just a regular Joe like you, so this is a great opportunity to ask a professional for free.

Also, to sweeten the pot a little, Kiplinger’s has offered a free one-year subscription to their magazine for Blueprint readers. You can get an entry into the contest by:

  • 1 entry: Leaving a comment below,
  • 1 entry: Being an email subscriber (as always),
  • 50 entries Call in (or posting it online) and ask your question, then post your question here (and answer!)

We only have one subscription to give away and two retirement days so this contest will run until February 4th, to give callers on the January 30th date an opportunity to post their questions and get their fifty entries. Good luck and I hope we get some good questions!

(Photo: The Rocketeer)

{ 9 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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9 Responses to “Jumpstart Your Retirement Plan Days (Kiplinger Magazine Giveaway!)”

  1. Fred says:

    Thanks for the info and here’s my entry. There’s one thing I’ve struggled with for years when it comes to financial advisors: how do you know if they’re any good?

    Most people (including me) who go to a financial advisor have no method to evaluate that advisor’s past performance or capability. For a potential cost of $1000-3000 bucks for a financial plan, I would want to know whether or not I’m getting my money’s worth.

  2. Thankful says:

    Thanks for the chance! I look forward to seeing all the questions posted.

  3. thomas says:

    Commission based services suck. I don’t have anything good to say about them.

  4. Eric N. says:

    I’ll have to remember to check in. Thanks for the heads up!

  5. Robb says:

    I’ve had to recently research my girlfriend’s 403b annuity. If anyone wants good info on 403b I would suggest I obviously did the math for her and the fees on the variable annuity offered through her school are terrible. Working on getting her out of it.

    I thought I’d at least post something useful instead of shamelessly posting just to enter the content.

  6. MoneyNing says:

    Kipling is always great (Yes for some reason I always spell Kiplinger this way) and hopefully I’m still eligible!

    (and unlike Robb up there, I’m just commenting to enter for a chance to win :D)

  7. zach says:

    i wanted to get on top of my finances and get things organized so i went to a financial planner in a major brokerage firm in november. since then, i’ve transferred all of my IRA’s to that brokerage account. he explained everything simply to me and i thought i fully understood what i was getting into, making an intelligent, well informed decision. but now i realize that the “A” shares that he recommended were probably only recommended because he got the most out of me buying them, and that every time i contribute to my account he gets a piece of it.

    i have no problem with this, but i wish i had known. once my one year contract with this firm ends late this year, i will go on my own and hire an outside planner like you recommended, maybe two or three times a year, for an hour to get my things in order. i’d rather get unbiased advice from someone who doesn’t stand to gain from my decisions.

    i really appreciate this information.

  8. Eric N. says:

    ^sorry to hear that zach! unfortunately many people fall into the hands of unscrupulous planners like you did. i hope you have better luck finding the next one…remember fee-only!

  9. Nathan says:

    Kiplinger’s is a wonderful resource. I usually access the webpage.

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