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 )