Women need to get the max from their money to cover longer lifespans and the occasional career hiatus.
“But I don’t have that kind of money!” you might say. These days, getting the help of a pro doesn’t have to cost much. Investing in one hour with a planner could add tens of thousands to your nest egg—and women need that boost. Start here:
Know the type. Fee-only advisers charge flat rates (expect to pay about $100–$250 an hour). Some advisers charge a rate based on a percentage of assets under management (usually 1% to 2%).
Others earn commissions by selling you insurance policies and investment products. While commission-based planners are common, expect some bias and hard sells. We recommend fee-only advisers. Check NAPFA.org for some in your area.
Hold auditions. Send candidates a questionnaire like the one in The Financial Planning Workbook for Dummies by Sheryl Garrett, founder of the Garrett Planning Network. Or use the questions as a guide if you’re chatting in person.
Reveal only as much as you feel comfortable: You don’t have to explain or justify your situation up front, Garrett says. And you don’t have to forge a life-long relationship. Basic plans and spot-checks are fine. Check ‘em out. Set up “get acquainted” meetings and ask each adviser to write up a proposal, including their fees, Garrett advises.