A One-Time Financial Checkup

Ask Kim

A One-Time Financial Checkup

Most advisers in the Garrett Planning Network charge $150 to $300 per hour, or $600 to $1,500 for a one-time financial review.

My husband plans to retire in about four years. We’d like to see a financial planner for a one-time checkup to make sure we’re on the right track. How do we find someone who will do this, and how much will it cost? --D.F.G., South Windsor, Conn.

See Also: Do You Need a Financial Planner?

Try the Garrett Planning Network, which has more than 300 fee-only financial advisers throughout the country who charge by the hour. Member advisers taking on new clients must offer one-time financial checkups as one of their services. Most of the advisers charge $150 to $300 per hour, or $600 to $1,500 for a one-time review.

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Many members of the Alliance of Cambridge Advisors also offer one-time checkups, as do some members of NAPFA, a national association of more than 2,400 fee-only financial advisers.


The scope of services can vary. Margot Dorn, a certified financial planner in San Diego, charges $210 per hour for retirement planning, cash-flow analysis, investment advice, and insurance and estate-planning reviews. Basic planning, she says, takes one to three hours; detailed retirement projections and investment allocation can take longer.

You may also have access to advice through your 401(k) plan or brokerage firm. Vanguard will connect you by phone to a financial planner who will assess your progress toward your retirement goal, discuss asset allocation and show how much you can safely spend in retirement (the fee is $250 for clients with $50,000 to $500,000 in investments at Vanguard).

Got a question? Ask Kim at askkim@kiplinger.com.