BOSTON (CBS) – Q:  Should I take out a reverse mortgage?

A:  It depends on how old you are. How healthy you are. How large of a mortgage you are carrying. What you want to do with the money. Every situation is unique because of these factors.

I don’t like reverse mortgages. You are putting often times your larges asset at risk. I think that there could be better alternatives to a housing problem. If you do take out such a mortgage and are coupled, be sure both spouses’ names are on the documents. If not and there is a death, the survivor if not named on the mortgage could be forced to sell and move.

Q:  How can I find a financial planner I can trust? My portfolio tanked the last couple of weeks.

A:  Well if it’s any consolation, most portfolios tanked the last couple of weeks. Mine included in that.

Start by asking people you know if they have a planner. Ask your advisors, such as your tax preparer or attorney. Family. Friends. You want to find a planner who works with people similar to you. Your Dad’s planner who specializes in college professors knows and understands 403 (b) plans and college pensions may not be a good fit for you.

If you are an engineer working for a start-up company with a 401(k) and stock options to worry about you will need someone else to guide you.  You want to look for a planner who is a Certified Financial Planner. That will not guarantee you best planner but it levels the playing field. To get your CFP designation you need to be fluent in 5 areas of financial planning and follow a code of ethics.

There are several organizations that planners belong to that you can contact for a recommendation.

The FPA, Financial Planning Association, NAPFA, National Association for Financial Advisors, Garrett Planning Network.

Contact them and see if you can find someone that fits your criteria. I will list them on our website here at WBZ radio.

To find a planner to help contact:

Financial Planning Association (FPA)
Suite 400
4100 E. Mississippi Ave.
Denver, Colorado
Membership: 28,000

National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA)
3250 North Arlington Heights Road,
Suite 109
Arlington Heights, IL 60004
(NAPFA has a membership of fee-only planners. Membership: 1,100+)

Garrett Planning Network
12700 Johnson Drive
Shawnee, KS 66216

A network of fee-only financial planners willing to work with consumers on an hourly, as needed basis. This is new organization with only a small number of planners.


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