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How To Find A Good Financial Planner

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Financial Planners

(credit: Napfa.org)

420x316-grad-lee Dee Lee
Dee Lee is a Certified Financial Planner who received a diploma in...
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BOSTON (CBS) – Q: Is there any source of financial aid for private high schools? Our daughter, who is in 8th grade in a public school, was recruited and offered a generous scholarship to a private school. The tuition is close $50,000 and that doesn’t include the new computer, clothes and other things she will need. The school offered us close to $40,000 in financial aid. Are there are any other sources out there for financial aid for high school?

A: Not much aid out there for high school. I did find a couple of scholarships offered for high schools, but the best aid for private high schools is the school itself. That price tag for the school sounds expensive. Phillips Andover Academy up in Andover will cost around $42,000 this year for a boarding student. In my opinion, that is by far the best private high school in New England.

My best advice. Do not go into debt for high school. You’ll do that soon enough for college. If she is an exceptional student in the public high school she will be eligible for lots of aid for college. And I think kids that apply themselves can get a good education in the public school system.

Q: How can I find a financial planner I can trust? Are you available?

A: I’m not available. Thanks for your confidence. All I do is educational work, teaching people about financial planning through my writing and seminars. I can also then be very objective when I answer questions for listeners. There is never a hidden agenda.

So how do you find a planner? 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 and 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.  I have a bias here. You should look for a planner who is a Certified Financial Planner. That will not guarantee you the best planner but it levels the playing field. To get the CFP designation you need to be fluent in five areas of financial planning and follow a code of ethics.

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

Financial Planning Association (FPA)
PO Box 76
Westborough, MA 01581
855-54-FPAMA
Membership: 28,000

National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA)
3250 North Arlington Heights Road,
Suite 109
Arlington Heights, IL 60004
800-366-2732
NAPFA has a membership of fee-only planners. Membership: 1,100+

Garrett Planning Network
12700 Johnson Drive
Shawnee, KS 66216
866-260-8400
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.

Contact them and see if you can find someone that fits your criteria.

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You can hear Dee Lee’s expert financial advice on WBZ NewsRadio 1030 each weekday at 1:55 p.m., 3:55 p.m., and 7:55 p.m.

Subscribe to Dee’s Money Matters newsletter here.

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