Dear Liz: We’re in our mid-60s and have $1.4 million in a brokerage account totally invested in stocks. Our broker maintains that we have plenty of money for retirement. Is he right?
Answer: Unless your broker is a comprehensive financial planner — which is highly unlikely, given that you’re 100% invested in stocks when you almost certainly should be taking less risk — he shouldn’t be offering advice. You need to consult a fee-only financial planner who can review your entire situation, including how much you spend, your risk tolerance, your health, your expected longevity, any upcoming purchases or lifestyle changes and any legacies you may want to leave behind. Only then can the planner give you personalized, knowledgeable advice about this crucial area of planning.
You can get referrals from the National Assn. of Personal Financial Advisors at http://www.napfa.org, the Garrett Planning Network at http://www.garrettplanningnetwork.com and the Alliance of Cambridge Advisors at http://www.acaplanners.org. Each site offers advice about how to evaluate and choose a planner.