What kind of financial advisor do we need?
June 8, 2013 5:35 PM   Subscribe

As we discuss our future together, and with other big changes afoot/underway, my boyfriend and I would like to see financial advice about some specific questions/scenarios but I'm not sure what kind of advisor we should be seeking out.

Despite our strong love for one another we're ultimately very practical people. So questions of: should we marry, should we buy a house and if so, using what combination of money and when and how much can we afford, should we merge finances in other ways, etc. all really come down largely to what's best for us financially and legally given where our lives are now and where we anticipate they might be headed. We'd like to meet with someone and say, basically, "Here's all our financial info and here are the things we'd like to do, run some scenarios and give us some numbers to look at." Is the person we're looking for a CPA or a financial planner or advisor or some other kind?

And if someone has a strong recommendation for that kind of person in the Bay area, on the peninsula, I'd love to get that too.
posted by marylynn to Work & Money (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Anyone with a CFP (Certified Financial Planner) designation should be able to help you. There is a location search function on the website.
posted by triggerfinger at 6:48 PM on June 8, 2013

Not a direct answer but for the "should we marry" part: you might consider talking with a marriage counselor and/or your religious advisor (if applicable) instead of or in addition to a financial advisor.
posted by moonlit walk on the sun at 7:00 PM on June 8, 2013

Best answer: The standard advice is also to look for a fee-only financial advisor, i.e. someone who is paid a flat fee, by you, not someone who gets their income from commissions on investments, which creates a conflict of interests.

We went to a financial planner (a CFP, as triggerfinger advises) and asked her about basic investing, and the possibility of early retirement for my husband. She projected our retirement income for three scenarios (him retiring at 40, 50 or 60, IIRC), so that sounds like exactly the sort of service you're looking for.
posted by BrashTech at 6:52 AM on June 9, 2013

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