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Oct 3 2011 12:00AM


What is the average fee for a financial plan?


“While I do not have actual data on average fees, I can offer the following generalities: Fees vary widely, and will normally depend upon how comprehensive a plan is sought by the client, and how complex his situation is, as well as the geographic area associated with the engagement,” said FPA member John Girlando, CFP®.

“For a comprehensive written plan covering spending, saving, investments, risk management, retirement and estate planning, I would expect the fees to run between $1,500 and $3,000. However, those fees would decrease if not all of those elements are needed in the plan. If your situation is particularly complex, the fee may be more.

“Most fee-only advisors will generally charge an hourly rate, or a project-based fee, to which the client will agree in advance of any work performed. Some advisors who derive income from product sales or asset management will reduce or eliminate the planning fee in return for your commitment to have them manage your funds or purchase product from them.

“You should choose two or three advisors to interview, based upon recommendations from people who have similar situations to yours. Most planners will meet with you at no charge for 30 minutes so that you both may ascertain the potential for a well-fitting client-planner relationship.”

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