Current Financial Planning Consulting Rates: $50 per Hour
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|Both consumers and financial advisors can get just about any kind of financial planning work done. But not investment advice.
We're also available as an Expert Witness, and we can audit your existing, or proposed, financial plan so you can get a second opinion before making life-changing decisions.
For consumers, the biggest item of interest is getting a financial plan created that forecasts one's financial future using the RWR retirement software That usually takes about one hour of billable time.
You can download a free sample comprehensive financial plan to see examples of what you'd get. The page that explains the sample plan is here.
Whom work is done for, and what's done for them is 100% confidential - nobody will ever know but us. Your information will not be sold, put on any lists, nor will any of the usual corporate shenanigans ever happen. So nobody else is ever going to call, mail, e-mail or anything about anything ever.
The best compromise between doing all of the work yourself and having us do it all, is to just have us do the proposed / recommendations part. You'd do all of the work inputting and generating the current / old version, then we'll take it over from there, just making the new version with recommendations.
You'd still have to implement your plans though. This is one reason why it's about one third of the price of hiring a local planner - the other two thirds that a financial planner would charge is for doing all of this trading and mundane paperwork. Doing it yourself cuts our total fee down by more than half.
Summary of the Usual Sequence of Events
• Once you know, just select what work you want done. We'll go over this in detail so you'll only get what you want.
• You'll get a price estimate of how many hours it will take to do the work. Most of the time, it's less than one week turnaround time.
• Unless you only want printed reports sent in the regular post, or PDF files sent via e-mail, you'd pay a discounted price for all of the software tools needed to do the work. Then you'll have the actual software to play with, so you can input changes and all of the "What-ifs" you want to. So if you don't care about having the software, and all you want are the reports, then you don't have to pay for the software.
If you want reports using any of our software, and also the actual software delivered with your data input, then you'd pay 75% of the cost of the software. Then also on top of that, the hourly costs cost of doing the work.
The prices for the software are either the e-mail or full phone-supported prices (your choice). If you want to do it all via e-mail, then that's less expensive. If you like the human contact, then you'd probably want full phone support.
Due to the proverbial few bad apples, no work is done without paying something first (unless you're already a good client / customer).
Typical Consulting Job Example
If you wanted an RWR retirement plan, without doing a detailed family budget analysis (to get better estimated retirement income goals), and you wanted to do it all via e-mail, and not the phone, then you'd pay $113 ($150 x 0.75) for RWR with e-mail support, then an hour to do the work. Plus there's usually always at least an hour of prep time (discussed below), so the total would be $188 ($113 + $50 + $25). So you'd pay $94 up front, then $94 when we're all done.
Shop around and see what that would cost by getting a local financial planner to do it in person. The average minimum fee advisors usually change is $250. You'll have a hard time finding someone willing to do it for less than that. Even then, all you'll end up with is a paper report. Then you'd have to endure all of their usual product sales pitches too (we don't sell product, so there's none of that here). Then if they think they can still make a sale from you, they're going to keep hounding you until you either buy more or you tell them to go away.
On top of all of that, then you still won't have the actual retirement software. So you'd have to pay them again and again and again to get any changes (and or "What-ifs") you want made. It's always has to be something, so this by itself will probably make the whole deal worth it.
If you're already an RWR customer, then you'd just pay the $75 for one hour of real work, and an hour of prep time.
If you inputted both the current and proposed data yourself, and just want us to look it over, then you wouldn't have to pay any more if you bought a supported version, because that would be included in normal support. We'd basically just be checking to ensure you "did everything right." If there is any real work that needs done, we'd give an estimate for it. But you would not be charged anything again for the retirement software.
• You'll receive, via e-mail, all of the pertinent Financial Planning Fact Finders. Then you'd fill them out and send them back via e-mail, fax, or post. Directions on how to do that via e-mail are here. This is for gathering your information so we can know you well enough, then input data into the software. You do not have to pay for the Fact Finders (but advisors would).
• You'll probably get a list of "more data needed questions" after we look the Fact Finders over (billed at the prep time rate).
• Once we have all of the data, you may get a revised price quote if it looks like it will take longer than originally estimated. This happens about a quarter of the time.
• You'd then pay half up-front using a method of your choice.
• When the work is done, the programs are e-mailed to you (just as if you bought the programs, but with your data input into them). Then we'll discuss the results as long as you want (billed at the prep time rate).
If you can read and understand the program's directions, then you'll be able to understand it all without being charged for a detailed explanation. So if you want to save money, then you'd get the program back, read the directions, and then ask about what you still don't understand. Most of the time, everything is clear enough that there's hardly any questions (because there will also be brief explanations when the work is done as a normal part of the process).
• We tweak things until you're satisfied (billed at the normal hourly rate). If you make changes, or mistakes, then it's billable time at the normal hourly rate. Fixing mistakes on our part doesn't count toward any billable time.
• If the billable time went over, then you'll be billed the difference. If it went under, then a credit will be applied. The second half of your bill will just be adjusted up or down depending on actual billable time.
• Periodic updates are up to you, and are billed at the same rates. It only takes a fraction of the time because your data is mostly already there. Most people can get an updated retirement plan in less than 15 minutes.
Time is billed six-minute increments. The tool we use to keep track is here.
For some people, just getting to the point where work can be done (reading e-mails, digging through statements and previous e-mails, teaching, doing research, phone tag and calls, etc.) can be several times more billable time than actually doing the work using the financial software.
This is why local planners charge on average about $250 per hour - they only actually bill for doing real work, but all of the time getting up to that point is usually many hours more. So the same thing goes on here, it's just broken out in detail without hiding anything.
So all work done preparing to do work, answering questions, phone tag, responding to phone calls and e-mails, explaining everything, directions, generic advice, and generic formatting to make things look pretty, etc. is all kept track of, then billed at $25 per hour.
Basically, whenever financial software is used to make financial plans, all of this billable time is at $50 per hour. All work done that is not using the software tools is only $25 per hour.
So for example, if it takes an hour of phone calls / e-mails to get to the point of inputting data into the software, and then it takes an hour to actually do the work, then it takes an hour answering questions / explaining the work / etc., then the total bill would be $75.
This is all still much cheaper than hiring a local financial planner - and then you'll get the actual software to fiddle with when it's done too. Then the bottom-line quality of the work will probably be much better too.
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