No. of Recommendations: 1
I took some good advice from some folks on this board and paid a planner to take a look at our retirement plans. We paid about $1200 for him to spend maybe 10 hours reviewing our situation and putting together a report. He's a NAPFA member, which wasn't easy to find in our rural neck of the woods. But I definitely wanted fee only with a fiduciary responsibility to us – and going NAPFA seemed a good way to screen for that. The process boosted my confidence in the planning I've been doing and gave us some things to think about. I wouldn't have done it had it not been for the advice posted here and I wanted to say thanks.

A couple of questions in the wake of this process arose that I'd like to bounce off the sages here:

The product he used to generate the report is Money Tree Silver – what do folks here that are familiar with it think of it? It seems like a pretty good tool to me – but I'm far short of a pro.

Our current strategy has us fully invested in equities (excluding a rental and our own home) with zip in fixed income. The planner after having us fill out a risk assessment and talking with us understood we're aggressive – but duly said we needed to shift into some fixed income as we're planning to leave full time work in about 4-5 years. He advocated 30%. I have a healthy defined benefit USG pension to draw on and we've got 300k+ in TSP and Roths and I think 30% is too high - particularly as we're only in our middle 40s and are gonna need the equities to boost returns since we've, hopefully, gotta make the nest egg last 40+ years. But I do think we probably need to shift some. I'm thinking 10% at most – am I too aggressive? Of course it all depends on when we need to start drawing on the funds – cash flow needs etc. – but, I'm just wanting a real general sense – 10%, 20% 30%...

As for the allocation of the equities – we use index funds, excluding the fun fund for stock picks (limited to 10%), and are currently invested as follows:

Lg cap 50%
Sm cap 30%
Int'l 20%

His suggestion was to keep steady on the Lg cap, halve the Sm cap and double the Int'l. - largely to reduce volatility without sacrificing too much on the upside. I do believe that non-USD assets are a good long term bet and within the past couple years have already doubled up my Int'l. I've always been heavy into sm caps and it's served us well. I'm hesitant to shift more from Sm cap to Int'l and am wondering what the folks here think.

Thanks again to all for making this board such a great resource – Tom
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