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Author: YewGuise Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 15349  
Subject: Re: Just sold home, all that's left of net worth Date: 5/21/2012 11:07 AM
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Welcome Alissa,

As an aside, congrats on having, especially at your young age, both:
- Significant liquid assets, and
- The ability to live off your income.
I hope that, since you spent "millions before it," you aren't beating yourself up over what might have been, but are simply using the past as a learning experience and still appreciating the fantastic position you have now.

Options for finding a financial planner:
- Start with http://www.myfinancialadvice.com/Customer/Default.aspx for advice online.
- For someone local (sometimes good to meet face-to-face), try: http://www.cfp.net/find/EnhancedSearch.aspx or http://www.napfa.org/
The catch is to use someone who's fee-only, not someone who gets commissions by selling annuities, insurance, mutual funds, etc.

Before advising particular investments, a financial planner will typically first ask about your goals (short-, intermediate-, and long-term), your balance sheet (assets in one column, liabilities in the other), and cash flow (income in one column, expenses in the other). This way, he can advise based on what actions will facilitate your meeting your personal goals, as opposed to boiler-plate asset allocation advice based on age. For example, he might recommend LTC insurance, which is something most people consider when they're in their 50's, but it's so cheap for younger people, that if you can afford it now, it might make sense to get that taken care of now. (If you're interested, policies change and companies go out of business, so you'd also need guidance selecting a policy, in which case maybe your financial planner can recommend a good independent insurance agent.)

The goals / balance sheet / cash flow exercise is a good one to do for yourself, even if you decide not to share all the info with a planner. It's especially important to put everything in writing. It'll be a lot clearer then than if it's just in your head, especially the "goals" part.

Good luck!
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