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Subject:  AMEX Financial Advisor Experience and Question Date:  3/29/2004  11:07 PM
Author:  0xf001 Number:  40053 of 98510

First a little background, my wife and I are both 26, no “bad debt”, very decent salaries, have a house (paying a mortgage), no kids (but plans), and trying to figure out how to retire at 45 

Retirement planning seemed to be somewhat overwhelming at first and we hadn't done much to get it going (besides maxing out my employer matched 401k contributions). So when given an offer to go see a financial advisor we took it; hoping that he could steer us in the right direction.

So we gave him all our financial information and he got back to us, with a nicely bound professional looking “financial plan” that showed which AMEX funds are right for me. He then started telling us that our “Age and financial status gives us a unique opportunity to invest in a very special tax-advantaged vehicle, a Variable Universal Life Insurance plan.” We were so entranced by the sales pitch I almost handed over a check and signed the paperwork. But after a few questions and a “what? you don't trust me?” statement we decided to sleep on it.

I have since done some digging around and it seems our “unique opportunity” isn't so unique, since this seems to be the standard AMEX sales pitch, and it seems opinions are generally negative of it.

So this brings me to my question. My wife's employer does not offer a retirement plan. We are planning on maxing out contributions to an IRA for her and one for me. As well as contributing the maximum employer matched amount on my 401k.

If after doing this we still have money left over, is there any other tax-advantaged account my wife can contribute to since her employer doesn't offer one? Or is this VUL plan really the best choice for that money? Or just put the money on a brokerage account, take the tax hit, and use one of these foolish investment strategies?

I've tried to search the forums and google for answers to these questions, but I always seem to go off on a tangent and haven't had much luck. So I figure I might as well post here… If I need to do some more research on my own, I'll gladly accept a “shut up newbie” 

Thanks in advance for your opinions!
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