No. of Recommendations: 1
The question: "Retiring early (55) and am wondering if I should get a certified planner. This might be a dumb question, but does a planner save you money in the long run, if you are not at all familiar with investing? Or, is it better to go through an agency like Scwabb or Fidelity and let them advise you and review your investment every six months? I appreciate this board and thank you for the information you provide. lonesomepine, the novice."

My first suggestion is to learn more about how to plan on your own. This is by far the best route since most over complicate what should remain simple and simplify what is really complex. You worked and learned all your life to get to where you are today and this isn't where you want to stop.

The second best would be to consult a fee based planner. Avoid commission based planners. Believe it or not, one of the best pamphlets you can read as a beginner is Vanguard's "Women and Investing." Between what you can learn on the Vanguard web site and here at fool you can at least know when a planner is telling you the truth. For a little more advanced reading try Bogel's "Common Sense on Mutual Funds." Regards, pmcw
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