How much will a planner cost me?

It's really tough to say. Planner fees vary greatly and depend on how they charge, how much money you have, and what type of services you need. But here are some basic guidelines:

With commission-based planners, it obviously depends on the investments you buy and how much you invest.

Fee-based planners also vary quite a bit. Most fee-only planners charge a percentage of the money they're managing, usually about 1% to 2% of clients' assets. The more money you have, the smaller percentage you pay and the more room you have to negotiate the fee.

Some fee-only planners charge an annual retainer or a flat fee. What that flat fee is can rage greatly based on your assets, and the type of planning you need. An overall strategy with ongoing asset management, for example, would be pricier than a one-time estate planning session.

Other fee-only planners charge hourly rates. These types of planners are fairly rare, but you can find some on the Garrett Planning Network. Hourly rates average about $100-$400. Is that a lot? Depends on how much of your money the planner is overseeing, and whether the planner is also charging a percentage of assets in addition to the hourly rate. In any event, always get an estimate of the total hours you'll be billed before you hire a planner who bills by the hour.

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