Alyce is self-employed earning $150,000 to $300,000 per year. She has no retirement plans, but is selling property and after taxes are paid will net $600,000. I advised her that she needed to talk to a financial advisor who can help her set up a self-employed 401(k) (where she can put away up to $42,000 per year and save money on taxes now). When it comes to investing her $600,000, I advised her to find a certified financial planner (CFP) or registered investment advisor (RIA).

Here’s how. I like Sheryl Garrett’s www.garrettplanningnetwork because her advisors charge by the hour. You might also try to find a fee-only financial advisor who charges a percentage of assets managed. Try for the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors. You can also find a CPA who is a personal financial specialist (

While I think some people can manage to do the investments on their own, Alyce is clearly going to continue to earn big bucks, and she should treat her future retirement to an initial structuring by a good advisor who can help her figure out how much risk she’s willing to take and what kinds of investments make sense for her.

July 21, 2006