Q: Can you suggest a source for a list of certified financial planners specializing in matters concerning federal employees? I need investment advice and a look at all aspects of retirement under the FERS system. I’m NOT looking for someone to sell me securities–I need advice with an overall plan for retirement, including insurance, long term care, TSP, etc. preferably a fee based CFP.
A: I do not make recommendations of individual planners due the fact that it might appear to be a conflict of interest for someone in my position to do so. I guess I worked for an enforcement/regulatory agency for too long.
As you want a fee only financial advisor, I would suggest you go to the website of the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (www.napfa.org) and use their search tool. You can search by zip code and refine that search by area of specialty. Unfortunately, they do not have a “federal employee” area of specialty, but there a couple of choices dealing with retirement and with employee benefit plans that can narrow the search dramatically. Once you have narrowed the search, you can view the individual’s or firm’s website and see if they make mention of federal employees.
There is a designation called Chartered Federal Employee Benefits Consultant (ChFEBC), that indicates the individual has a minimum level of knowledge of federal benefits. Individuals who have that designation should have enough knowledge to, at a minimum, do no harm.
I hope this is helpful.
John Grobe’s latest book, The Answer Book on Your Federal Employee Benefits, has just been released by LRP Publications. The book is written in an easy to understand question and answer format and covers all areas of federal benefits from the perspective of an employee at various stages of their career. Order your copy at shoplrp.com.