I'm getting married next spring. My fiancee wants to go to a financial planner to help her figure out where she should have her 401k invested as well as getting some general advice. We discussed, and decided we would go together and come up with a financial plan we both agree on since we'll be in this together in a few months.
I'm researching the fee-only financial planning firms in our area, and all of their websites talk a lot about investment advice and very little about financial planning & savings goals (e.g., retirement, saving for kids' college funds). Some mention financial planning more prominently than others, but most of them seem to list investments first.
While getting advice on 401k investments is nice, I would really like to get more advice on our finances in general. Answers like "here's how much house you can reasonably afford and how much you should set aside for taxes & repairs," "here's how much you should put away for retirement," "here's how much of an emergency fund you should have," and "here's how much you should save for a child's college." These are all questions we can get answers to ourselves, but I thought it would be nice to have someone actually take a look at our income, savings, and spending, and make personalized recommendations. Moreover, I think it would be nice to go back to the same person who knows our situation and goals for a periodic check-up.
Is that the kind of advice that financial planners give? Or are they mostly going to make investment recommendations and leave us on our own for the rest of our financial situation? If we want a holistic view of our financial situation and help setting realistic goals, what kind of a professional do we want?
Frankly, one of the ways that many financial planners make money is by selling investments or insurance. If you go to a financial planner with the understanding that you are going to pay a fee and will not, under any circumstances, make any investments or buy any insurance for that planner or anyone recommended by that person then you should be ok. There are good reputable planners out there that truly are in it to help people but they also need to make a living. So you might pay a higher fee to these people. Expect to pay at least $100 per hour for a planner that is not selling you anything else.
My suggestion is to keep looking but also hang out on this forum and ask questions for a few weeks. We might be able to answer many of your questions for free. Then when you do meet with the planner you might save some time and money because you have already had some of your questions answered.