Q: I am 49 years old and am beginning to think more about retirement planning. I contribute the maximum in my Thrift savings each year but was wondering if I should also contribute to a traditional IRA? My income exceeds Roth limits. Was also interested in knowing when is a good time to meet with a financial planner and the cost. Thanks.
A: That’s excellent that you max out your Thrift savings each year, well done. Assuming that it’s on a pre-tax basis, you would not be eligible for the tax deduction of a traditional IRA, however, you would be able to contribute. Depending on other types of investment/savings accounts you have, you may want to consider a taxable investment account (aka, an Individual Brokerage Account).
As far as when to meet with a financial planner, that’s entirely up to when you feel ready. People approach that stage at all different ages. Generally speaking, most people benefit from meeting with someone many years before retirement as changes that may need to occur will likely take years to have an impact on one’s overall situation. Costs vary widely across the industry but if you sit down with a Fee Only Advisor, the cost will be based on your assets under management and typically start around 1% on an annual basis.