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  1. Hello. I'm hoping for some advice. About 3 years ago at a school event, I won a raffle for free financial planning from a certified financial planner with 25 years experience. It was listed at a value of $1500. My wife and I, both teachers, were thrilled as we knew nothing about finance. We had our pension plans and no other investments. He took all our info, evaluated our risk tolerance, and produced lots of charts and graphs. We thanked him repeatedly. He said he was just hoping to get some good word of mouth. Having young children, he suggested life insurance. We agreed. Next, he suggested that we start contributing to our 403b. Our district has 401k and 403b options. When asked why he suggested the 403 over the 401k, he said that it had better fund options. We didn't know the difference. Unfortunately, we had no clue what to ask during this process. He set the plans up and we agreed to them. As you probably guessed, we each ended up with a variable annuity which we didn't understand. We thought the word annuity was basically a synonym for 403b (Tax Sheltered Annuity). It wasn't until this year, after researching, that we realized what we had....an insurance product with high fees that weren't discussed during the process. I am kicking myself for not doing my research earlier. I know we were naive in failing to see this as a sales situation vs. an advisory one. We were under the impression that all fees were waved due to the raffle and he would pick the best funds for us. I have confronted him that I feel taken advantage of. I was not nice. He maintains that the annuity provides for our retirement in a sound and responsible manner. Now I am conflicted. Is it possible that he truly believes this is a good investment for us? Was I out of line to suggest otherwise? My head says I'm right, but I still feel guilty for some reason. We really liked him and thought he had helped us.
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