The debate over advisor compensation has been heating up lately so we reached out to seniors to get their thoughts on this timely topic. In canvassing seniors throughout the country we asked them the question: Do you know how your advisor is compensated? The following are highlights from our correspondence.

“I think it’s by commission—I’m sure it is. I vaguely recall him disclosing that information to us in writing when we made our first sale with him. I don’t know how else he would get paid. But, the truth is, I really don’t care how he’s paid. He makes us a lot of money—and has protected us from some of the terrible losses that our friends and family have gone through. He’s a good man. He wouldn’t take us for a ride.”

Otto, 75
Portland, Ore.

“We used a fee-only advisor we found through an organization that recommends that type of person. My husband was very cynical about having a commission advisor do our finances because he said we wouldn’t be able to trust their advice. Made sense to me. So, we got a listing of fee-only and just picked one. He gave us some great advice, which we still follow today, and charged a fair price.”

Sue, 70
St. Petersburg, Fla.

“They work on commission, the two people we consult with. They are a husband and wife team. All their business is by referral only. I don’t think they even advertise at all. But they are very knowledgeable and creative when it comes to estate planning. I don’t know how much they’ve made off us over the years—I’m sure it’s a lot—but I don’t begrudge them their commissions. I’m sure they’ve earned it.”

Dennis, 76
Salt Lake City, Utah

“It’s by commission but we don’t pay it. I remember when we sat down to write our wills and do our estate and so forth, our planner explained that we would not be charged for his services because the companies that provide the investment would pay him. So it seemed like a great deal for us. Before my husband died, we talked over the finances, and he told me I should stay with our advisor because he had been trustworthy in the past. And that’s what I’ve done.”

Christine, 73
Fort Worth, Texas