6. Listen to their questions. If the planner just asks about your income and assets, be cautious. He or she should want to know far more: about your family, your goals, and your risk tolerance. A good financial planner is someone you hire to help you make your nest egg last in retirement. Your goal, says Virginia Tech's Leech: hiring someone who can make your overall financial life smoother, with less day-to-day angst about money. After all, who needs it?