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An inside look at top retailers and the consumers they covet

Free financial advice without the third degree

I'll bet many of us would rather endure a colonoscopy than meet with a financial planner. Either way we're going to be asked very personal questions and suffer through physical or financial probing.

Only 11 percent of Minneapolis residents have developed a written plan to address their financial goals with an advisor, according to a 2015 Planning & Progress study. for Northwestern Mutual. Any of us can easily come up with reasons that we avoid planners.

1. They're going to tell me I'm not saving enough.

2. They're going to ask how much money I make.

3 They're going to put me on a strict budget.

Here's the good news: At a free event called Financial Planning Day, anyone can sit down with a financial planner for 15 to 30 minutes where you control the questions. Maybe it's a single question that you've been afraid to ask, such as "What is a good, free retirement calculator that I can find online that can tell me if I'm saving enough for retirement?" You could ask to have a planner explain the differences between a  Roth IRA and a Roth 401(k) or simply, "Can I afford to buy a different car?"

Attendees can bring along a limited number of financial documents, but they should limit their questions to the most pressing ones.

Best of all, this is truly a no-strings event. Advisors who volunteer their time for the one-day event are not allowed to hand out unsolicited business cards or ask for personal contact info. You will not hounded for months just because you met with a planner for 20 minutes.

The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 17 at 451 N. Lexington Pkwy., in St. Paul. Go to the website for details about the schedule.

The event has gained popularity in its six years. The free sessions are held between 10:45 and 2, but there have been wait times during peak periods.

Red Wing Shoes' warehouse sale starts Thursday

Leaves turning gold and red, an art festival with 100 juried artists and Red Wing shoes and boots discounted 30 to 70 percent. These are all tempting reasons to drive to Red Wing, Minn. later this week. (It takes about an hour to drive to Red Wing from Minneapolis.)

Red Wing Shoes is having its 4th annual warehouse sale with boots and shoes for men and women. About 15,000 pairs of overstocks and out-of-box shoes will be discounted. Many but not all of the shoes are made in the United States. Heritage, the made-in-USA collection that's popular with celebs such as Ryan Gosling, David Beckham, Chris Brown and Drake, will also be part of the sale.

Sample savings:

2264 Work boot: Originally $275, sale price $100

2263 Work boot: Originally $255, sale price $90

4872 Irish Setter hunt: Originally $205, sale price $100

8111 Iron Ranger Heritage (pictured): Originally $320, sale price $110

875 Classic Moc Heritage: Originally $260, sale price $110

Women's Irish Setter hunting boot: Originally $145, sale price $40.

The sale will be Oct. 8-11 at Plant 1, 229 Potter St., Red Wing, 1-651-388-6233. Hours are 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Red Wing retail program manager Mike Rudquist said that all sizes are first come, first served. "Getting to the sale early is best," he recommended.

Red Wing's fall festival of the arts is held Saturday and Sunday.