Take all the money and tax advice you come across, figure out how it applies to you, and turn it into a manageable and actionable process.
As your fiduciary on a fee-only basis, we collaborate on financial decisions (large and small) with the objective of protecting assets, minimizing taxes, preserving investment opportunity and managing expenses, including if/when to borrow.
The paths are not to be found, but made. And the activity of making them changes both the maker and the destination.”
― John Schaar
Financial Planning Services
Are you living the life you want? Happy today, but need peace of mind about your future?
My role is to help you strategize increasing income, cutting expenses, recognizing opportunity and providing analysis to make informed decisions about your future.
Each stage of life brings a new set of questions and choices. I can provide analyses that can
Here are a few examples of some of the life stages and decisions I address with my clients:
Approaching and During Retirement
Planning withdrawals from the assets you have worked so hard to accumulate is a daunting proposition for many people. I can show you how to reach your dreams and maintain your lifestyle while simultaneously working to minimize taxes and keep up with inflation.
Prime earning years when asset allocation, both investment type and account type, are critical for your future. Formulation of retirement goals and expectations give you structure and understanding of what you are working towards.
Understanding the goals and aspirations for children can catch us by surprise throughout different stages of development. For example, before a child’s arrival parents may make decisions about things such as childcare, working versus staying home and adjustments to career. The brain is fully engaged in rational analysis, but the emotional impact of living with a new family member is still just a theory. I can work with you in this beginning stage to build in flexibility so you will have the freedom to revisit your plans when the new child becomes reality. It is then you will truly have enough information to make fully informed decisions. The balance of work, home and family is so very personal; there is no arrangement better than another, except for its ability to allow the family as a whole and each individual member to live a fulfilled life.
Of course, we also address more traditional areas of how to fund higher education costs, protect your children in times of adversity or death and help you provide the means to give them a step into a healthy fiscal adulthood.
Young Adults & Youth of Clients
I love working with my client’s children, at any age they wish to begin. My youngest is 12! I can help them allocate their earnings, evaluate compensation of various job offers, manage student loans, plan for the purchase of a home. If they are thinking of marriage, I can help them integrate their finances.
End of Life Care
Contingency planning for care and services for yourself, spouse or your family at end of life can be an emotional and taxing process. It is easy to lose sight of the other goals in our later years. When it is time to spend more to make life easier, I am here to not only analyze and show you how you can afford it, but also to remind you that it is an important and worthy expense.
At every stage of life, balancing your needs and wants with protecting your financial future is critical. Having the information obtained from cash flow modeling and budget analysis will give you the framework for confident day-to-day decision-making. The result is more time and energy to focus your attention on living fully in the moment.
Income Protection & Asset Preservation
Protecting what you have earned and accumulated brings peace of mind; it frees energy for enjoying the little things in life. Together, we search for vulnerabilities in your life. Health, family and job security are the most fundamental. The answers we find will influence financial recommendations as well as clarify opportunities, such as the value of building a strong network, pursuing additional training, career change or other seemingly non-financial solutions. This includes weighing the cost versus benefit in dollars as well as in terms of your time and energy.
We identify which risks are insurable and review coverage you already have in place for property, liability, medical, life, disability, long-term care and commercial. I do not sell insurance; I analyze the needs, make suggestions and identify questions as they apply to your life.
Some philosophies postulate, “one can never have too much protection.” Careful analysis will reveal if coverage from each policy can meet realistic goals, work effectively in tandem (avoiding “cancelling out”) and ensure that premiums are not compromising your ability to meet other needs.
Affording Your Dreams and Living Your Life
As a seasoned financial planner, one of the most exciting parts of my job is working with clients to visualize what the future can hold. I often find that people are so focused on the here and now, that they forget to breathe and dream a bit. Let’s brainstorm and create a future that is worth working towards! How much should you be saving for that once-in-a-lifetime trip around the world, making your home into the beautiful sanctuary you’ve envisioned it to be, or to have the time and freedom to make a difference in the world?
The ever-present more mundane aspects of our lives need to be planned and paid for as well. We will create strategies to ensure coverage for the new roof, replacement car, or other unexpected curve balls that life throws you while focusing on maintaining overall lifestyle needs.
Are your finances interfering with your relationship? One of the benefits of working with a financial planner is the opportunity to examine each family member’s risk temperament and spending style. It is possible to structure saving, spending, and investing strategically into a whole that reduces fear and creates harmony.
Minimizing Taxes over, & after, Your Lifetime
When most people think of financial planning, this is the place they start: investments and the markets. With our holistic approach to your financial picture, investments become one working cog in a well-oiled and closely monitored machine. I have the industry experience and the passion to show you which mix of investments will be most likely to help you achieve your goals. I’ll help you understand why I’ve come to these conclusions, so that you can move forward with our plan with confidence.
The biggest risk in investing is behavior risk: the risk of not maintaining your investment discipline during good times and bad. Research by Barclays found that behavior risk (also known as behavior gap) cost investors up to 20% of the returns they should have earned over a ten-year period.
The strongest protection against behavior risk is a carefully constructed investment policy designed to fit your unique characteristics. We will construct an investment policy that is individualized to your situation, not a cookie cutter form that is meaningless in the real world. Of course, trusting it and following it are equally important. See more about Investments on the Investment Management page or Resources for articles that may be of interest.
In the world of financial planning, retirement refers to a time when you decrease or cease earning money through employment or actively managing a business. In real life, it is a time when you are free to redesign your life if you wish. You may want to work in an area of passion for little or no money, spend more time with family and friends, travel the world, tend to causes that are dear to you, give more time to your hobbies, learn new things and play. You can see why being a small part of my clients’ lives as they enter this stage of life, reaping the rewards from their hard work brings me great satisfaction and fulfillment.
Funding retirement is a core component of a well-crafted financial plan. I strive to help my clients reach financial independence that will last their entire lives. Together, we will create a plan to guide you towards wise spending and saving prior to retirement, and reasonable goals for living your dream after employment ceases.
A few things we consider:
- How much to withdraw from which accounts to minimize current and/or future tax consequences.
- Company pension analyses to decide which distribution option will serve you best.
- Social security benefits: are they available and the optimum time to begin receiving.
- Medicare and supplemental health insurance.
- Establishing, organizing, and monitoring the mechanics of getting cash into your spending accounts.
Will and estate document review should be part of a comprehensive plan regardless of your financial situation. My financial expertise will help ensure that any assets discussed in your estate documents match the assets you own and that your beneficiary designations on retirement accounts and insurance policies are in accordance with your wishes. Additionally, my work with clients along with the legal knowledge I have gained as a layperson has made me an expert at asking the right questions. Both questions for you, to help you define your goals, as well as clarifying questions for your lawyer once s/he has drafted your documents.
Working together, we will make sure you have a perfect understanding of what your will and estate documents will accomplish.
When I manage your investments, financial planning is generally included in the fee, which is based on assets under management. Because there are no required account minimums, we may on occasion, negotiate a fee structure that includes hourly and investment management fees.
Those who manage their own investments, or have their wealth accumulated in non-publicly traded investments pay an hourly consulting fee.
In both cases, the scope of the service can be as comprehensive or as narrowly focused as you desire. The Special Situation section lists more services available to all on an hourly basis.