About My Practice
Specialties: Widowed Individuals and Retirement Income Planning (both specialties described in detail after the General section)
General: Consider me your Fee-Only Financial Coordinator and Advisor. • Fee-Only means I get compensated directly and only by you, the client. Commissions are not part of my compensation model and so I have no incentive to sell you a financial or insurance product. You hire me for my coordination services, planning and advice. (Red Flag: If your current advisor is compensated by commissions, will this lead to biased recommendations?).
• As a Financial Coordinator I work with your other professional advisors such as your estate planning attorney, CPA or accountant and insurance agent. Coordination among your professional advisors is critical to optimize your goals and make sure nothing falls through the cracks. (Red Flag: If your current advisor does not communicate with your other professional advisors, you may not have an effective financial plan).
• As a Financial Advisor I review your personal finances holistically meaning before any recommendations are made I need to understand your cash flow, taxes, employee benefits, retirement goals, risk exposure, education funding desires, estate plan and, of course, investments. (Red Flag: If your current advisor does not review your tax returns, are they missing valuable planning opportunities?).
Widows and Widowers: My experience with the widowed community goes much deeper compared to almost any other financial advisor in the entire country. Several years ago I established two widowed-to-widowed grief support groups in Tempe and Scottsdale and started a nonprofit to operate these support groups. My nonprofit is called Widowed Community Education Support Services (WCESS). For several years I coordinated large multi-day conferences for the widowed community each having 20 to 30 speakers covering a variety of practical topics. With more than two years facilitating my grief support groups and my experience working with many widowed clients, I have a unique understanding of the financial challenges facing a widow or widower. Many feel overwhelmed and unorganized and wonder if they will be ok financially. I can help with the following challenges: • Organize your financial, tax, and legal paperwork.
• Navigate you through and help you prioritize your financial decisions. I’ll let you know which issues are time sensitive (requiring decisions in the first year or two after the death of a spouse) and which issues can wait.
• Achieve and maintain your financial security, especially if you are retired or no longer working (this issue is addressed in the Retirement Income Planning discussion below).
• Reach out to grief and loss counselors and other professionals if needed.
• Utilize the WCESS. grief support groups where other widowed spouses “get it” and understand what you are going through.
Retirement Income Planning: I specialize in coordinating and optimizing a retiree's or near-retiree's financial assets and decisions to provide a lifetime of retirement income and financial security. Here are the challenges addressed: • Optimizing Social Security (SS) claiming strategies. The proper analysis and design of a claiming strategy can result in additional SS benefits of $100,000, or $200,000 or more over your lifetime.
• Integrating a retiree's employment pension into the retirement income plan. This includes analyzing all pension payout options, including timing decisions for early or delayed benefits, and coordinating these options with other sources of income and assets.
• Addressing longevity risk must be part of the retirement income planning process. Outliving one's assets is a fear for many but can be addressed with proper planning. Use of the Bucket Approach, Safe Withdrawal Rates or using a Flooring approach can be vital in addressing longevity risk.
• Asset allocation and asset location are essential to optimizing tax structure and keeping pace with or outpacing inflation.
• IRA and taxable account distribution planning, along with potential Roth conversions should be evaluated to maximize lifetime retirement income and meet other goals such as legacy planning.
• Healthcare and long-term care are important factors in developing a successful retirement income plan. So too is understanding how best to use home equity.
• Overall, the distribution or decumulation phase of retirement is complex and requires an advisor specifically trained in the area of retirement income planning.
Registrations, Licenses, Certifications & Affiliations
Designations & Certifications
- CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (CFP®)
- Other - CDFA™ (Certified Divorce Financial Analyst), RICP®
Considerations: Planning available to all (no asset minimum for planning)
I will provide a free initial consultation to prospective clients so we may determine if their needs and my practice are well-matched.
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