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Q: Why do I need financial advice?

How people manage money has a huge impact on their lives. That’s why many people choose to work with a professional for guidance with their personal finance. Good financial advice is more than crunching numbers. It involves understanding tax, investments, budgeting, estate planning, and many more financial issues can impact you. And it involves incorporating those financial aspects of your life with your goals.

It’s never too early or too late to get objective, professional financial advice. The earlier you start the better. But if you think you’re starting late, don’t wait any longer! For instance, let’s say you want to have $1,000,000 when you reach age 65. If you’re 25 and start saving just over $650 a month and get 5% per year return, that’ll get you there. If you wait until you’re 35, you’d need to invest almost $1,200 a month, with the same rate of return. If you start at age 45, you’d have to put away over $2,400 a month to reach your $1,000,000 goal at age 65. Even without being able to know how much your money will earn, delaying can be very costly. Using debt unwisely can have similar effects in a very negative way over time. Working with professionals who can assist you in making decisions that will help you build your nest egg and avoid some financial pitfalls may make the difference achieving some of the goals you have.

Q: What does “fee-only” mean?

Fee-only advisors are paid by their clients for advice. They don’t make money from selling products. There are three primary fee-only structures: retainers, hourly, and assets under management (AUM), which charges an ongoing percentage of investments. We work on a retainer model, charging a flat fee that we believe is fair to the clients and to us. We believe it avoids clients being concerned about how many hours it takes us to do work for them and doesn’t base compensation on investments. It allows us to look at the multiple aspects of our clients’ situation. Other methods that some planners use are fee-based, where they might charge fees and/or commissions on financial products sold. Some financial advisors – who are not fee-only advisors – are paid through commissions on products they sell. Having professional advice costs money, whether it’s in a commissions or fees. It’s up to you to decide what payment method you believe is right for you.  

Q: What is a fiduciary?

Fiduciaries are committed to doing what they believe is in the best interest of the people they serve. We are fiduciaries and constantly focus on doing what we believe is in our clients’ best interest.  

Q: What makes your professional experience unique?

Co-founder and co-owner Linda Leitz has a PhD in Personal Financial Planning and has been a financial professional since 1979. She has served as Chair of the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors and worked on a national level with the CFP Board of Standards as a volunteer. The approach of everyone in the firm is to integrate the important aspects of your financial life as well as the personal issues that are unique to you.