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Wealth management is about much more than money. For that reason, it’s important that we agree on what makes a good financial plan, and how the money in your plan should be managed.

Financial planning should be as simple as possible, but no simpler.

A financial plan should enable you to take action, not paralyze you with industry jargon.

Financial planning should help you:

  • Clarify your financial goals and evaluate your current financial state;
  • Match your money with your values. Achieve positive cash flow to meet everyday needs, and enjoy life along the way;
  • Eliminate debt to increase cash flow and build wealth for yourself (not the bank);
  • Build a fully-funded emergency fund for security and flexibility;
  • Get the right type and right amount of insurance to protect yourself and those who rely on your income;
  • Take the steps required to make retirement a reality – i.e. save the correct amount, in the most efficient investment vehicles, with an asset allocation that’s in line with your risk tolerance;
  • When the time comes, position your wealth to generate a durable income stream throughout retirement;
  • Invest for targeted, mid-term goals – like taking your family on that dream vacation;
  • Identify what you can do (both in terms of investing and alternative funding) to help your children/grandchildren with college costs;
  • Ensure your estate plan is in place to make things easier for those you love.

The market is unpredictable, but proper asset allocation can help.

A diversified portfolio that’s in line with your risk tolerance and time horizon can reduce the variability of returns. It does not, however, guarantee that your account will never perform unexpectedly. Diversification does not work every time, but it works over time.

Build in Discipline.

"Get-rich-quick" schemes like speculating on a hot stock or options trading do not work. True wealth is built through many small, consistent, steady actions. However, it takes effort to be disciplined. Automating discipline through systematic investing, rebalancing, and dividend reinvesting reduces the amount of will power required to execute, thereby increasing your chances of success.

In retirement, guarantee a base level of income.

For many Americans, certainty of income is the largest source of uncertainty in retirement. Insuring a base level of income can significantly improve your confidence (and happiness) in retirement.

The optimal allocation into investments that generate guaranteed income, however, is highly individualized, and can only be determined by assessing factors such as:

  • Amount of income from other guaranteed sources (social security and pensions)
  • Amount of liquid or discretionary savings
  • Risk tolerance, life expectancy, and legacy goals.

Income above guaranteed amounts should be durable.

The main investment risks retirees face includes: Sequence of Returns risk (a market decline in the first few years of retirement), Market Volatility (which can exacerbate Sequence of Returns risk), and Longevity risk (outliving assets). As scary as that sounds, a smart distribution strategy can limit these risks.

How we fund distributions:

  • Distributions are first funded with income generated by the underlying investments — primarily dividends, interest payments, and capital gains distributions.
  • If the income is not enough to meet the target payout, a portion of principal will be strategically sold in order to achieve that goal.
  • When principal is sold, the first assets targeted are those with over-weighted positions. In this way, we avoid selling assets that are under stress, instead focusing on selling assets that have met or exceeded their price targets.
  • For greater tax efficiency, assets that have depreciated in price are also sold throughout the year to harvest capital losses. Investments with embedded long- and short-term capital losses are sold and paired with gains to help control tax consequences.

Automate … as much as possible.

If you’ve enjoyed tax-deferred growth in your retirement accounts throughout the years, Uncle Sam will eventually want his “fair share.” Automating discipline through systematic RMD withdrawals can reduce the possibility of owing money in the form of IRS penalties.

Maximize social security … for your situation.

Deciding when to collect social security can be daunting. At your Full Retirement Age (FRA), you will receive your full social security benefit. But, if you wait to collect, your benefit will grow by 8% per year until age 70 (of course, at the cost of not receiving anything while you wait). Alternatively, you could collect as early as age 62 (and receive income for more years), but that would result in a permanent reduction of benefits.

So, what’s the right answer? Elect the option that maximizes the benefit for your situation. If you anticipate living a long time, waiting to collect will optimize the amount received over time. If you have health concerns and anticipate a shorter life expectancy, collecting early may be the better option.

Consider Long Term Care.

Long term care is expensive and can wreak havoc on the best thought-out retirement income plan. It is, therefore, important to explore insurance strategies designed to mitigate the potentially devastating effects of long-term care costs.

Go ahead, check that off your bucket list!

On top of comfortably meeting every day needs, you likely have other goals – like taking that trip to Europe or leaving money to your grandchildren. These “extras” make you feel alive, and should be planned for. They shouldn’t, however, derail your ability to live day-to-day.

Financial planning is a process, not a one-time occurrence.

Life is a moving target. If your circumstances change, we will adapt your plan to help you meet the needs of your new situation.

In many relationships, the man handles the investments and the woman handles the household budget. And because women tend to outlive men, they often face a steep learning curve when their husband passes away.

In our ideal world, more Financial Advisors are women, and we see women encouraging women to engage in the management of their family’s investment portfolio.

Our desired outcome? Women who live happier, healthier lives because they are confident that their investments can generate sustainable income long after their spouse passes away.

Our clients typically have investable assets of $500,000 or more. We also work with clients who do not yet meet this threshold, but are on a path that will get them there in the future.

We are paid via the assets we manage for you. Fees are typically 1% of Assets Under Management (AUM), but may be commissioned-based, depending on the product that best suits your needs. Our fee covers both investment management and financial planning services.

Yes, absolutely. (Certification)

With the CFP® comes technical knowledge in retirement, estate, tax, and investment planning, but the real value comes in bringing together all pieces of your financial life to create a comprehensive financial plan.

And because CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERS™ are held to a fiduciary standard, your best interest is paramount at all times. (Source)

Yes, of course! We are a fully remote-capable firm. In fact, one of the ways we keep costs down in Bellevue is by foregoing the traditional office altogether. Meetings are conducted over the phone or video conference. And, you’ll have 24/7 access to your accounts via a client portal.

Just as we stand with you to help you pursue your financial goals, we have partners that stand with us, supporting our business, and providing the resources we need to better serve you.

Broker-Dealer: Cetera Advisor Networks

We are affiliated with Cetera Advisor Networks (CAN), one of the premier, independent broker-dealers in the industry.

Our affiliation means that we are not held to sales quotas or required to “sell” proprietary products. We have the freedom to recommend the financial solutions that best suit your needs.

Parent Company: Cetera Financial Group

Cetera Advisor Networks is part of a family of independently-managed firms under the Cetera Financial Group umbrella. For the past 30 years, Cetera’s family of companies have grown to over $260 billion assets under administration, delivering award-winning technology platforms to over 8,000 financial advisors across 50 states. Through Cetera, we have the tools, technology, and support to deliver sound advice, consistent outcomes, and delightful service.

Cetera Financial Group refers to the network of independent retail firms encompassing, among others, Cetera Advisors LLC, Cetera Advisor Networks LLC, Cetera Investment Services LLC (marketed as Cetera Financial Institutions or Cetera Investors), Cetera Financial Specialists LLC, and First Allied Securities, Inc. All firms are members FINRA / SIPC.

Our office across the ocean: Hawaii Financial Advisors, Inc.

Bellevue Financial Advisors is an extension of Hawaii Financial Advisors, our flagship office in Honolulu. Between the two offices, we have more than 10 Financial Advisors and a full support staff. We will never claim to know the answer to every question, but with our collective breadth of knowledge and depth of support, you can be confident that you have a robust team on your side. More info at:

For a comprehensive review of your personal situation, always consult with a tax or legal advisor. Neither Cetera Advisor Networks LLC nor any of its representatives may give legal or tax advice. All investing involves risk, including the possible loss of principal. There is no assurance that any investment strategy will be successful.