Approach to Financial Planning

It’s all about finding the right balance
We’ll help you find a balance between enjoying today and planning for tomorrow that works for you. We'll help you get clear about your goals and create a plan that reflects your personal preferences and priorities.  

For many, it comes down to a question of tradeoffs.  
Want a more expensive lifestyle now?
Or would you prefer to be financially independent at a younger age?

It’s all about tradeoffs.
How much to spend, how much to save, when to retire  – we’ll give you insight on what your best path might be. 

First, we build your model
We’ll assess your current financial situation, strategies, and goals.  We'll take inventory of what you’re working with, things like…

  • Your assets and income

  • Your expenses and liabilities

  • Your wants, wishes, and needs

Your financial model becomes an authentic reflection of who you are and what matters to you. It lets you see whether you’re on track to reach your goals. It’s a tool for evaluating different strategies and gives you a roadmap for reaching your goals.  

Then, we look at your different “what-ifs”
We’ll look at different assumptions and alternate scenarios.  
Can you spend more money today and still be on track for tomorrow?
What if you quit your job or started working part-time in a few years?

By modeling different scenarios, you will…

  • Learn how different events could affect your future

  • See what the key drivers of your financial situation are

  • Understand your best options

The only certainty is uncertainty
Financial planning requires you to make a lot of assumptions about the future. You might be fairly certain about some assumptions, such as Social Security retirement benefits starting at a certain age. But, other assumptions can involve a much greater level of uncertainty. 

In particular, assumptions about inflation and investment returns can be highly uncertain. And they can have a major impact on your financial planning. To address this, we analyze thousands of different investment-return scenarios to determine your model’s projected likelihood of success.

We make strategy recommendations
When creating your model, we get immersed in your financial situation. We see things you should be doing. We see things you shouldn’t be doing. As part of our process, specific strategy recommendations may be made in areas such as... 

Retirement planning                  Capital accumulation strategies  
Tax planning                              College funding strategies
Cash flow management             Stock option management
Debt management                     401(k) plan management
Estate planning                          Insurance needs evaluation

We'll help you to implement our strategy recommendations. If appropriate, we’ll work together  with third-party professionals, such as accountants, attorneys, or insurance specialists. 

Already retired?  
Retirees want to be confident that their lifestyle can be sustained over the years.  Once salary income stops, being smart about managing your finances become even more important.

We can help you make informed decisions about things like sources of income and distribution strategies.  We’ll help you find the right approach, one that lets you enjoy life, not worry about money. 



A few comments from Jay H. Cowles, CFP
“By itself, a financial plan is worthless. It’s the ongoing planning process that matters.”

“Before takeoff, pilots create flight plans to map out their flight and evaluate expected weather conditions. It helps them make necessary course corrections along the way. Just like the financial strategy adjustments you’ll need to make in the future.”

“People don’t outlive their money. What really happens is that they slowly run out of lifestyle. They spend down their assets and are eventually forced to reduce their living standards. Our goal is to help clients enjoy their lifestyle today, while protecting that lifestyle in the years to come.”