Walk the Talk

First Blog Post – Walking the Talk

Blogging.  It’s been kind of challenging for me to decide what type of blog to create.

Never having done it before, really, even though I tried several times to get something going, nothing felt quite right.  I wasn’t sure that I was “expert” enough to write on certain topics and really, how many more Roth IRA blogs does the world need?

But I think I’ve come up with something that I can write about.  And keep writing about.

Over the last two years, I’ve been planning, researching, more planning and did I say, PLANNING to launch my own fiduciary, fee-only, financial planning and portfolio management firm.

A few key things tipped the scales toward going independent.  I discovered the XY Planning Network which was huge.   Then a quiet, simple email entered my inbox touting a free video series, The College Funding Crash Course.  I have two sons, now both in high school, and this idea of planning for college was on the horizon for our family.  Nearer than I realized.  Of course, that was just a teaser email that led to a course on learning how to work with parents and students to help them understand how to pay for college so that mom and dad can still have a chance at retirement.  I was intrigued.

We Are You

We are those very people.  And I feel pretty unprepared.  Me, a CFP®.

I was looking for a particular planning niche that resonated with me.  My hometown, the Tri-Cities (Kennewick, Pasco, Richland) is in Washington wine country, (and I love wine!) so I thought about working with winemakers and grape growers.  I taught English in Japan and was this close to becoming an educator here, so maybe a niche surrounding teachers.  At my prior job I took care of several small and mid-size business 401k retirement plans and really enjoyed getting the employees set up to save for their futures (and catch the match).  These are all great areas to specialize in but after completing the course on college funding, I decided this was an area that is really quite complicated, and there are not very many advisors who know much about it.  It would allow me to work with younger families who were at an important point in their financial life where I could really make a difference.

So, 2018 has seen the launch of this new firm, Avea Financial Planning, that, as I describe it, does financial life planning for families with college-bound kids.

My Ultimate Decision?

And what did I ultimately decide to blog about?  This process of getting my kid into college, guiding him through that, figuring out how we are going to pay for it all.  And of course, the big finale… how will that all turn out in the end.  I don’t even know at this point.   We have a lot of our ducks in a row, but there is still so much to figure out.  That’s why I’ve been studying this for the last year.  But my hope is that by actually living and breathing this, making decisions that will have a very personal and dramatic outcome for us, and hopefully avoiding harmful mistakes along the way, that I can share my experiences with my clients and others.  And I do intend to weave in other helpful content in response to interactions with parents, students and others.

My oldest is a junior in high school and my youngest, a freshman.  Our remaining time with them in our home is short and before I know it, they will be off to college. So I invite you come along throughout this blog, see how we do it and find out how it all turns out in the end.

Check out our podcast, Financial Side of Life, to hear other people’s stories on college planning and life.

Next blog post, Summer Countdown Starts By Sitting For the SAT

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