Why I started my own financial planning firm

August 17, 2023 | David Edmisten, CFP®

I’ve had a great career with my previous employers as a financial advisor. I’ve had the privilege to help hundreds of families with savings, retirement, and investment planning. I’ve been able to help my clients achieve their most important goals, including retiring, putting their children through college, buying a vacation home, boat, or RV; traveling and giving themselves more freedom to do what they value most.

But I found over the years that there was one group of clients that really had a lot of questions and needed my help. It was those clients in their mid-50’s and 60’s who felt they were ready to retire, there are a lot of critical planning decisions they needed to address:

  • How would they create a reliable retirement income before they were eligible for Social Security and pension income?
  • How can they cover medical insurance and expenses without an employer health plan and before they are eligible for Medicare?
  • How can they save on taxes as their income changes, and they begin retirement withdrawals?
  • How can they protect their lifetimes savings and enjoy retirement when the markets are volatile?
  • How do they make the best decisions on their benefits, such as employer stock, deferred compensation, and pensions?

There are very valuable planning techniques for clients at this stage that can add up to significant savings over time. Looking at opportunities for Roth conversions, capital gains management and charitable gifting strategies are items often overlooked by individual investors but can have a meaningful impact on one’s wealth plan.

I realized that to truly serve this group of clients and deliver as much value as possible for them, I need the freedom to focus exclusively on being the best planner for these clients and these clients alone.

By running an independent, fee-only firm, I can go deeper and offer more specific advice to my clients on retirement income, taxes, estate planning, life goal planning and tailor our investment advice to what’s best for each client’s specific plans.

Choosing to design my own firm allows me to deliver a specific, successful process to provide first rate service and connections with our clients at the times that matter most in their financial lives.

We’re able to specifically address tax planning at the right times of the year; we can monitor and update our client’s spending plans so they always have adequate cash flow before they need it. We’re able to incorporate legislative changes as they develop so our client’s plans remain secure. We have a proven process and cadence for how we meet and provide advice for our clients, so they are always informed and know we are going to address all critical issues for them.

This intentionality with our process also provides key benefits for me as the firm owner. I can deliver a higher level of value for our clients, as we have specific times for client meetings, and dedicated times to research, analyze, plan, and prepare to deliver the best advice and experience for our clients.

It allows me time dedicated to learning more and increasing my capabilities as a planner, and to evaluate and introduce more useful tools and systems to drive better results for our clients. It also gives me with flexibility with my time, so that I can be fully engaged in my marriage, my family, my church, and my community, which are critical so that I can be the best for all those that I serve.

My passion to help those who need me the most requires the freedom to build my own firm, customized to deliver the most value to corporate employees seeking retirement. 

Get your free guide on the Top 5 Retirement Mistakes (and How to Avoid Them) here!

For a free assessment of your retirement readiness, schedule a call with us.

About the Author:

David Edmisten, CFP®, is the Founder of Next Phase Financial Planning, LLC, a financial advisor in Prescott, AZ. Next Phase Financial Planning provides retirement, investment and tax planning that helps corporate employees retire with both financial and lifestyle security.