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Financial advisor/planner recommendation in Seattle/WA state?

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  • Financial advisor/planner recommendation in Seattle/WA state?

    Anyone have a recommendation for a fee only advisor? Doesn't have to be in Seattle but preferably WA state. I see the list of advisors on the site but am thinking someone within the state would be more knowledgeable for planning...or am I wrong?

    I understand also that Harry Sit will help find an advisor but wanted to see if anyone here could recommend before going that route. Thanks.

  • #2
    Does bill schultheis still practice? He's the coffeehouse investor.

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    • #3
      “I see the list of advisors on the site but am thinking someone within the state would be more knowledgeable for planning...or am I wrong?”

      Are advisors smarter or just more lucky in Washington, Seattle in specific? Never heard that reason before. Might want to double check the source of that. You could be right, or not.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Tim View Post
        “I see the list of advisors on the site but am thinking someone within the state would be more knowledgeable for planning...or am I wrong?”

        Are advisors smarter or just more lucky in Washington, Seattle in specific? Never heard that reason before. Might want to double check the source of that. You could be right, or not.
        I meant more in the sense of local/state taxes as it applies to financial goals.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by papillad View Post

          I meant more in the sense of local/state taxes as it applies to financial goals.
          Non issue. The internet works in every state and city. The value added won't move the needle.

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          • #6
            Here’s the deal: you can find someone who has worked state/local taxes for your state longer than a non-resident as a tradeoff for someone who is very well-rounded and very family with doctor issues. Any CPA or FA, anywhere, has access to the same information that WA-based advisors do. Really not a big deal anymore. (On top of that, WA d/n impose income taxes!) But I posit that it will be far more difficult to find the reverse: WA-based advisors who have more experience and knowledge about doctor issues than the readers/participants on this forum. They will, for the most part, be generalists (merely presuming). Which do you consider the bigger financial risk?
            Our passion is protecting clients and others from predatory advisors. Fox & Co CPAs, Fox & Co Wealth Mgmt. 270-247-6087

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            • #7
              Originally posted by jfoxcpacfp View Post
              Here’s the deal: you can find someone who has worked state/local taxes for your state longer than a non-resident as a tradeoff for someone who is very well-rounded and very family with doctor issues. Any CPA or FA, anywhere, has access to the same information that WA-based advisors do. Really not a big deal anymore. (On top of that, WA d/n impose income taxes!) But I posit that it will be far more difficult to find the reverse: WA-based advisors who have more experience and knowledge about doctor issues than the readers/participants on this forum. They will, for the most part, be generalists (merely presuming). Which do you consider the bigger financial risk?
              I don't agree. WA has no income tax but a very onerous estate tax. It should be possible to find an advisor who knows that issue backward and forward as well as doctor specific issues, which for a W2 employee are almost nil.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by FIREshrink View Post

                I don't agree. WA has no income tax but a very onerous estate tax. It should be possible to find an advisor who knows that issue backward and forward as well as doctor specific issues, which for a W2 employee are almost nil.
                And your point is...? Totally agree with you on W2 employees and I have commented multiple times on the forum that it is our policy to recommend W2 doctors to bypass paying a professional until their situation becomes more complex. I am comfortable that other CPAs here do the same.

                As to the estate tax, this is an area we (and again, I am sure, other FAs/CPAs who are on the WCI list) have helped clients plan for but I posted my response to address the broader issue of multi-state knowledge and application. Again, none of this is a secret and it seems to me that you are conflating financial planning and CPA services. Different goals and focus for each
                Our passion is protecting clients and others from predatory advisors. Fox & Co CPAs, Fox & Co Wealth Mgmt. 270-247-6087

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by FIREshrink View Post

                  I don't agree. WA has no income tax but a very onerous estate tax. It should be possible to find an advisor who knows that issue backward and forward as well as doctor specific issues, which for a W2 employee are almost nil.
                  Typically that would be advised by an estate planning attorney. I doubt any CPA or FA in Washington even prepares wills. A fee only advisor in Washington probably won’t either. There seems to be a misconception of FA, FP, CPA and attorneys. Definitely use an attorney licensed in the state.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Tim View Post

                    Typically that would be advised by an estate planning attorney. I doubt any CPA or FA in Washington even prepares wills. A fee only advisor in Washington probably won’t either. There seems to be a misconception of FA, FP, CPA and attorneys. Definitely use an attorney licensed in the state.
                    A CPA/FA is prohibited from the practice of law. That includes filing for our clients to operate as an LLC or S-corp, no matter how simple the forms are - we could be sued for doing so. Not complaining, as there are reasons for the limitations, just stating the facts, sir.

                    Typically, we direct clients to the proper SOS website (so they can file on their own behalf) and review the forms before submission. There are a couple of states (at least) in which we recommend the client retains an attorney. As of today, those states are CA and NY. We also advise on the fee a client should pay - whether it is reasonable or overly-inflated for the work being handled.
                    Our passion is protecting clients and others from predatory advisors. Fox & Co CPAs, Fox & Co Wealth Mgmt. 270-247-6087

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                    • #11
                      The best financial advisor would be a local advisor with a specialization/expertise in your industry/specific employment setup, with a network of local experts (CPA, estate attorney, etc.) and that charges $0.

                      If you can’t find that, then you need to decide what trade-offs you’re willing to make.p

                      It’s minor, but I do think it’s easier to make mistakes, or just not know what you don’t know, if you have to keep up with several different state laws/nuances and employment situations. Certainly firms can be very successful at it like Johanna’s especially once they’ve worked with a client in your state/employment setup. I just prefer to keep a local client base for the client experience where you know the benefits inside and out and can tell people what they need to do versus “asking HR” or requesting a statement on benefits / investment options for the retirement plan, etc.

                      Having said that, I think you’ll find plenty of local advisors that do not even know their own state/estate taxes the way they should, much less some of the unique issues and planning items physicians have.

                      Would you rather have an advisor in WA saying you should start a gifting strategy to minimize the potential for a WA state estate tax and then turning around and saying you should refinance that crazy high $150k 5.8% student loan while you are on month 119/120 for PSLF?

                      I’d rather have someone with a national presence, with a physician specialization, like Johanna.
                      Andrew Musbach, CFP® | Co-Founder & Financial Advisor at MD Wealth Management, LLC | Podcast Host - The Physician's Guide to Financial Wellness

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Tim View Post

                        Typically that would be advised by an estate planning attorney. I doubt any CPA or FA in Washington even prepares wills. A fee only advisor in Washington probably won’t either. There seems to be a misconception of FA, FP, CPA and attorneys. Definitely use an attorney licensed in the state.
                        a qualified advisor would not write a will or trust. she would provide investment planning and complete financial planning with an eye toward maximizing future wealth transfer to beneficiaries, net of the estate tax, if that were a client goal.

                        if you don’t have a state estate tax, it’s not an issue. if you do, it is.

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                        • #13
                          “a qualified advisor ”
                          Define the qualifications. Typically letters.
                          ”fee only”
                          “Seattle”
                          And the FLP put in stay away from anyone that specializes in physicians.
                          State estate tax is only one factor. Likely not the primary at that.
                          Just saying, never heard of state estate tax tail wagging the dog in choosing a FP. It’s a good point though.

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                          • #14
                            One comment I would have favoring a state specific advisor is in regard to asset protection. We find many estate planning attorneys in Florida think of estate planning in ways that adversely affect asset protection issues. For many physicians who are not near the end of life-asset protection may be more important. A good fee only advisor with knowledge and experience in asset protection in a particular state may be quite valuable.

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