Stoddard Financial provides comprehensive wealth management. This means we offer more than just investment advice. Our clients get customized financial strategies that allow them to enjoy their retirement years without the worry of financial planning. We use an approach that takes your entire financial situation and personal goals into account and strive for results that encompass the “four pillars” of wealth management — investment management, estate planning, tax strategies, and risk management.
Who We Serve
Blue collar workers and tradesmen are often good with saving money, but many are unfamiliar with investing or financial planning. At Stoddard, we’re committed to helping these hardworking people get the most from the fruits of their labor.
After the loss of a spouse, widows often find themselves dealing with both grief and pressing financial concerns at the same time. At Stoddard, we support women through this vulnerable time and help them step into the next chapter of their lives, feeling confident that they will be okay.
The Single Mom
When it comes to managing money, single moms are often savvy at making a dollar stretch and making sure their family has what they need, but sometimes they lack confidence in investing and financial planning. At Stoddard, we help single moms create financial confidence and clarity.
The Married Couple
When the unexpected happens, your financial and retirement plans may need to change, sometimes dramatically. These events can leave you wondering, “How do I move forward?” or “Where do I even begin?” At Stoddard, we are here to be a resource guiding you through life’s twists and turns.
First Appointment: The Introduction
The first meeting is a chance for you to get to know your advisor and our team, to learn about our process, and to ask any questions you may have. By the same token, it is our opportunity to get to know you and to learn about your situation. After this meeting, you and your advisor will be able to determine if subsequent meetings are required. If another meeting is scheduled, your advisor will collect pertinent financial and retirement planning documents, or they will give you a list of documents to collect for the next meeting.
Second Appointment: What are your needs, wants, and wishes?
During this meeting, we will really focus on you. We want to discover your true goals for your retirement: your needs, your wants, and your wishes. Your advisor will take this time to go over all the information you provided. They will identify assets and liabilities that belong to you as well as begin to determine what you are pleased with and what you are concerned with regarding your current situation. If it’s needed, your advisor will request additional information needed to create your full financial plan.
Third Appointment: Summary and Presentation of Results
You will begin to really see your plan take shape during your third appointment. Your advisor will provide you with a complete analysis of your current situation and retirement plan. They will provide you with recommendations to help improve the potential success of your plan. At the end of this meeting, you will see a very clear picture of whether any serious changes need to be made to your plan.
Fourth Appointment: The Action Meeting
Congratulations! If this meeting is scheduled, it means you and your advisor have agreed that there is a good fit between you. In addition, it means that you have both agreed to move forward, together. There are two main purposes to this meeting: (1) To initiate the first action items identified in the results of your plan, and (2) to complete the appropriate paperwork to begin implementing your plan.
Our Client Process
We Believe a Financial Plan is Never Complete
Every person’s and family’s plan requires ongoing reviews and updates when necessary. To facilitate this process, we have engineered a two-year review cycle to help identify when changes need to be made to your plan. While an overall review of your progress is necessary at each and every meeting, it won’t always be the entire focus. We will have multiple meetings over the span of two years, and each will focus on different aspects of your plan, including investments, estate planning, tax planning, and risk management.
The following is a summary of each review to be completed during the two-year cycle.
Risk & Diversification Assessment
Your feelings towards risk can be influenced by the dynamic global economy, the ever-changing political climate, and unpredictable world events. For this reason, we aim to maintain a clear understanding of your tolerance for risk and invest your assets accordingly.
Portfolio Stress Test
Using tools that generate what-if scenarios based on trending, real-life, macro uncertainties, we will stress test your portfolio to project potential outcomes and recommend changes in your portfolio if any are indicated.
Maximizing Social Security Benefits
For most middle-income couples, Social Security makes up 20% – 50% of their retirement income—often upwards of $500,000 in lifetime benefits. There are literally thousands of options for when and how to elect your Social Security benefits. We will help you develop a strategy and show you how to maximize your Social Security benefits.
Estate Plan Review
Effective estate management enables you to manage your affairs during your lifetime and control the distribution of your wealth after death. We work with your estate planning attorney to ensure your estate plan is put into action properly and identify when updates need to be made as your life and plan evolve.
Life, Disability, and Long-Term Care Needs Analysis
Insurance transfers the financial risk of life’s events to an insurance company. A sound risk mitigation strategy can help identify and protect your family from the financial consequences of these events. We analyze your needs and exposures to implement an insurance strategy aimed at protecting your family and loved ones and to help guide your plan towards success.
We Never Take Our Eyes Off Your Investment Portfolio
Over time, some investments will perform better or worse than others. To account for this, we periodically adjust your asset allocation to stay aligned with your unique goals.
Do I have to pay taxes on Social Security?
Social Security income is taxable; however, whether or not you will have to pay taxes on your benefits depends on your overall income. Unless you plan to live solely on your Social Security income, you may have to pay taxes on a portion of it. Savvy tax strategies can help to lower your tax burden in retirement.
How do I replace my working income in retirement?
This starts by reviewing your workplace benefits, what you earned in social security, federal, state or private pension plans. From there we review your current take-home pay and whether that allows you to save money monthly. We then review your savings and investment accounts to see how those can supplement your pension resources to replace your work income.
Can I afford to retire?
You most likely worked hard to save for retirement, pay for your house, and contribute to your children’s education, yet have no idea if you can afford to retire. Answering this question means looking carefully at your overall financial picture. We help clients identify, plan and execute strategies designed for securing their desired financial future, including retirement. The planning process begins by helping clients maximize their corporate benefits to leverage their potential retirement income. We guide clients in transitioning income sources with tax efficiency, manage assets to suit their risk preferences, and coordinate with their tax and estate planning professionals.
Should I wait to take Social Security or draw from my pension?
Answering this question requires looking carefully at your sources of income, taxed and untaxed savings, etc. Deciding when to take your Social Security or draw from your pension depends on your (and your spouses’) age, health, longevity and whether you have other sources of guaranteed income.
How can I make sure my family will be taken care of?
This is a big question, and we can help you become more confident that your family will be taken care of, even if something happens to you. First, we will make sure you have adequate short-term and long-term disability insurance, long-term care insurance, and life insurance. Then we will look at your overall financial plan, making sure it covers long-term considerations, as well as your estate plan to make sure all of your bases are covered.
What should I do if my adult children need financial support?
With the rising cost of education, lower starting salaries, and higher cost of living, we’re finding more and more parents of Millennials and Generation Z are supporting their adult children financially when they need help. We’ll never suggest you turn your back on your kid, but we will help you come up with financially responsible ways to support them that set them up for financial independence while safeguarding your retirement plans.
How are you qualified to handle my investments?
Kevin Stoddard, CFA®, the Founder and President of Stoddard Financial, LLC, holds the designation of Chartered Financial Analyst® (CFA®) and is a veteran in the financial services business with three decades of experience. He earned a BSBA in finance from Bryant University and holds Series 7 and 24 registrations held with LPL Financial. Kevin’s diverse experience allows him to anticipate problems and provide strategies to his clients so they can pursue the retirement of their dreams.
I live out of state. Can you still be my advisor?
Yes, you do not need to live in Massachusetts to be a client. Stoddard Financial currently serves clients throughout the New England area.
Can you refer me to a tax preparer? An estate attorney?
Yes. We work with a network of well-vetted and trusted financial, tax, and legal professionals.
Will you watch over my investments?
Yes. We constantly review and monitor your portfolio. All fee-based portfolios, whether custom or model, will be set up with previously established “drift” parameters, meaning our portfolio weightings will not stray too far from their target which helps keep your portfolio closer to your risk preference. All clients have online access to a consolidated review of their portfolio regardless of their number of accounts.
How are you different from a corporate financial firm?
With Stoddard Financial, clients get hands-on, one-on-one, personalized service. You are never just a number or AUM (assets under management) amount. We’ve created a community of exceptional clients with strong values and a passion for the important things in life, providing comprehensive wealth management for a select group of individuals throughout New England.
I’ve never worked with an advisor before. What should I be looking for?
Your advisor should have the experience and credentials to offer skilled guidance and well-informed advice. More than that, the individual you choose should be willing to work with you closely as a partner, make the effort to empower and educate you about your financial decisions along the way, and strive to always work in your best interest using a comprehensive approach that takes your specific financial picture and goals into account.