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Goddard Financial Planning Newsletter – August 15, 2019

We hope this email finds you well and enjoying these long summer days. Whether it is taking in Seafair, exploring the many great outdoor spots in our region, or simply sitting on your porch and enjoying a cold drink, summer is a busy time of year. While we have been taking time to savor all the seasonal offerings ourselves, we’ve also been busy with continuous growth and refinement of our fee-for-service model. Before the summer completely gets away from us, we wanted to take a moment to let you know about a few of our updates.

We Continue to Expand the Number of Clients We Serve

We are pleased to announce that Sandra Jones, CFP®, CIMA® recently joined our team in the role of Financial Planner. Sandra brings extensive experience and most recently served in an investment management role for Perkins Coie Trust Company, where she worked closely with individuals, trusts, and endowments. Sandra heard about our approach to working with clients and was excited enough by our fee-for-service model that she made the transition to Goddard Financial Planning in May.

As a Financial Planner, she is eager to work directly with new and existing clients of the firm. Sandra will use her expertise, along with our team-based approach, to develop unique, customized plans for clients of all ages. Sandra’s hiring will ease some of the backlog from increased demand over recent months and help us further expand our services. Please take a moment to welcome Sandra the next time you’re in our office.

Website Update

In conjunction with adding a new planner, we have refreshed our website in recent weeks. For many clients, the website is their first point of contact with our firm. Our goal for the site is to provide an easy way to access answers to some of the most frequently asked questions. We have updated the “Our Team” page with current photos and updated bios on each member of our team (including our “Chief Morale Booster”, Rosie).

We also updated the “Our Fees” pages to cover cost estimates and extend transparency to the fee structure for returning clients. These changes help address the most commonly asked questions by returning clients: “What should I expect?” and “What will it cost?”

We hope you will view our updated website and look forward to your feedback.

Just off the Press

We are pleased to share that for the fourth year in a row we have been selected by Advisory HQ as one of the Top 9 Financial Advisors in Seattle and Bellevue, Washington. For more information you can visit this site:

https://www.advisoryhq.com/articles/best-washington-financial-advisors-wealth-managers-and-rias/

We Are Here to Help

When the Greek philosopher, Heraclitus, said, “Change is the only constant in life”, he likely wasn’t referring to escalating trade wars, phone scammers, or traffic gridlock in a growing city. All this change keeps life interesting. While we admit that we don’t have all the answers on coping with change, we do know about personal finance and, more importantly, we like helping people. As planners, we strive to help clients ignore the daily noise and to focus on those things that truly matter.

We have worked with many appreciative clients who value our approach and we are constantly making improvements to all aspects of our business based on your feedback and the needs of the market. The more our satisfied clients spread the word, the more households we can provide with comprehensive financial planning advice. Whether you are a returning client who hasn’t been in to see us in a few years, or you’ve been hesitant to refer a friend because of our wait time, we hope that our increased capacity will help us better serve your needs.

Please don’t hesitate to call or email us to see how we might be of assistance.

By |2021-02-09T14:51:35+00:00August 15th, 2019|Categories: News|0 Comments

Market Commentary – December 2018

Greetings! We hope this email finds you well and looking forward to the holidays. For many of us in the Pacific Northwest, autumn can be a favorite time of year as we transition from the hot, dry end of summer to shorter days, cooler nights, and plenty of color in the trees. Hiking trails tend to be a little less busy (although this is still the Northwest, so that’s relative!) and the fall harvest brings the fruit of the summer season. It’s also a time when daily routines change for those with children, as the structured schedule of the school year replaces the fun chaos of summer.

While autumn can bring back many happy memories, it can be the most unpredictable season in the Northwest. Heavy rain, windstorms, and power outages are all common. A hike can turn into a miserable experience for the unprepared.  That structured routine with children can be a headache for parents trying to juggle soccer practices, ballet lessons, and numerous other activities.

We believe the key to managing this unpredictable season, similar to the investment markets, is with proper planning and coordination. October brought turbulent global markets along with our changing weather. No matter what your personal risk tolerance (which is not a static thing, by the way), most people don’t enjoy watching their hard-earned savings gyrate like a yo-yo.

During periods like this, here are some important things to remember:

  • We continue to believe in the phrase “time in the market” rather than “timing the market”.
  • Volatility in the stock and bond markets is normal. Don’t let recent years with low-volatility lull you into thinking otherwise.
  • Long-term returns in the stock market are “earned” by clients not being swayed into poor decisions during volatile periods like this.
  • Our financial plans do NOT assume that your investments will increase in a nice, orderly fashion. Volatility is an inevitable part of the market cycle, which is why we use Monte Carlo analysis to stress-test your retirement model.

For clients with a decade or more to go before retirement, a market decline provides an opportunity to build wealth as you make regular purchases at lower prices. Think of a market downturn as a giant sale on good quality assets.

For our clients who have reached financial independence (or are very close), periods like this can be a good reminder of why we recommend a 2-3 year cash reserve as you transition into retirement. Having cash on hand to weather market storms has helped many of our retired clients “sleep at night” during past downturns.

Regardless of your stage in life, our recommendation is to STAY THE COURSE and don’t let short-term gyrations derail your long-term financial plan.

Everyone’s situation is unique, so if the recent market performance has you on edge, we’re happy to set up a time to review your plan and your investments with you. If our unbiased advice is needed, please let us know.

By |2021-02-09T14:51:03+00:00January 11th, 2019|Categories: News|0 Comments

October 2017 – Recommendations for Identity and Credit Protection

Greetings,

In light of the recent data breach at Equifax, we would like to share with you some of the information we have gathered to help protect yourself and your family from credit and identity theft. The decision of which lines of defense to take in preventing identity theft is a personal one, and will depend on your individual situation. There is no one right action to take. We’ve divided the lines of defense into two categories – preventive and detective. Preventive measures are designed to prevent credit and identity theft from occurring, whereas detective measures will inform you after the theft/fraud has happened. The lines of defense listed below are not an exhaustive list of precautions you can take. Visit www.usa.gov/identity-theft for other helpful tips and information on preventing various types of identity theft.

Preventive Measures

  • Credit Freeze: This is considered the most extreme, but likely the most effective, measure to prevent identity thieves from opening a new credit card or other line of credit on your credit file. Note that a credit freeze does not protect your existing accounts from fraudulent activity. A credit freeze restricts access to your credit history, without which most creditors won’t open a new account. A credit freeze does not impact your credit score. The downsides to a credit freeze are primarily cost and inconvenience. It may cost up to $20 to both “freeze” and “unfreeze” your credit, depending on the state and the credit bureau. You must freeze your credit with each of the credit bureaus individually. In addition, unfreezing your credit when you need it is not instantaneous, and could take up to a few days. It also requires that you remember or have access to the pin that was established when you originally froze your credit.
  • 90 Day Fraud Alert: This free service warns lenders that you may have been a victim of fraud, and asks them to take extra precautions, such as contacting you, before granting a new line of credit in your name. This initial alert lasts for only 90 days. If you sign up for this free service with any of the 3 primary credit bureaus, they will automatically notify the other credit bureaus. Should you become a victim of fraud, with evidence such as a police report, you can request a seven year fraud alert be placed on your credit file. A fraud alert does not impact your credit score.
  • Opt-out of Pre-approved Credit Card offers: One way to reduce the chances of an identity thief from opening a new credit card in your name (and to reduce the amount of junk mail you receive), is to “opt-out” of the list that credit bureaus provide to credit card and insurance businesses. Visit optoutprescreen.com and follow the instructions if you would like to take this preventive measure and be permanently removed from these mailing lists. This precaution does not impact your credit score.
  • Protect your Passwords: Another preventive measure you can take is to protect your passwords to all accounts in order to prevent thieves from making fraudulent transactions on your existing accounts. Use a secure password manager app on your mobile phone or your desktop/laptop computer, or save your passwords in a password-protected Excel spreadsheet. A few popular password manager apps that use cloud technology include LastPass, Dashlane and 1Password. Other apps such as KeePass, RoboForm and Password Safe use your harddrive for securely storing your password data.

Detective Measures

  • Monitor your Credit Reports: On an annual basis, request your free credit report from each of the four credit bureaus to review for any unexpected activity such as new credit cards or other lines of credit opened in your name that were not authorized by you. This detective measure will make you aware of fraud after it has occurred, although not necessarily in a timely manner, depending on the timing of your report monitoring.
  • Subscribe to a Credit Monitoring Service: The credit bureaus offer monitoring services that will notify you as soon as any changes have occurred on your credit file. Credit monitoring will not prevent you from being targeted by identity thieves, but it can help mitigate the damage by being notified of the fraud in a timely manner.
    • Experian CreditWorks: $24.99 per month (checks your Experian, TransUnion and Equifax credit reports each day, and notifies you when key changes are detected).
    • TransUnion: $19.99 per month
    • Equifax TrustedID Premier: Free for the first year of service.
  • Monitor your credit card/bank statements: An easy detective measure is to get in the habit of regularly monitoring transactions on your credit and bank statements, such as your debit and credit cards, and checking and savings, for unexpected or suspicious activity. This exercise could be two-fold, as you can also track your level of personal spending, an exercise that we recommend most clients do as part of their financial planning.

If you would like to contact us regarding this topic, or set up a meeting with your financial planner, please email: info@arrivity.com

All the best,

Your Team at Goddard Financial Planning

603 Financial, Inc. dba Goddard Financial Planning
1200 Westlake Avenue North / Suite #603
Seattle, WA 98109
(206) 217 – 2583

By |2021-02-09T14:49:52+00:00October 12th, 2017|Categories: News|0 Comments

Beware of unsolicited offers to buy your home ‘cash, as is’

By Connie Thompson – Komo News

“If you own a home in a popular community, buyers could be about to make you a cash offer- even if you have no plans to sell. The offers may sound good, but there can be a major downside. Demand for homes is so high- some buyers don’t wait for houses to go on the market. If your home fits what they’re looking for- you get what’s know as a cold call offer by card or letter.

Jim LaCour has been getting offers from strangers who want to buy his view home in Seattle.

“Initially I thought that’s probably a good idea,” said LaCour. “You know, someone is interested in our home and wanted to pay cash for it. I didn’t think about the fact that someone might not give you what it’s worth.”

Certified Financial Planner Nancy Dienes urges caution. She says unsolicited cash offers are typically far below market value.

“When they offer you these cash offers, they’re generally at a discount,” said Dienes, Principal at Blue Canoe Financial Planning. “Some of the information I’ve read indicates that a cash offer is going to be somewhere between 70 and 80 percent of what the fair market value would be.”

Remember, a lot of these solicitations are from investors looking to turn a profit. Don’t make their gain be at your expense. Before you say yes, do your “home” work. Compare online value estimates for your address. Have a real estate office do a value analysis. Or consider paying for an independent appraisal.”

Read Full Story on KomoNews.com

By |2021-02-09T14:48:09+00:00April 13th, 2016|Categories: News|0 Comments