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So far Arrivity Financial Planning has created 16 blog entries.

The Road Ahead: What does risk tolerance mean?

By Liz Behlke

Are you Bunny Slope or Black Diamond?

I have to be honest, whenever I meet with my financial planner and we get to the questions about risk tolerance, I suddenly become extremely uncertain: Am I a low risk person? Highly risk tolerant? Or somewhere in between?

Most of the time I seem like a low risk individual. I drive close to the speed limit, avoid bungy jumping, and stay inside during lightning storms. On the other hand, I’m a person who walked away from a secure corporate job in my mid-50s to become happily self-employed. Risk is a complicated topic. One person’s no-go is someone else’s idea of a howling good time.

Risk tolerance and your financial strategy

It’s important for your financial planner to understand your tolerance for financial risk so they can make recommendations for your investment strategy. They’ll want to understand how comfortable you are with uncertainty. You might get a thrill out of tracking the day-to-day movements of stocks, or you could be someone who freaks out when you see minus signs on your investment statement. If your portfolio doesn’t align with your risk tolerance, it will be more challenging for you to follow your financial plan on the journey toward your financial goals.

Risk tolerance is a very personal thing that’s shaped by experience, background, and plain old temperament. Think of it like a ski resort: Ski resorts have different types of terrain, all the way from the beginner bunny hill up to double black diamond. Skiers choose their runs based on a number of factors including their personal skill level and how much of a rush they’re looking for. When I was skiing in my 20s, it was no big deal to wipe out occasionally. Now I’d rather have a relaxed day in the crisp mountain air (followed by a hot toddy in the lodge).

Risk tolerance is an assessment of comfort level. One skier may have the skills to attempt a black diamond run, but they may not enjoy the added adrenaline. Other skiers are only satisfied in the backcountry where the risk is high but so is the thrill. The key is to hit the slopes with the right equipment and a good trail map, so you can maximize fun while minimizing danger.

Your risk is personal

I like to keep all this in mind when I meet with my financial planner. When the subject of risk tolerance comes up, I know there’s no “right” answer. They’ll ask a series of questions to try to zero in on my personal comfort level – this isn’t meant to put me in a box. What it does is guide investment strategies that will help me meet my goals without losing sleep.

I’ve also realized it’s important not to over-think questions of risk tolerance because it’s only a snapshot. My financial plan can – and should – be adjusted over time based on conversations with my financial planner and my changing goals and attitudes.

For some, risk can mean opportunity, excitement, or a shot at big gains. But since life is uncertain, you also need to know how you feel about the potential for losses. Your Arrivity® planner will help you determine your risk tolerance so your personal financial plan stays on the right road.

Questions for thinking about financial risk

  • What’s your reaction when you hear about a stock market decline?
  • Where do you keep your rainy day fund, and is it enough for you?
  • When you check in on your investments, do you feel like you should be making changes, or are you just tracking long-term progress?

Action steps

  • When assessing risk, make sure you’re talking about your entire financial portfolio. Sometimes safer investments can balance more risky ones.
  • If you’re not certain about the overall risk level of your investments, you can contact Arrivity Financial Planning for a plan update.
  • If you find yourself feeling unsettled in times of excess stock market volatility, contact your financial planner before making significant changes to your portfolio.

Please contact us at 206.217.2583 or info@arrivity.com if we can assist you or someone you know with financial planning.

Liz is a Late Boomer in the sandwich generation who started an independent writing and brand consulting practice after years as a senior marketing executive. She lives in Seattle, Washington. Her mother lives nearby and her daughter comes home during college breaks.

The foregoing content reflects the opinions of Liz Behlke and is subject to change at any time without notice. Content provided herein is for informational purposes only and should not be used or construed as investment advice or a recommendation regarding the purchase or sale of any security. There is no guarantee that the statements, opinions or forecasts provided herein will prove to be correct. Past performance may not be indicative of future results. Indices are not available for direct investment. Any investor who attempts to mimic the performance of an index would incur fees and expenses which would reduce returns Securities investing involves risk, including the potential for loss of principal. There is no assurance that any investment plan or strategy will be successful.

By |2022-03-24T17:26:53+00:00February 2nd, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

Announcements from Arrivity® Financial Planning – January 2022

Happy New Year from the Arrivity® Financial Planning team!

We have much to celebrate at our firm as we head into 2022.

We are pleased to announce two promotions this past year, introduce new additions to the team, and share our new address.

Financial Planner Promotions:

Jonathan Coleman, who joined Arrivity Financial Planning in 2017, is a CFP® professional and is now working with his own clients. He worked on Wall Street as a research analyst early in his career, which provided him with a base of investment knowledge that he now applies to individual financial plans. Jonathan joined Arrivity Financial Planning to connect with people and has found that making a positive impact in his clients’ lives through planning is truly rewarding.

Jamie Clark joined our firm in early 2020 after spending a decade as a software engineer working at companies such as Microsoft and Amazon. As a candidate for CFP® certification, they’re starting to work with their own clients specializing in those in their early to mid-careers. Jamie has always had a passion for personal finance and solving math puzzles, so transitioning to financial planning as a profession has been an ideal move.

New Team Members:

We welcome our newest Arrivity team members who joined in 2021:

Anne Marie Consentino, Associate Financial Planner joined the team in June and provides financial planning support.

William “Craig” McCook, Associate Financial Planner joined us in September and also provides support to our financial planners.

Evan Altameemi, Client Relations Specialist, joined the team in November and handles client inquiries and scheduling.

New Address:

Arrivity Financial Planning
1200 Westlake Ave N, Suite 508
Seattle, WA 98109

We are still in the AGC building but have moved to a new suite. While we’re still meeting clients via Zoom for now, preparations for in-person meetings are currently underway. Stay tuned!

By |2022-02-02T18:44:31+00:00January 14th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

The Road Ahead – December 2021

Greetings from Arrivity® Financial Planning!

We hope this finds you well as the year end approaches.

It’s our mission to help our clients navigate their path in the financial world. We believe financial planning is not a one-time event. It should be ongoing throughout life’s many changes.

We value our relationship and want to remind you that we’re here for you and your family whenever you need financial guidance. To stay connected, we’ve teamed with a writer who is bringing us some topics we think you’ll find interesting. We’ll be sending our new newsletter to your inbox monthly.

In our premiere piece, “Visioning Your Road to Retirement,” you’ll find thought-provoking questions to help you envision your future and suggested steps to get you moving in that direction. We hope it is helpful for you or someone you know!

Please contact us if we can be of assistance.

Your Arrivity Financial Planning Team
(formerly Goddard Financial Planning)

Visioning Your Road to Retirement

By Liz Behlke

The expected path isn’t everyone’s path.

When I started getting into memoir writing, I began to imagine a post-retirement career as a Personal Historian – using my skills to help others document their lives. I mentioned this to a mentor who said, “Well, it’s not like you’re going to quit your job and write for a living.” Not long after, I did just that.

When I was an executive, retirement was pretty straight forward: Work to a certain age, take the pension, then stop working. It’s certainly what my parents assumed I would do. But the closer I got to it, the more creative my thinking became. Why wait until a specified age to enjoy life? When corporate life started to be less rewarding, I took the leap. Now that I’m working for myself, I have a new vision of what the road to retirement will look like. And I feel like there are many more options – for today and for when I reach “that age.”

What will you do when you retire?

I recently came across an article listing 120 things one could do in retirement, and another that outlined 49 retirement ideas. I hope people my age don’t feel like they have to pick from a list in order to design life after a career. In fact, if you begin to envision your retirement well in advance, you can start lining up your finances and other resources to support your plan.

Today there are so many options for retirement: For some it may mean moving to a warm locale, pursuing hobbies, and traveling. But other people may want to keep working, start a business, or learn a new skill. And, of course, there are those who decide to leave 9-to-5 life early and pivot to something they find more fulfilling. The great thing is that none of these are bad options. What allows you to turn your vision into reality is a solid financial plan so you can see how different decisions will impact future financial scenarios.

Mapping out retirement

An honest discussion with your financial planner can help you explore retirement options and see how you’re going to get from here to there. Your financial plan will take into account current and future assets as well as obligations like education for the kids. A clear picture of all your finances can be your roadmap, and you may find out that you don’t have to wait until a certain age to start doing more of what excites you.

The planning process is a great way to clarify your thinking and discuss scenarios with your spouse or partner. Some people are surprised to find out that their family members have completely different ideas about what retirement looks like – and when it will happen. We’ve included some questions below to get your thinking started, as well as action steps you can take right now.

It can be scary to diverge from the expected path. I’m not going to tell you it was easy for me, but a roadmap can help you make decisions and turn possibilities into reality. Your financial plan can be a guide that leads you into retirement with confidence.

When is the last time you reviewed your financial plan? Your Arrivity financial planner can help you map out the future no matter where you are in the journey toward retirement.

Questions for visioning your retirement

  • What excites you most about your work: the people, productivity, or the problem solving?
  • Is there something you would do regardless of whether or not you got paid?
  • Who are the people you want to spend time with when you’re no longer with work colleagues?

Action steps

  • If you haven’t yet envisioned what your retirement looks like, consider writing down your ideas as a list or journal.
  • Another way of gathering ideas is to collect articles or photos in a folder and review them when you need inspiration.
  • On the practical side, gather all your financial accounts, insurance, and social security statements in one place so your financial picture isn’t a mystery.

Please contact us at 206.217.2583 or info@arrivity.com if we can assist you or someone you know with financial planning.

Liz is a Late Boomer in the sandwich generation who started an independent writing and brand consulting practice after years as a senior marketing executive. She lives in Seattle, Washington. Her mother lives nearby and her daughter comes home during college breaks.

The foregoing content reflects the opinions of Liz Behlke and is subject to change at any time without notice. Content provided herein is for informational purposes only and should not be used or construed as investment advice or a recommendation regarding the purchase or sale of any security. There is no guarantee that the statements, opinions or forecasts provided herein will prove to be correct. Past performance may not be indicative of future results. Indices are not available for direct investment. Any investor who attempts to mimic the performance of an index would incur fees and expenses which would reduce returns Securities investing involves risk, including the potential for loss of principal. There is no assurance that any investment plan or strategy will be successful. 

By |2022-01-05T00:52:54+00:00January 4th, 2022|Categories: News|0 Comments

New Washington Long Term Care Trust Act

Washington State recently passed the Long Term Care Trust Act. Starting January 1, 2022, all W-2 income in WA State will be taxed at 0.58% to fund this new program. Prompt attention may be required for those who are working and already have a private Long Term Care Insurance policy or those who are working and are interested in purchasing long term care insurance. Please read below for additional information.

As of 4/12/2021, this is what we know:

Who will pay?

  • The LTC Trust will be funded by a 0.58% payroll tax on all W-2 income beginning 1/1/2022.
  • There is no cap on wages used to calculate the tax.
  • W-2 income includes company stock awards.
  • Self-employed persons and independent contractors are excluded, but can “opt-in”.
Hypothetical W-2 Income 0.58% Tax
$100,000 $580
$150,000 $870
$250,000 $1,450
$500,000 $2,900

What are the benefits of the WA LTC Trust Plan?

  • Beginning 1/1/2025, eligible WA residents may receive up to $100 per day for long term care services. Maximum lifetime benefit is $36,500 (365 days).
  • Current daily cost in Seattle – Home care (8hrs) ~$220, Assisted Living ~$224, Nursing Home ~$400.

Who will benefit from the Plan?

  • Only qualified Washington residents1 who, at the time of the claim2, paid the tax for either a) 3 years within the last 6 years, or b) for a total of 10 years, with at least 5 years uninterrupted.

What can you do (e.g. how to opt-out of the tax)?

  • For those with an existing private long term care insurance policy:
    • Apply for an exemption from the payroll tax with the employment security department (“ESD”) from October 1, 2021 – December 31, 2022.
    • Provide the approval letter from ESD to your employer.
  • For those without an existing private long term care insurance policy:
    • Purchase a qualified long term care policy by November 1, 2021.
    • Apply for an exemption from the payroll tax with the employment security department (“ESD”) from October 1, 2021 – December 31, 2022.
    • Provide the approval letter from ESD to your employer.

Sample premiums for a private policy

Coverage includes $3,000 per month, 2 year benefit period, 3% compound inflation rider:

Private Policy Premiums Age 30 Age 40 Age 50
Male $845 $881 $1,045
Female $1,254 $1,292 $1,597
Married Couple Discounts may be available

If you are interested in exploring your options for a qualified long term care policy, or a hybrid long term care / life insurance policy, please start by contacting an insurance professional (see our Recommended Resources) to determine your eligibility, and to obtain a quote. If you still have questions on whether a private policy is right for you, contact Arrivity Financial Planning to set up a consultation.

1 Must reside in the State of Washington. Any person that moves out of the State of Washington for 5+ years will forfeit all benefits and taxes paid.
2 A qualifying claim requires that an individual needs assistance with a minimum of 3 of 10 Activities of Daily Living (“ADLs”): medication management, personal hygiene, eating, toileting, transferring, body care, bathing, ambulation/mobility, dressing, and cognitive impairment.

By |2021-04-16T18:17:59+00:00April 16th, 2021|Categories: News|0 Comments