Financial Planning

Prudent financial planning encompasses not only saving and investing but also guidance on how to achieve a wide range of financial objectives.

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What Is Financial Planning?

Just like you wouldn’t start a road trip without referring to a map, a financial plan creates a “map” that shows how to use your money to achieve your goals.

Financial planning starts with an inventory of your current financial situation:

Your assets

What are your assets (cash, investments, home, business)?


What are your liabilities?


What insurance do you have (life, disability, homeowners, umbrella policy)?

Cash flow

How do you manage your cash flow?

Goal Setting

You are unlikely to achieve your financial goals unless you define them and put in place a plan for reaching them.

Investors have a number of short and long-term goals, such as:

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Buying a home

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Buying a car

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Educating their children

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Crafting post- retirement life

Some goals are short-term.

Others may be 20 or more years away.

Good financial planning is like climbing a ladder, one step at a time. At each step, you and your financial planning team at Emeritus stop and evaluate your situation. Your financial plan is flexible. It adjusts to changing circumstances, such as:

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Death and disability

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Increased (or decreased) income

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Career changes

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Investment performance

Once you take one step on your financial planning ladder, it’s much easier to take the next one.

At Emeritus, we believe in this quote attributed to Ben Franklin:
If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.

How much money comes in every month?

How much are you saving?

How much goes out?

Are you prioritizing elimination of high interest debt?

How much is spent on clothing, housing, travel, food, and the reduction of debt?

A pie chart advising to save 20% of gross income.

Save 20% of your gross income.

A pie chart advising to save 20% of gross income.

Limit housing costs to 30% of gross monthly income.

We encourage you to save 20% of your gross income and to limit the amount spent on housing to 30% of your gross monthly income.

Our financial plans prioritize the elimination of high interest debt by implementing a debt management plan where necessary.


While it’s commonly believed that there’s “no such thing as a free lunch,” there’s an exception to this rule.

If your employer offers a match of your contributions to a company-sponsored retirement plan (like a 403(b) or 457 plan), that’s “free” money. We encourage our clients to contribute at least enough to qualify for the maximum employer match.

As part of your financial plan, we will also evaluate the pros and cons of investing in a traditional or Roth individual retirement account. This analysis takes into account the investment options available in your plan.

Investment Options

Are the fees charged by the mutual funds in the plan low cost?

Financial Situation

Are the investment options broad enough to permit you to make choices suitable for your financial situation?

Financial Emergencies

More than half of Americans have savings equal to three months of expenses. Almost one-quarter have no emergency fund at all. Financial emergencies can include:

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Loss of a job

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Loss of a major client

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Medical or dental emergencies

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Unexpected home or automobile repairs

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Unplanned tax liability

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Funeral costs

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Travel to visit a loved one who has taken ill

We plan for these contingencies because we understand the probability is fairly high that our clients will confront one or more of them during their lifetimes.


Our focus with all your investments in minimizing your costs and fees.

Retirement plans sponsored by your employer

Traditional and Roth IRA accounts

529 savings plans

After-tax investments

Learn about our investment philosophy


Financial professional

An insurance review by a competent financial professional is a critical part of your financial planning.

Insurance is an often overlooked part of a financial plan, with potentially devastating consequences.

Specialized Advice

Because we have spent decades counseling employees in 403(b) and 457 plans sponsored by TIAA®, Vanguard and Fidelity, our financial plans are focused on the unique requirements of professors, administrators and healthcare professionals.

Professors & Administrators

Learn about our financial planning services for professors and administrators.

Physicians & Other Healthcare Professionals

Learn about our financial planning services for physicians and other healthcare professionals.

Emeritus Wealth Management
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Emeritus Wealth Management has no affiliation with TIAA. The services rendered by Emeritus Wealth Management are not reviewed or approved by TIAA. TIAA is a registered trademark of TIAA.
We help participants in 403(b) retirement plans sponsored by TIAA, Vanguard and Fidelity optimize their investments and plan for the future.
Investment advice offered through Stratos Wealth Advisors, LLC, a Registered Investment Advisor DBA Emeritus Wealth Advisors.
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