Financial advisors recommend same-sex couples have a discussion about how the Supreme Court decision will affect their finances and consider the ramifications of all possible outcomes. “One size is not for all, so one broad answer wouldn’t address the factors involved. The financial choices are driven by individual goals and emotions,” said Maura Griffin, founder of CEO of Blue Spark Capital Advisors.
Preparing for retirement is massive undertaking, so knowing how to measure your progress is very important. Maura Griffin was recently interviewed by U.S. News about what experiences you can expect as you transition into retirement.
Forbes Magazine named Blue Spark Capital a “Top Financial Leader” in New York
Matthew Carey on how big tax changes will affect you
Blue Spark’s Matt Carey was interviewed by Bankrate on what to expect in 2015 regarding taxes. He says this year’s tax changes rank among the most significant in recent memory. This year, high-earning Americans will pay the highest rate in nearly two decades and will also hand over more of their pay in Medicare taxes. We saw in 2013 saw the first categorical income tax increases in two decades. Income tax rates for the highest wage earners increased, while rates for most others held steady.
Maura Griffin was interviewed by Consuelo Mack on her program Wealthtrack, which aired on PBS stations nationwide in June. She spoke about the unique difficulties women face in achieving long-term financial security. She helps explain what every woman needs to know to build a financial plan to last a lifetime. Many of Ms. Griffin’s clients are women, including widows, women adjusting to life post-divorce, single women who are sometimes raising children on their own, and others in transition. Why do most women fear becoming a “bag lady”? Will you outlive your assets? Is a prenup necessary? Do women ask enough questions?
The newspaper interviewed Maura about the single mothers in her practice. “For women, there is often more emotion around money. Advisers need to help their clients understand their spending habits, look at what’s driving their spending, and find ways to save more. That’s the role I try to play with my clients: helping them through emotional issues with money, helping them understand where it’s coming from and teaching them to make smart decisions about their spending and budgeting.” For single mothers, estate planning and retirement are the main areas to tackle first, with college planning and saving after that. “Women who have stepped out of the workforce to have children or adopt children on their own often face a double whammy in that they fall off the ladder in terms of their career, and they have had less income during those years to be able to put away for retirement. As women they typically live longer and have saved less, so it’s important to find ways to save where they can.”
“Maura Griffin, CEO of Blue Spark Capital Advisors in New York, a recently launched firm with about $30 million under management, lost power for a week at home and in her office, both in Manhattan. “Luckily we had a disaster contingency plan so I could take my laptop and find a temporary office and keep working,” she says. Working in the cloud means you’re not reliant on a “hard copy” work environment “that we could lose in a storm,” she adds.
Not that cloud storage solves all an advisor’s tech challenges during a disaster. Griffin discovered that texting was the best way to communicate with clients and co-workers during the emergency, but her team sometimes had difficulty finding places to charge their phones. As a result, Blue Spark now has battery-operated radios and hand-crank generators to keep staffers’ phones powered.”
The Wall Street Journal interviewed Maura on financial moves to make this year if you have a big life event in “Are You Planning a Big Life Change This Year?” Getting married, buying a house, having a baby, sending a child to college, and retiring all have repercussions on your financial life, as well as your emotional life. Most of these need years of planning ahead of the event, but here are some to-dos you can do in that year.
Financial Planning magazine called on Blue Spark Capital’s Maura Griffin during the early days of Hurricane Sandy to see how her practice was faring in the dark at the office and at home in the article “After Hurricane Sandy, Trapped Manhattan Planner Hunts for Power”
The Garret Planning Network was mentioned as a good source for locating an affordable financial advisor in “How to afford an investment adviser without breaking the bank.”
In “Get financially fit in 2012,” the Garrett Planning Network was recommended as a place to find a fee-only advisor and “step up your financial fitness.”
How to get financial help without conflicts of interest? “By hiring a fee-only financial advisor,” says Robert Brokamp, who recommends Garrett Planning Network members in “The Best Way to Pay for Advice: The Advantages of a Fee-Only Financial Advisor.”
How to begin? “Set up ‘get acquainted’ meetings and ask each adviser to write up a proposal, including their fees,” said Sheryl Garrett, CFP®, founder of the Garrett Planning Network, in “Tips for Picking a Financial Adviser.“