Recommendations for a comprehensive financial planner in the DC area
August 21, 2014 5:46 PM   Subscribe

In need of recommendations for a comprehensive financial planner in the DC area.

I soon will be getting a significant inheritance due to a couple of deaths in the family (about $500k from my father and around $800k from my grandmother, both post-tax) and am looking for a comprehensive financial planner in the DC area to help me figure out what the heck to do with all of this and how to manage my incredibly privileged financial situation.

This inheritance is on top of about $400k in trust fund monies I already have that are diversified in several investment accounts chosen by my father when I was very young, in consultation with various planners at the time (and which I have dipped into on occasion for things like a house down payment and my honeymoon).

Other pertinent details: I am 30, got married about a month ago, make about $90k per year, own a house in Texas for which my mortgage is about $1850 per month (it's rented out for about $150 less than that), and my partner has about $30k in debt from grad school. In the future I want to use some of this to have kids (my partner and I are both women so we could have to shell out some serious dough to get pregnant, depending on the route we go), send my kids to college and buy a house (potentially in DC). My financial literacy is on the low end of moderate. I haven't yet figured out whether I want someone to consult with once (I realize "once" could mean several times over a few months in this case) or more regularly.

And for those who can offer advice but want to do it more privately, you can email me at Thanks for your help!
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Hopefully someone will drop in with a specific recommendation, but IMO the most important thing will be to go with a fee-ONLY (not fee-based) planner. NAPFA, the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors, has a search tool.

Financial planners who sell products which generate a commission for them will sell you products (load mutual funds, whole life insurance) which may not be aligned with your interests. By using a fee-only planner, you'll be more likely to get one whose interests line up with yours.

My condolences for your losses.
posted by matcha action at 6:01 PM on August 21, 2014 [1 favorite]

I'm not in DC, but in the interim between now and when you do find your person, cover your nut!

1) pay off all outstanding debts -car/student loans/credit card - if you're married then your partners debt is your debt.
2) set aside $150-200,000 in a high interest savings account (call it the kid fund - my friends hired a surrogate for both their kids in Boston and it was ~$75-100,000 for each)
3) max out your 401k
4) if you don't have an IRA, open and and max that out too - it's like $5,000 or something pre-tax.
5) if you don't have that emergency savings fund, dear lord, get that established.
6) if you don't want to throw a chunk towards that mortgage, at least refinance if you haven't already and wipe out the PMI if you have it.
posted by floweredfish at 6:35 PM on August 21, 2014

Beth Jones, Third Eye Associates, works regularly with clients in DC. I'm sure you'll like her. Start with the website, then phone. Sorry for your losses, and best of luck.
posted by JimN2TAW at 8:19 PM on August 21, 2014 [2 favorites]

We've had a really good experience working with Eric Bailey and Silvia Stazio through Sagemark Consulting/Lincoln Financial Planning (we work with them as a team). We had an initial series of meetings over several months in the first year (4 maybe?) covering a broad range of concerns--not just retirement investments but college planning, wills, self-employment concerns, etc., and now we meet 1-2 times a year for a tune-up. Eric's main office is in Silver Spring MD and Silvia's is in Vienna VA. Both are smart but personable. Very comprehensive.
posted by drlith at 4:08 AM on August 22, 2014 [3 favorites]

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