Frequently Asked Questions
Who do you work with?
We work with women who are planning for or in retirement, who value professional advice, and who value an ongoing relationship. In some circumstances, we work with adult children who are now responsible for supporting the financial lives of a parent or loved one.
What services do you provide?
Wealthcare offers investment management and financial planning services on a fiduciary, fee-only basis. We personalize our services based upon your goals, your circumstances, and your abilities. First, we work together to design for you globally diversified portfolios of low cost index funds to reduce risk and capture returns efficiently. Next, we work with you on a broader range of financial planning issues including insurance coverage, developing a plan of care, estate planning, and tax planning.
What do 'fiduciary' and 'fee-only' mean? How are they different from 'suitable' and 'fee-based'?
‘Fiduciary’ means Wealthcare places your interests first whereas 'suitable' considers your interests but may not place them first. ‘Fee-only’ means Wealthcare receives its compensation solely from client fees whereas ‘fee-based’ includes fees but may include sales commissions too. For a fun explanation of these differences, see our video, Know Your Financial Advisor.
How much does it cost? Do you have a minimum fee?
A fraction of industry average. Wealthcare's fees for investment management and financial planning are monthly and based upon asset size and income, respectively. Specifically, investment management fees are 0.03% of investable assets discounted by liabilities while financial planning fees are 0.05% of income.
"Investable assets" includes money that can be invested on your behalf, such as retirement accounts and personal savings. It does not include money that is tied up in real estate, personal property, or businesses. "Liabilities" includes debt that you owe, such as mortgages on a primary residence, car loans, student loans, and credit card debt.
- The investment management fee for a client with $800,000 in her 401(k) and personal savings with a $400,000 home mortgage is $120
- ($800,000-$400,000) x 0.0003 = $120
- The financial planning fee for a client earning $80,000 per year is $40
- $80,000 x 0.0005 = $40
Combined, there is a minimum fee of $150 and all fees are negotiable.
Will you come to me?
Yes! We make "house calls" in the greater DC area. We can either come to your home where -- if you have wi-fi and a flat screen TV -- we have the technology to use your TV to view different planning scenarios from the comfort of your couch or chair. Or we can meet elsewhere and use technology to screen share so we can both follow along and make plans using "what-if" scenarios.
How do I start?
Please use our online calendar to schedule a call or in-person meeting. There is no cost to an in-person meeting, which is an opportunity for us to discuss your priorities and answer your questions. If you like, you can use email too.
In your service description, you say that you try to simplify through consolidation. So why do you have separate fees for investment management and financial planning?
We strive for simplicity, but here the IRS makes it more complicated. Under the Internal Revenue Code, tax payers may use tax-deferred accounts for relevant investment management fees, but may not for financial planning fees.
Although other firms may charge a single fee that covers all services, that practice may miss the opportunity of using tax-deferred accounts or, even worse, lead to prohibited transactions when used incorrectly.
Rather than engage in shades of gray with the IRS, we separate the fees.