Frequently Asked Questions

Who do you work with the best?

People who work best with us tend to have a sense that they probably have “enough,” but aren’t quite sure. As they approach a sense of financial freedom, pulling a plan together can feel like solving an eight-dimensional jigsaw puzzle. Most consider themselves good savers. And yet the transition from being a good saver to actually living off of those savings feels a bit daunting. They might only want a second opinion look at their existing plan. Or, they might want a full plan from scratch that addresses all the moving parts at once. Regardless, our clients want to stay in control of their money. Committing to an ongoing subscription or relationship and the attendant fees may feel like overkill. One analogy is that our clients would prefer a financial “navigator” to a “chauffeur.”

How do you ensure that your advice is in my best interest?

All CFP® certificants are required to adhere to a strict code of ethics and standards of conduct. This includes always acting in the best interest of clients and providing unbiased advice. I have also signed a Fiduciary Oath, pledging to put clients’ interests first at all times. Finally, as noted in the ADV disclosure brochure (see “Disclosure Brochure” at the bottom of each page of this website), compensation in any form is not accepted from third parties.

What information will you require?

Actually we like to say nothing is required, but the more information we have, the more productive our work together will be. We can be especially extra productive with big fat documents and lots of fine print. Think tax returns, insurance policies, annuity contracts, Qualified Domestic Relations Orders, and employee benefits manuals, to name several. We are fast readers and we LOVE fine print!! Our suggested list of documents to submit can be found at: https://www.hollydonaldsonfinancialplanner.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/2023_Document_Checklist-SuggestionsForMeetingWithHolly.pdf

What services do you offer as a financial planner?

Services are designed to address the most frequent questions asked by those we help best, such as: How can I be confident I actually have enough to retire? What are the best sources to replace my income, tax-wise? How do I evaluate my investments? What amount of risk is right for my situation? A new client project usually begins with a financial checkup, second opinion project, or a full lifestyle plan. Established clients may engage as-needed: from brief consultations up to full plan updates. Some clients return every year. Others schedule a consult whenever life changes happen, such as pre-retirement, retirement, death in the family, health issue, or birth of a child or grandchild. An ADV disclosure brochure with more details on the scope of services and fees for each project type can be found at the bottom of each page of this website.

How do you charge for your services?

Services are provided on an hourly basis. For a more specific estimate, it’s recommended to schedule a 30-40 minute call. Based on the scope and complexity of agreed-upon work, an estimate will be provided up-front. Once work begins, progress reports are provided along the way. New clients usually begin with a financial checkup, second opinion project, or a full retirement plan. Initial projects can range from 4 – 20 hours. The hourly rate for 2024 is $385. If you’d like to discuss your situation further, click on the Schedule a Call button to select a day and time convenient for you. I’ll call you then at the number you provide. Once established as a client, services can be a brief consultation up to a full plan update. If all that is needed is a 6-minute email, then all that is charged is for a 6-minute email. Plan updates can range from 3 to 10 hours. It’s recommended to ask for an estimate in advance of scheduling. Clients can also purchase blocks of hours at a discount. Ask Holly for further information.

How do you keep my information secure?

For full financial plans we use MoneyGuide financial planning software, which does not hold any account-level personal information or tax returns. We use encrypted upload links and encrypted email to communicate sensitive information. We will never request nor accept account passwords or credentials.

What’s it like to work with you virtually?

We strive for our virtual experience to feel as welcoming as an office used to. Although we can’t offer coffee and tea anymore, we encourage having whatever you need to feel comfortable and secure in your own environment. We use Box for online document uploading and Zoom for meetings. With Zoom screen sharing we can both see documents and financial plans real-time without sharing credentials. If anyone needs a practice run with Zoom beforehand, we offer that, too. Clients receive an online folder, document checklist and questionnaire which allows for easy secure uploading of documents. We use email encryption to share sensitive information. Clients who engage with financial planning software receive their own credentials to that software.

I don’t live in your area. Can I still work with you?

Although we primarily serve the Tampa, St. Petersburg, and Clearwater areas, we work with anyone in the United States who is a good fit. Exceptions are residents of Texas and Louisiana (Nothing personal! Regulatory requirements.)