Most Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to common questions.


About Milestones Financial

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Who are Milestones Financial’s typical clients?

Our clients fit into most or all of these financial scenarios:

  • Approaching or in retirement (i.e., age 50+);
  • Single or married;
  • Are or were a W-2 wage earner;
  • Have a few investment accounts, such as a brokerage or trust account, 401(k) or 403(b) account, traditional IRA and/or Roth IRA, Health Savings Account (HSA), etc.;
  • May or may not have Social Security;
  • May or may not have a pension;
  • May or may not have annuities;
  • May or may not have life insurance;
  • Likely own a home, and possibly a second, whether it is a vacation home or rental property; and,
  • Children are usually grown.

Our clients seek professional advice and are comfortable self-implementing a well-thought-out action plan (with our support available along the way).

How does Milestones Financial make money?

We are a fee-only financial planning firm. The term “fee-only” (or “fee-for-service”) refers to how an advisor is compensated.

A fee-only advisor, in all circumstances, is paid solely by his or her client and does not earn commission or other compensation of any kind from product sales or referrals.

Additionally, a fee-only advisor must act in his or her client’s best interest as a fiduciary 100% of the time.

What does it mean to be a fiduciary?

The fiduciary duties of a registered investment adviser (RIA) include providing suitable advice for clients, full disclosure of all material facts and potential conflicts of interest, utmost and exclusive loyalty and good faith to clients, and the exercise of reasonable care to avoid misleading clients.

Milestones Financial conducts itself under a fiduciary duty to every client.

What is “advice-only” financial planning?

“Advice-only” financial planning is for people who would like to work with an objective, unbiased advisor on their financial situation without the pressure of purchasing financial products or paying for investment management services. It is ideal for anyone looking for a deeper understanding of their finances while retaining full control over their money.

“Advice-only” is a fee-only financial planning model that serves clients without the expectation, obligation, or even the option to manage their money, so there is no need to hide information out of fear of being asked to manage your investments.

In addition to being fee-only, Milestones Financial is an “advice-only” financial planning firm, where we specialize in providing tax-efficient retirement planning and investment recommendation services for a fixed fee.

Financial Planning and Investment Recommendations

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How do you help Wealth Planning clients implement their financial plans?

You will receive thoughtfully written, easy-to-understand recommendations to help achieve your financial goals and objectives.

Additionally, we will use your client portal to manage and collaborate on tasks between appointments. This allows us to stay on the same page about making forward progress and assisting you on the path to success.

We offer guidance, support, and answer any questions as they arise. Where appropriate, we can connect you with other professionals (e.g., estate planning attorneys, specialty insurance consultants, etc.) to help complete your action items.

How do you help Wealth Planning clients with their investments if Milestones Financial does not manage their investments?

The hardest thing about investing is understanding what to invest in and how much; not pushing the buttons to make the trades.

We do the time-consuming, “heavy-lifting” work of reviewing your portfolio and other data, and provide straightforward, account-by-account investment recommendations and advice consistent with your stated financial objectives and profile for risk. When this level of detail is provided for clients, investment implementation becomes beautifully simple for them to do themselves.

Because of this relationship, our clients are comfortable managing their own investments, but should you want or need support implementing our recommendations, our assistance is available along the way.

Can you tell me what I should be investing in right now?

We believe one of the best financial decisions you can make is hiring an objective, unbiased CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional.

To determine what you should be investing in, first, we must know what you need your money to do for you, and when you need it to do this task. Then, and only then, can we begin to make recommendations to match investments to your needs.

Overall, we believe by consistently helping you make wiser financial decisions, we can have a greater impact on your financial well-being than we ever could by trying to recommend specific stocks or guessing the direction of the markets.

Services and Pricing

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Why does Milestones Financial believe fixed fees are best for clients?

Conflicts of interest exist when compensation is exchanged between two parties. This dynamic exists in every profession.

We believe that fixed fees do the best job of reducing conflicts of interest for financial advisory clients.

To better illustrate why conflicts of interest matter, here are a few common questions that people approaching or in retirement often ask financial advisors:

  • Should I buy an annuity?
  • Should I take my Social Security at age 62 or (draw money from my investment portfolio and) wait until age 70?
  • Should I take my pension as an annuity or a lump sum?
  • Should I make a gift to my children, grandchildren, and/or charity out of my investment portfolio?
  • Should I spend money on ________?

If a financial advisor’s compensation is based on taking a percentage of the money he or she manages for you or receiving commissions from selling you financial products, his or her intentions may not always be in your best interest.

Fixed fees eliminate that conflict of interest since the advice and recommendations given does not change our compensation (up or down), which frees us from that influence and allows us to think strategically for the benefit of our clients.

How are fees determined for Wealth Planning clients?

Wealth Planning clients fit into a simple fixed fee schedule.

The fixed fees are primarily based upon the Wealth Planning Engagement Roadmap that we help clients navigate and are not based on the size of their investment portfolio.

We believe that charging clients different fees for similar services based on the amount of investable assets they have is not justifiable. Advising on a $1 million versus $500,000 investment portfolio is rarely double the work, so it should not double your fee.

To learn more about this engagement, please visit the Wealth Planning page for more information.

How are fees paid?

We use an independent, third-party payment system in which clients can securely input their payment information. 

Would you like to pay out of your investments?

  • Securely input your checking/debiting (ACH) enabled brokerage account information and pay fees.

Would you like to pay out of your income?

  • Securely input your bank checking (ACH) account or credit/debit card information and pay fees.

We do not have access to your payment information at any time. You will be provided with a secure portal in order to make or schedule payments.

Does Milestones Financial offer other one-time project fee options?

On a limited, case-by-case basis, we may offer other short-term engagements beyond the Project-Based Financial Planning engagement, depending upon the scope of financial planning work desired.

Financial Fitness Review: Get one specific financial planning issue addressed through one scheduled meeting.

I only want help with investments. Does Milestones Financial offer that type of service?

We use investment planning to address investing concerns; tax planning to address taxation concerns; insurance planning to address risk and liability concerns; and, etc. We do not believe investments are the answer to all of your financial concerns.

Ultimately, we want the outcome of our financial planning process for clients to be greater clarity and confidence towards achieving their goals and objectives. It is not to help clients achieve an arbitrary rate of return (with no other purpose than that) on their money.

 If you are only looking for help with investments, we are likely not the right financial advisory firm for you.

Working with Milestones Financial

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Who will I work with at Milestones Financial? Will I have a dedicated advisor?

You will work directly with Josh Gallogly, CFP®, EA, Managing Member and Founder of Milestones Financial. 

We run a small, focused financial planning firm that works full-time for a select few clients, and we intend to stay that way. You can expect to hear from Josh, and to work directly with him, for as long as you are a client.

Is it possible to meet in-person if I would rather not meet virtually?

By thoughtfully managing our overhead, and eliminating an expensive office space, it allows us to price our services competitively. This has led us to the decision of providing our full suite of services virtually to clients.

There are many benefits of collaborating virtually with a CERTIFIED FIANNCIAL PLANNER™ professional, which include:

  • Meeting from the comfort of your home or office.
  • Partners can participate from different locations.
  • Avoiding lost time and frustration by not sitting in traffic and then having to find parking.

With web meeting technology, conference calls, emails, and secure file transfer, we are able to work with you from any location that has an internet connection.

We seek out clients who are the best fit for our firm, regardless of where they are located.

Why should I consider hiring Milestones Financial?

Great question! But first, let us explain why you should not hire us.

If you are looking for a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional who will try to help you “beat the market,” you are in the wrong place. Why? Because we only focus on what you can control. Predicting if the stock market will go up or down, or guessing what interest rates will do next, are not things anyone can control.

But if you are interested in things like getting recommendations for creating a reliable income stream in retirement, lowering your tax bill, and investing smarter (while retaining full control over your money), you are in the right place.

Ready to get help creating the secure retirement you deserve?