Your Financial Planning Advocate | Alpha Wealth Funds


Monday the 15th has finally come and gone which means your tax stress is gone too!  Well hopefully, unless you filled IRS Form 4868 which is the “Application for Automatic Extension of Time To File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return”.   If you’re anything like my family, preparing your taxes teaches you a few things. You need a financial plan.  It also makes at least one family member infuriated, and this year it was my mom.

I love my mother, she has the valuable skill of properly allocating her funds, which is also known as very frugal.  It’s a valuable skill, but it takes a lot of flak.  Those who usually make fun of it in their 20-30’s, are the same ones who regret not asking them for advice when they’re in the ’50-’60s.  That’s about the time the “cheap people” can comfortably retire (usually early), and the ones who made fun of them are told they must work into their 70s.

Recently, I’ve met a lot of people that are extremely nervous about the thought of retirement.  Some of them, like my aunt, would like to retire early.  Others like my mom just want to retire, and for her, it’s her second time.  They both have the same stress though; they’re terrified that they’ll run out of money.  Like most people, they think of the worst-case scenario or that they’ll have to go back to work as a Walmart Greeter at 75 years old.

Whether or not you have this same fear, odds are you want to retire but don’t have a specific criterion to meet that allows you to retire stress-free.  Does any of this sound familiar yet?  Simplified, do you know what specific amount of savings you will need to retire and live without the stress of running out of money?  This leads me to what I call the power words and phrases.  Those are any sentence that starts with “Can I afford…?” or “I can’t afford…”.

– Are you asking yourself these questions?  The Can I questions.


  • Can I retire? or retire early?
  • How many more years do I have to work to feel comfortable retiring?
  • If I retire now, how long will this last? Or will I become a burden on my family?
  • I can’t work at this job anymore, but I can’t retire early, what the heck can I do?
  • What kind of life will I have when/if I retire now?
    • Can I travel at all? or like I want to?
    • Can I move or buy a new house/car?
    • If I travel, or buy the house/car, can I still support myself past 70?
  • Can I help my children with their wedding if I retire?

Or the even more critical, the I can’t statement.

  • I can’t afford that because I’m retiring soon.
  • I’d love to take that vacation with you, but I also want to retire soon, so I guess I can’t.
  • I can’t afford to retire and take the trip, so I’ll spend another summer home.
  • I can’t do both, so I’ll do the cheaper of the two.


  •  Wouldn’t it be nice to know the answer to these questions? 

What if I told you there are professionals whose job it is to answer these questions?  In addition, an extremely important aspect of these professionals is that they are Fiduciaries who always must keep your best interests in mind.  This was supposed to be a law, BUT it was fought by the large brand name institutions that make millions off NOT being your Fiduciary.   After a long drawn out fight, its initial proposal was in October 2010, it was vacated by the Fifth Circuit Court in March 2018 (Department of Labor Article).  It has essentially stagnated since, but the SEC has indicated it will re-engage it sometime in 2019.

There is though, a designation that takes 2-3 years to complete which has those types of rules and standards.  They also have a Code of Ethics and Standards of Conduct, and everyone who has this certification is held to the Fiduciary Standard.  I hold myself to the Fiduciary Standard, both as a former Marine and financial professional working towards this certification, but there is no law mandating it.  What you’re able to do, is work with anyone that has the acronym CFP by their name.  This stands for the title Certified Financial Planner.  A Financial Planner can answer those questions that cause you stress, but all Financial Planners are not created equal.

To complete the certification in 2 years instead of 3, I must be mentored by a professional with this certification during that time.  This brings me to my role at Alpha Wealth Funds and my mentor (and boss) Chase Thomas.  During my time working with Chase, I have seen numerous questions get answered that not only relieve stress, but that truly prepare our clients (and family) for retirement with honest answers.  The CFP has the highest standards, which is why I chose to work toward it.  It also reminds me of the Marines too.  People can, and will, always argue that the branch of service or unit they were in is the hardest with the highest standards.  The real answer is though, which certification (or military branch/unit) is synonymous with the highest standards and the ones you would pick first to work for you as if your retirement (or life) depended on it?  Everything I have read, and everyone I talked to, all led me back to the same road of the CFP.

  • ) So, what all do they do, and why should I pay them?

This is a profession and a service you pay for.  Like I stated in the last Blog Post, if it’s something that can result in death or owing money, I’m happy to use a professional.  There are no mulligans, do-overs or take-backs in the life you’re living and the checking accounts that go with it.  As a result, if you watch a YouTube video, read a book or have watched a lot of movies, I will never let you fly my plane or manage my retirement.

  • ) How are you different and why you?

That’s a great question, I’m glad you asked.  Most planners will charge you a yearly fee that’s usually a few thousand dollars.  Then you’ll have one 30-60-minute meeting once a year.  If they don’t hold you accountable and follow up to ensure you’re completing things like a healthcare directive, living will and switching assets into a trust and not leaving it unfunded, then you’re paying them for nothing.  I know a lot of people that will gladly take my money, give me “advice” and walk away without truly caring about me what so ever.  I’m sure you know a few people that are happy to do that too, but would you entrust them with your ability to retire?  Remember, you can’t hit pause or start the game over when your 65 and find out you’re out of money.

At Alpha Wealth Funds our Financial Plans are unique.  First, we always offer a satisfaction money back guarantee.  This is, if we present the plan to you and you don’t see its value, we will work unlimited hours until you are satisfied. If we can’t satisfy your needs, that means we didn’t do our job and we don’t deserve to be paid.  This guarantee is limited to the fact that we will continue to work on the plan until you are satisfied or until we give up. Also, our Financial Plans come with a low onetime fee.  We will help you implement and live the plan for the rest of your life, and never charge you a yearly or follow for a fee.  We’ll also update the plans as you live through them.  The only time we must create a new (second) plan is if something drastic has happened, five new children or unexpected and unplanned for deaths, and the plan we created isn’t useful.  Otherwise, we will meet with you at least once a quarter to answer all your questions and hold you accountable.

  • ) Why can’t I handle it myself?

I’ve noticed that most people aren’t the best at holding themselves accountable.  I’ve also noticed that as soon as someone (other than themselves or a family member) gives them a date to complete something by, and then follows up afterward to see how it went, they treat it a lot differently.  I’m not saying we would ever yell at you, though sometimes it would help, but we lay out everything that you need to do for your plan and assign dates to it.  When we have our quarterly meeting, we go over that “to do list” and then educate you on a different aspect of your plan.

  • ) I can complete a to-do list, why do I need you?

We do a lot more than just put your information in a program and give you the printout.  Chances are if you have a Financial Plan from a different firm that’s exactly what you got, along with a yearly fee.  Our financial plans go in depth for every aspect of your life and we work to save you money.  On the last two client financial plans we created, we saved our clients over four million dollars in money they would have paid in fees or in taxes.  One was a single parent who was stressed over having enough to live on and consequently becoming a burden to their children.  By separating variables and finding the most efficient route for not only tax consequences, performance, and strategy, we offer you more.  A variable like IRA conversion time is something that’s usually overlooked until it’s too late.

With our client, we found (prior to it being too late I might add) that something like Traditional IRA to Roth IRA conversion times dramatically changed her retirement.  We found that we could save about $1.2 million by making those conversions and distributions as efficient as possible.  That amount saved was also double the size of the retirement account at creation.  Other variables like asset performance, diversification, asset and our proprietary strategies we can dig deeper.

  • ) How can I learn more, and is any of it free?


Is reducing stress, getting a professional review of your retirement readiness and a free meal is something you’re interested in?  If it’s a yes, then e-mail Mike at or call (435) 658-1934  or better yet reach out to me and schedule an appointment on my calendar.  Then sit back and relax.  Our job is to reduce your stress, give you honest answers and to give you the life you’ve dreamed of, and worked hard for, in retirement.  You can also check out the custom videos we’ve created to explain more about these plans by clicking HERE.