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Frequently Asked Questions

How are you licensed and where can I get more information?

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has certain licensing and registration requirements for financial professionals that want to provide investment management and/or securities to the public, for example, as an investment advisor representative and/or a registered representative, depending on the licenses held.

We recognize that this is a lot of information. To help this make sense, below is a summary of licenses and registrations held by our team’s lead advisor, along with summaries and links where you can find additional, detailed information.

Lead Advisor and Team Name: Karen Melo Ticas, CFP®, with the help of her team, markets using the DBA (Doing Business As) name, Planning for Good. We also work closely with Bartlett Wealth Management for support and shared resources.

Licenses and Registrations held by Karen: FINRA Series 7 General Securities Registered Representative, broker; FINRA Series 65 Investment Advisor Representative; Life & Health Insurance, agent. State securities and insurance registrations: MA, RI, CT, NC, AZ, PA, FL and CA (CA insurance license #4019756). 

Broker/Dealer Karen is registered with: Cambridge Investment Research, Inc.

What additional professional credentials do you hold?

Karen Melo Ticas is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ practitioner.

The CFP Board's Code and Standards requires that all active CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professionals assume a fiduciary duty; that is to "act in the best interest of the client at all times when providing financial advice." 

View my credentials HERE.

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How do you get paid?

We offer three types of general services, each with their own fee structure, to best suit our clients' needs.

Financial Planning Services 

  • Our fee-based financial planning services are a great fit for individuals that are looking for a partner in decision making and like a team approach. 
  • We provide on-going or periodic formal analysis of current financial circumstances and projections to help you make better informed decisions.
  • We charge a flat fee, depending on complexity, for a 12-month planning engagement. Plans are quoted individually after we determine your needs.
  • Fees generally range from $1,200 to $3,000 for a financial plan.
  • Click here to view our Process Timeline.

Investment Management

  • We provide asset management for an annual percentage fee of the portfolio balance.
  • Investment advisory fees depend on the overall size of your investment portfolio, as well as the unique design to fit your personal needs and preferences.
  • For example, we offer:
    • An all digital ETF advisory account option
    • Tailored stock and bond portfolios with income payout strategies
    • ESG (Environmental, Social & Governance) portfolios
    • Diversified, actively managed mutual fund wrap accounts

Product Solutions for Strategy Implementation

  • Clients often come to us looking for a particular product, such as life or disability insurance. We have the ability to shop dozens of other product providers to find a good fit, as needed. These insurance providers pay their advisors/reps in the form of commissions.
  • Clients would not pay an out of pocket fee, but rather we would be paid by the product provider the client ultimately chooses to purchase from.
  • These product fees are detailed for you once a product is designed to meet your needs.

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Do you only work with clients locally?

I work with clients near and far!

In this digital age, I am able to work with clients in-person or by utilizing various web conferencing platforms, such as Zoom, or just good old-fashioned email and phone calls. It's up to you!

Many of my clients meet me in person for an initial appointment, then they work with me "remotely" for convenience. Others are initially local and then move, maintaining their relationship with the help of online tools. 

Generally speaking, my practice is designed to take advantage of technology so I can be available to you no matter where you or I are. I work with a variety of clients in the states I am currently licensed.

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What are some areas of financial planning that you're NOT an expert in?

My clients expect that I have basic knowledge of all financial matters, and I do. But I'll also be the first to tell you that some areas are not a focus of mine. Below are a list of planning topics that I DO NOT generally advise clients on in any detail:

  • College planning, including: payment strategies, FAFSA forms, college debt management or college loans.
  • General debt management, such as recovering from or avoiding bankruptcy
  • Medicaid planning
  • Medicare plan cost/benefit analysis or sales
  • Health insurance
  • Home, auto, umbrella (aka property and casualty) insurance

I also do not give formal tax or legal advice but I will certainly work directly with your own accountant and/or attorney. You may also ask me for a referral to a vetted professional who specializes in the services you require.

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Do you personally manage investment portfolios?

This is a question that often comes up when developing investment recommendations for clients. 

My job as a financial planner is to first determine what investments make sense as part of a coordinated long-term plan.

Secondly, I work with each individual client to design an investment strategy tailored to their needs, risk tolerance and preferences. For example; some clients prefer simple, low-fee investment accounts. Others prefer something more actively managed and perhaps with a Socially Responsible design. Then there are the folks who need to consider tax implications or who are in the withdrawal stage.

Think of me as the architect of your investment strategy. 

Finally, we select the appropriate one or more Third-party Asset Managers to build the actual portfolios. Think of these professionals as the contractors. They are charged with selecting the particular securities within the portfolio and timing the individual trades to ensure these portfolios stay in-line with the defined goals.

I choose this method of investment management for my clients because I recognize that my expertise lies in planning and not in market-timing or economic strategies. I believe it makes sense to benefit from the work professionals do when they specialize in a particular area and do their one job all day, every day. That allows me to focus on my clients and be more of a coach than a jack of all trades.

Learn About Our Investment Management Services

Can I open an account to trade my own stock picks?

Short answer: sorry, but no.

We work primarily as asset managers with diversified portfolios. We do not open personal brokerage accounts for clients to self-manage. We simply are not set up to monitor or charge on these types of stock accounts.

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Why did I get a 1099-R tax form on retirement assets that I rolled over to an IRA? Will I pay tax on this?

IRS form 1099-R will be generated for any distribution from a retirement account. To know if your distribution is coded as a non-taxable direct rollover, look for the code “G” in box number 7. That will indicate a qualified rollover contribution into another plan, other than a Roth account. For more information, please contact your accountant or visit

Who is your typical YOUNGER client?

Technology allows us to work with many young families for their basic financial needs; on their schedule and at their most comfortable location.

We start with the essentials, such as:

  • Organizing cash flow, to make the best use of your income.
  • Starting a savings plan for important goals (such as retirement, a biggie!)
  • Getting the proper life and disability insurance in place, as needed.
  • Taking time to orient new clients to the financial planning process.

Younger Client Profile

  • Ages 25 to 40
  • Married, single or partnered
  • Typically a business owner or young professional, often a healthcare provider
  • May have young children
  • Household income of $100,000 and above

Learn About Financial Basics

Who is your typical OLDER client?

Our experience in retirement planning and asset management has led us to have a large base of clients who are within 10 years of their planned retirement date. Some have already made that transition into the "golden years" and we continue to help them navigate that exciting chapter of their lives.

Our focus with clients approaching or in retirement:

  • Determining savings and expense requirements to meet retirement goals.
  • Analyzing retirement readiness, given current assets and income needs.
  • Distinguishing between reliable income and variable income streams.
  • Discussing the impact of major costs in old age such as medical and long-term care, or a major market downturn.

Older Client Profile

  • Ages 55 to 70
  • Married, single or partnered
  • Often an established business owner or career professional
  • May want to leave assets for children or charity
  • Household income of $100,000 and above (if working)
  • Investable assets of $250,000 or more

Learn More About Retirement Planning