FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Answers to common questions about financial planning and how we work.
Is financial planning right for me?
Financial planning is a process that most of us do for some period of time on our own, or with the guidance of family or friends. For many people, there comes a point where our financial lives become more complex, either gradually or because of a specific triggering event, and we're managing multiple goals, hopes and priorities. These moments, whether they come when you're 25 or 55 years old, are often when people start to work with a financial professional. We believe that financial planning with a fee-only advisor to give objective advice and guidance provides deep value.
Do you meet with clients outside MA?
Yes! We are currently meeting with clients living across the country via virtual sessions (except Nebraska).
When the pandemic no longer poses a threat to public health, we expect to resume in-person sessions in our Newburyport office.
What are your rates?
As a fee-only financial firm, we are solely compensated by you. Never by third parties. We don't receive commissions or fees based on recommended products. We do not charge performance fees.
Our rates vary depending on which service you choose.
Hourly Planning clients:
Our hourly rate is $260.
Investment Management clients:
We have a simple annual fee based on the volume of your managed assets.
Annual fee (%)
by asset volume
Bookkeeping by Saltbox Rates + Info
Can I work with Saltbox?
We typically work with individuals and families who are building their careers, working, nearing retirement or in retirement and have questions about their finances: budgeting, saving, investing for retirement, educational or other goals. We work with people who have accumulated significant assets as well as those who are working to build their wealth. We work with couples who are planning to be married or recently married, LGBTQ+ families, and new or expecting parents.
I'd like to schedule a meeting. How can I do that?
Please see our Book Appointment page for scheduling.
Please note: due to overwhelming demand, we are temporarily not taking new inquiries for our Hourly Planning service. If you're looking for hourly financial planning, you can request a referral list from us here.
Book an Appointment
What do I need for my first meeting?
When you've scheduled an appointment, we'll reach out to you with a Welcome Packet containing everything you need to know. Our dedicated staff will make it as easy as possible to prepare and make sure you get the most out of your sessions with us.
We'll ask for select documents and information relevant to your needs and financial situation.
What is a meeting like? What can I expect from it?
Initial client meetings for both hourly and investment management are first scheduled for 2 hours.
During the meeting we will review your materials, talk about your goals, and lay out a foundation for your financial plan. The meeting process is interactive and participatory – your input as the client is a key part of a successful planning meeting. Financial planning is a dynamic process and active collaboration is a key value at Saltbox.
Outcomes From Your Meeting
You'll leave with a comprehensive to do list that will lay out step by step the suggestions we have for you and how to implement them. We will build the foundation and base points of the list in our meeting, and then we'll finish it up and send it along.
After your initial meeting, you'll receive a summary of discussed topics and a plan for next steps of implementation - some steps will be for the client to complete, and the rest are what we will do as the advisor. We will prepare an Investment Policy Statement that's customized to your goals.
We will also use our industry-leading software to prepare retirement projections, evaluate investment portfolios, plan for educational expenses, etc – these reports and more will be provided to you as the data gathering and planning process unfolds.
How can I follow up after my meeting?
We're available to answer questions via email after you've got your list and start working it. Depending on the length and breadth of questions, email responses may be billable time, and we may suggest a phone call to follow up. We may also suggest a timeline for additional meetings at the end of our first meeting if we have more planning topics to work on together.
We are available for unlimited phone, email and meeting time to discuss your financial questions and concerns. Typical annual meetings may be a once a year review meeting, and quarterly check in phone calls to discuss seasonal topics or questions.
Which service is right for me?
Hourly Planning and Investment Management both involve an initial meeting to evaluate your current financial situation and discuss next steps. The key difference is in the level of guidance and access you'll receive afterwards.
We require a minimum of $300,000 in investable assets for our Investment Management service.
Comparing Our Core Services
After your meeting(s), you'll leave with a to-do list of suggestions that you'll implement on your own. Your Saltbox advisor won't monitor your investments or progress between meetings. This is a good choice for clients with less than $300,000 in investable assets.
Our Investment Management service includes financial planning as well as active investment overview management – the accounts for us to manage are kept in your name, but transferred to our custodian (TD Ameritrade) for us to prepare, implement and monitor an agreed upon investment strategy.
As an Investment Management client, you'll receive unlimited financial planning meetings and support, with the option for tax preparation as well. This is service is best for clients with at least $300,000 in investable assets.
About Hourly Planning
About Investment Management
What are your licenses + certifications?
SALTBOX FINANCIAL LLC is a Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) registered in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the State of New Hampshire. We work with clients across the country.
Vera Kelsey-Watts is a Registered Investment Advisor Representative (RIAR) of SALTBOX FINANCIAL LLC.