Chris Chen

Chris Chen CFP®, CDFA

Chris is a Financial Advisor. He helps clients achieve financial independence, develop a plan for retirement and understand difficult financial tradeoffs.

About Chris

“Financial planning is about goals. Investment is about risk management. Strategy is where the two meet.”

Insight Financial Strategists LLC is a boutique financial advisory firm that provides informed strategies to support your complex financial decisions.  We focus on retirement planning, purposeful investing and divorce financial planning issues.

Education

MBA, FInance, University of Texas
BA, Economics, University of Rochester

Certifications

Designations

Registrations

Firm CRD #165125

Certified Financial Planner (CFP) is a designation issued by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards

Educational/Exam Requirements:

  • Completion of CFP-board registered study program, or alternative degree or certification, demonstrating mastery of over 100 topics surrounding financial planning
  • Pass 10 hour exam testing knowledge in financial planning situations

Prerequisites/Experience Requirements:

  • A bachelor’s degree (or higher) from an accredited college or university, and
  • Three years of full-time personal financial planning experience

Public Disciplinary Process? Yes

Continuing Education Requirements: 30 hours every two years

Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA) is a designation issued by the The Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts

Educational/Exam Requirements:

  • Self-study course consisting of four modules
  • Modules 1-3 end with multiple choice exams, module four concludes with a case-study exam

Prerequisites/Experience Requirements:

  • Three years of experience as a financial professional, accountant, or matrimonial lawyer

Public Disciplinary Process? Yes

Continuing Education Requirements: 15 divorce-specific hours every two years

*Disclaimer:

No information provided on these pages is tax, legal or financial advice.  If you believe that it might apply to you, please check with a professional.


Typical Clients

Business Owners Divorcing couples People near retirement

How I Can Help

Personal Finance Retirement Investing

Fee Structure

Asset-based Fee-only Hourly Commissions Other Contingency
Learn more about how advisors are paid in our Guide to Advisor Compensation.

Chris In The News

Contact:

Phone: (781) 489-3241 Address: 271 Waverley Oaks Road Suite 102
Waltham, MA 02452
bostonfinancialplanner@gmail.com

Chris has answered 317 questions

Results per page:
Sort By:
Chris Chen
Answer added by Chris Chen | 5938 views
13 out of 15 found this helpful

Actually, since you are past 59.5, there is no penalty for a withdrawal.  However, you will

more »

Actually, since you are past 59.5, there is no penalty for a withdrawal.  However, you will have to pay income tax on it.  From your question, you are still employed which means that you might end up paying high taxes on your withdrawal.
The other issue with a withdrawal is that it would be hard to make up for the lost compounding in your account, and would end up reducing your retirement lifestyle.
You did not mention a 401k at your current employer.  Assuming there is one, you would be well advised to contribute there.  You could also roll over your former employer's 401k into your new employer's 401k.  Then, assuming your new employer's 401k allows for employee loans, you could borrow the $35K.  There is no tax impact for a loan.  You would have to pay it back, but it would be like paying it back to yourself. 
Then put the credit cards away!
Good luck!

Chris Chen
Answer added by Chris Chen | 2113 views
5 out of 5 found this helpful

In principle it makes sense.  However, I would like to have more information. I like (for purpose

more »

In principle it makes sense.  However, I would like to have more information.

I like (for purpose of a Roth conversion) that you have $0 income.  However, your wife has an income.  The combined income tax of your wife's income and that generated by your conversion may push you into a high tax bracket.  That may negate the intent of your conversion.

One potential positive is that you are starting a business.  Normally a business in its beginning phase is likely to generate losses.  If you have organized it as a LLC or a S Corp, your losses will pass through to your individual income thus lowering you income potentially into negative territory.  At this point it would definitely make sense to convert to a Roth up to the amount where you would start paying taxes.

Above that amount, I want to have a conversation with you first.  I would like to understand what kind of retirement income you plan on, and therefore the real breakeven point for your conversion.

For the second part of your question, money in a SEP grows tax deferred.  You pay taxes on it when you withdraw in retirement.  You have already determined that you pay taxes on the Roth upfront.  That is why you are considering a conversion at a time when you will be in a relatively low tax bracket.  If you are going to be in the same tax bracket at the time that you withdraw compared to the time you contribute, Roth and SEP IRA are equivalent.  The Roth only makes sense when your contribution tax bracket is lower than your expected withdrawal tax bracket.

Good luck!

Chris Chen
Answer added by Chris Chen | 245 views
4 out of 4 found this helpful

Squawbox and similar shows are entertainment.  In the financial world we all learn about the efficient

more »

Squawbox and similar shows are entertainment.  In the financial world we all learn about the efficient market hypothesis.  Some of us believe in it more than others.  In a nutshell it says that the price of a stock reflects all available information, and thus fairly represents the value of the stock.  There is a large set of academic study that support that notion especially when it comes to public information.

Anything they would say on a TV show would be public and reflected in the stock price faster than a non professional could act.  So the answer is

NO


Chris Chen
Answer added by Chris Chen | 792 views
4 out of 5 found this helpful

You make an excellent point.  The main advantage of tax deferred accounts such as the SEP IRA is

more »

You make an excellent point.  The main advantage of tax deferred accounts such as the SEP IRA is to defer taxes.  That means that you get an immediate tax deduction, in exchange for taxes in the future after you retire.

Without using your SEP IRA, you would pay your marginal income tax (Federal + State) on your contribution, and then pay capital gains, which may be as high as 20% depending on your income, not to mention the ACA surtax.

With the SEP IRA, you defer your income tax and your capital gains tax.  When you withdraw at retirement, you will pay your income tax on your original contribution, and you will pay ordinary income tax on your gain instead of capital gains.

If your projected income tax in retirement is above your current capital gains tax it is a no brainer: go for the IRA.  Above that may require calculations.

Personally I take my cue from Mitt Romney.  http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/09/whats-really-going-on-with-mitt-romneys-102-million-ira/261500/

If it's good enough for Mitt, it's good enough for me :-)


Chris Chen
Answer added by Chris Chen | 412 views
4 out of 5 found this helpful

Congratulations on jumping into finances.  I recommend that you first clarify your goals for investing. 

more »

Congratulations on jumping into finances.  I recommend that you first clarify your goals for investing.  Once you do that you will be in a better position to judge how risky of a portfolio you want to have.  For instance, saving for a down payment on a house in a few years should take a different approach than saving for retirement in 40 years.

You will then need to learn about the basics of investing: risk, diversification, modern portfolio theory, etc... In addition to the excellent resources suggested on this page, see if you can join a Meetup group that focuses on investing, or a class at a community resources.  Reading only goes so far.  You will need to get people interaction to digest your learning. 
Along way you will need to decide how much you want to learn.  That is also a decision about how much you want to defer to the professionals, whether it is a financial advisor, or a mutual fund, or anything in between. 

Good luck!

Filters

Results per page:
×

Let's get started.
It's free!

or

Already have an account?

Add Video

Upload

Add Video

100%

Please wait while your file is being uploaded.

Add Video

How to Save for a Mortgage

Video Uploaded

Add Another I'm Done

Preview Video

×