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Andy TilpCFP®

Comprehensive fee-only financial planning for people from all walks of life, at all ages and circumstances.

Sherwood, OR
President, Trillium Valley Financial Planning, LLC
Fee Structures: Fee-only, Hourly
Typical minimum client assets: No preference

This describes how advisors are compensated for their work. Learn more in our Guide to Advisor Compensation
Advisors offer free consultations to determine if you're a good fit for one another. Providing more information in the consultation request will help advisors have a better sense of what you're looking for. The advisor will contact you via email and set up a time to meet. Depending on the advisor, and your preferences, this could be an in-person or online meeting. You are under no obligation to engage them after meeting with them.
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  • 2 people found this answer helpful

    My son was just born and we want to make sure he's financially set in life. What are the first things we need to start doing on his behalf?

    Paying for college, Personal Finance, Taxes

    Congratulations on your son. This will be a new and exciting time for you to see him grow. Regarding

    more »

    Congratulations on your son. This will be a new and exciting time for you to see him grow.

    Regarding what you should do –

    -  Critical!! - Make sure you have a will and designate who would be the guardian should something happen to both parents. If you don’t make the designation, the courts will decide for you – and it may be with someone who you would not want to raise your son.

    -  Make sure you cover your own retirement. Saving for his college is great, but worst case, he can get loans or work through college. But if you don’t save adequately for your own retirement, you will either have to work longer or your son may have to support you in your old age.

    -  Term life insurance only. If you save the adequately, your need for life insurance will eventually disappear. Look at a 20 or 30 year fixed term policy. Whole life insurance has its place, but only for estate planning cases of very wealthy individuals. (Always remember, insurance is insurance and is NOT an investment, not matter how good the sales pitch).

    -  Make sure you have disability insurance. Statistically, your chances are much greater of needing disability insurance than life insurance. This will protect your family should you not be able to work for a while.

    I hope this helps.

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  • 2 people found this answer helpful

    I just got a raise and am trying to reduce my taxes. Is a 401k a good option?

    Taxes, Investing, 401(k), Income Tax

    Congratulations on doing so well at your career. You are on the right track to use your 401k to reduce

    more »

    Congratulations on doing so well at your career. You are on the right track to use your 401k to reduce your taxes. But much more important than saving on taxes, you are taking the responsibility to save for your own retirement. The statistics are alarming how many people are not saving and will be facing a difficult, if not bleak, situation later in life.

    If you can, it would ideal to contribute the maximum amount allowed, which is $17,500. If you cannot quite do that much right now, aim to contribute at least enough to get the company match, if they have a matching contribution. It is one of the best ways to build your savings quickly. Then each year, boost your contributions by at least a percent or two until you reach the maximum amount.

    Again congratulations on your career and taking responsibility for your own future well-being.


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  • 1 person found this answer helpful

    What's the best way to build credit for my 19-year-old?

    Personal Finance, Debt

    As with most questions, the answer begins with ‘it depends’. Foremost, if your son responsible

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    As with most questions, the answer begins with ‘it depends’.

    Foremost, if your son responsible enough to handle a credit card? Some 19 year olds are, some are not. I ask the question because if you co-sign on the card, you are on the hook for whatever is charged on the card.

    One consideration is to get a low-credit limit card. Check with your local credit union. They may be willing to issue a card with a $500 limit directly to your son. Or if you co-sign on such a card, then your potential liability is limited to $500 or so.

    Are you currently paying for his college? Another way to build his credit is to go ahead and have him get a loan. Then use the money you would have allocated to pay to the school to help him pay off the loan. If you stretch the payments out over the year, it shows a history of on time payments, while minimizing any extra interest on the loan (which is tax deductible BTW).  You can transfer the money into his account and have him make the actual payment. This would be a good experience for him to understand what it means to meet a monthly obligation, but also still allow you to have oversight. I did this for my daughter her last term in school, and plan to do the same for my son.

    Good luck,

    Andy Tilp, CFP®
    www.trilliumvalleyfp.com

    Member: NAPFA (National Association of Personal Financial Advisors) and Garrett Planning Network

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  • 1 person found this answer helpful

    Should I pay for my grandson's preschool?

    Paying for college, Personal Finance

    Ira posted many good ideas and questions. I’d like to add a few points. -  To the question

    more »

    Ira posted many good ideas and questions. I’d like to add a few points.

    -  To the question of can you afford it yourself? There have been several studies recently where it shows parents are jeopardizing their own retirement security by helping their adult children and/or their grandchildren. As a parent myself, I know how hard it is to ‘think of myself first’. But if paying for preschool would cause an issue for your retirement well-being, then it is a tradeoff that needs serious consideration. If you need help answering the question, a fee-only planner can help understand your unique situation. You can find a fee only planner at NAPFA and Garrett Planning Network

    -  What about an alternative to the current preschool? For example, there may be a coop preschool in the area where, to help defray the cost of the program, the parents help out a number of hours a month in the class room. I presume with twins, it may be hard for your daughter to get away. So would you have time to help at the school? (Speaking from experience, it’s a lot of fun).

    -  What about college savings? If you have limited funds available to help with grand children’s education, it may be more helpful to save for college. With 3 children, your daughter and grandkids are facing some huge bills for college down the road. If there are limited funds, where is the best value for the money?

    Hope this helps

    Andy Tilp, CFP ®
    Trillium Valley Financial Planning, LLC


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  • 1 person found this answer helpful

    I watch Squawkbox on CNBC once in a while. Should I pay much attention to what they advise?

    Investing

    These financial talk and TV shows can exacerbate one of the big problems individual investors suffer

    more »

    These financial talk and TV shows can exacerbate one of the big problems individual investors suffer from – that is, using emotions to make investment decisions. To keep their audience from flipping to another station, these shows must make everything dramatic and keep a fast lively pace. 

    For example, when the market gets close to a record, everyone is sitting on the edge of their seat, breathlessly watching and all giddy. Then, when there is a market correction, it’s all gloom and doom with many worried faces.  This entertainment only heightens the viewer’s fear and greed, which in turn can cause some rash decisions.

    Study after study show that when individuals (and professionals) try to time the market and use emotions to make their investment decisions, more often than not, they get it wrong. Investing should be for the long term, where you have a broadly diversified portfolio that is periodically (i.e. annually) rebalanced. I tell my clients they have a portfolio purposely designed to be boring. The diversity may dampen a blazing hot trend, but it also dampens the volatility and the down side.  It is just a boring, steady plodding along, where wealth is built over a life time.

    So if you find it entertaining, then enjoy it. But be aware and armed with the knowledge that a diversified portfolio is there for the long-term.

    If you need advice, I’d suggest you talk with a fee-only financial planner who will take the time to understand your unique situation. Find someone whose fiduciary responsibility to you. This means they must act in your best interest above all others, including their own. You should ask them to put it in writing. You can find a fee only planner at NAPFA and Garrett Planning Network.


    Andy Tilp, CFP ®
    Trillium Valley Financial Planning, LLC


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  • 1 person found this answer helpful

    Where can I move my HSA for long term mutual fund investment purposes?

    Retirement Savings, Healthcare, Investing, Retirement, Health Insurance, HSA/FSA

    Vanguard has a program that accepts HSA funds. Do a search on Vanguard HSA and it should pop up for you.

    more »

    Vanguard has a program that accepts HSA funds. Do a search on Vanguard HSA and it should pop up for you. They allow you to invest in their mutual fund in the account. 

    It sounds like you are familar with how HSA funds work, but be sure to read the conditions and restrictions associated with HSA funds.

    Hope this helps


    Disclaimer: I am not associated with Vanguard and I receive no remuneration or consideration of any kind for suggesting Vanguard.

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  • 1 person found this answer helpful

    I live in New Jersey, which has no 529 tax deduction. Is there a better way to save for college for my son which would have tax advantages?

    Paying for college, Tax Deductions and Credits, Personal Finance, Taxes

    As you may know, 529 college savings plans are administered by individual states. You can use the plan

    more »

    As you may know, 529 college savings plans are administered by individual states. You can use the plan from any state and are not required to attend a university within that state. The Utah and Nevada plans are consistently rated as the lowest cost and highest-quality 529 plans in the country.

    Using the 529 plan to save for the children’s college funding is an excellent method to grow and use funds on a tax efficient basis. However, the tax efficiency applies only if the funds from the 529 plans are used to pay for qualified education expenses (such as tuition, books, etc). If funds are used for expenses other than qualified education expenses, the earnings are subject to income taxes, plus an additional 10% tax penalty.

    If you decide to target fully funding the college expenses, the final balance will be very large. You should consider splitting the college fund between the 529 plan, a regular taxable account (using tax efficient funds) and/or Roth IRAs. Using the different accounts will provide flexibility how the funds can ultimately be used.  For example, if a child were to receive a large financial award from the university, then having the funds outside of the 529 plan will allow you to use the money elsewhere and not incur a tax penalty.


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  • 1 person found this answer helpful

    I have two student loans with 6.8% & 5.3% rates. Should I consolidate into a 10% loan?

    Paying for college, Personal Finance, Debt

    The answer is no. Perhaps an example is the best way to explain why. Say both loans are for $1000.

    more »

    The answer is no. Perhaps an example is the best way to explain why.

    Say both loans are for $1000.

    For the year, the interest you will pay on the 6.8% loan is $68.
    (This is calculated by $1000 * 6.8% or, 1000*0.068).

    Likewise, on the 5.3% loan, you will pay $53 in interest.

    Thus, your total interest will be $121 for the year.

    If you consolidate to a loan with 10% interest, then you will pay $200 in interest for the year
    ($2000 * 10% = $200).

    So if you consolidate, you will be paying $79 more in interest each year. Clearly, this is not in your best interest.

    Hope this helps.


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  • 1 person found this answer helpful

    I'm 26 and recently became a homeowner. A few questions...

    Mortgages, Personal Finance, Investing

    Congratulations on becoming a home owner. It is a wonderful feeling to have a home you can ‘call

    more »

    Congratulations on becoming a home owner. It is a wonderful feeling to have a home you can ‘call your own’.

    However, before you put that $10k lying around toward the principal, I must caution that despite common folklore, a home is not an investment. Rather it is a liability that, perhaps, grows in value at the rate of inflation over many years.

    A mortgage is just one of the many costs associated with a owning home. In fact, a fixed mortgage is the only home-ownership expense that does not increase with inflation. And paying off a mortgage early does not increase the value of the home; rather it only reduces one of the expenses associated with owning the home.

    I think a more important question to answer is where are you in regards to your savings for retirement? In our current environment, you need to take responsibility for funding your own retirement. I know at age 26 that seems like forever from now. But now is the ideal time to start saving. If you invest that $10k now in a no-load, low fee mutual fund that grows at a modest 7%, year, than at age 66, due to the power of compound growth, you will have over $860,000. If you continue to add to the savings every year, you will be in great shape to face the inevitability of age.

    If you are not familiar with investing, there is a lot of good material on this site to learn the basics. The important items to educate yourself on are:

    -  No-load mutual funds and ETFs (Vanguard, Fidelity, TRowe Price are some excellent examples)

    -  Avoiding high fees and expenses. (Keep the fees in your own pocket).

    -  Be diversified and keep your strategy simple

    -  Remember, that despite the sales pitch, insurance is not an investment.

    -  Invest for the long term. Unless you can accurately predict the future 100% of the time, don’t try to time the market.

    Was this answer helpful?

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  • 0 people found this answer helpful

    What's the difference between an interest rate and an APR?

    Robert had a good explanation above. I’ll expand on the answer with another example. Say you have

    more »

    Robert had a good explanation above. I’ll expand on the answer with another example.

    Say you have a loan for $1000 and the advertised interest rate is 5%. That means the interest at the end of the first year will be $50. (5% * 1000). However, as Robert noted, there are fees that are charged with a mortgage (Points, administrative fees, mortgage insurance premiums, prepaid interest, etc.) Suppose in this example the fees come to $100. Then you are effectively borrowing $900, while still paying the $50 interest. Therefore the effective interest rate that you are paying is 5.56%. (50/900) This is your Annual Percentage Rate, or APR.

    The Truth in Lending Act requires lenders to include certain fees in their advertised APR calculations. The goal is to ensure you can make an apples-to-apples comparison between the loans.


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About

Trillium Valley Financial Planning, LLC (TVFP) is a fee only financial planning firm, specializing in comprehensive, fee only financial planning and investment advice services for individuals and families. We serve clients in the greater Portland metropolitan area, the Willamette Valley and the Oregon Coast. TVFP works with clients from all walks of life and has no requirements on net worth, income or amount of investable assets.

Our fiduciary responsibility is solely to you. This means we work solely for you and put your interest above all others. We never accept commissions or fees from any third party. Our primary focus is to help you understand and take control of your finances, reduce anxiety and achieve your financial goals.

Our financial planning service addresses a variety of topics, ranging from cash flow and debt management, retirement planning, education funding, insurance and estate planning.

We are also provide financial seminars & education, where we can hold workshops at your company, church, organization or class to provide advice and information on retirement planning, saving and funding college expenses, investment philosophies and other financial matters.

Details

Contact Info
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Email
a.tilp@trilliumvalleyfp.com
Phone
503 610 8837
Address
29459 SW Ladd Hill Rd
SherwoodOR 97140
Address
8215 SW Tualatin-Sherwood Road, Suite 200
TualatinOR 97062
Firm Website
Focus Areas
Personal Finance, Retirement, Investing
Client Specializations
Engineers/scientists, People near retirement, Young couples
Education
Graduate Certificate, Financial Planning, University of Portland

MS, Computer Science , Oregon State University

BS, Electrical Engineering, Colorado State University
Registrations
Individual CRD #5723964
Regulatory Records
Please visit FINRA's website to review Andy's records
While designations are not everything when selecting a financial advisor, they often indicate a certain level of knowledge related to a specific field and/or commitment to certain ethical and professional standards. Please see our detailed Guide to Financial Advisor Designations for more information.
Designations
CFP®

*Financial Advisor Disclaimer: We try to keep information accurate and up to date, however we cannot make warranties regarding the accuracy of our information.

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