Laura Scharr-Bykowsky is principal of Ascend Financial Planning, LLC a financial planning firm in Columbia, SC.  She is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional and member of the Garret Planning Network, Inc., an international network of professional fee-only financial advisors and planners offering financial planning advice to people of all ages and stages of life. Members are dedicated to providing cost-effective financial advice and acting in the best interest of their clients.  Laura is also a member of the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA).

Since 2008, Laura has enjoyed helping people find solutions to achieve their important life goals.  Her specialty is creating customized, holistic plans for people 5-15 years from retirement.  Laura is also dedicated to financial literacy and has been a regular contributor to WLTX channel 19 for their “Money Monday” segment.   She has been interviewed in Money Magazine, Investment News, US News and World Report, SmartMoney, CNNMoney and the Wall Street Journal.

Laura also has over ten years of experience in the corporate world, working for organizations such as RJR-Nabisco Brands, Brown Forman-Lenox, and Music Choice (a division of Time Warner), she managed multi-million dollar modernization projects, conducted company-wide profit improvement seminars, provided strategic direction for national new product launches and managed sales and marketing programs to meet budgetary goals.

“What I most enjoy about my job is helping clients understand financial topics so that they make sense as well as helping them make good financial decisions.  Each client is like a jigsaw puzzle.  We work as a team to put the pieces together so they have a clear vision of their life 5, 10, 20 years in the future.  The key is to make their money work for them so it adds joy and meaning to their lives.  The financial planning process makes them feel more secure about their future.  I am also adamant about trying to save my clients money.  There is just no reason why people should be charged high fees for money management.”