About

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At Willow Planning Group, we value communication and transparency. We are a fiduciary, fee only firm, which means we don’t sell any financial products in exchange for money or compensation. Instead, we work for a fee our clients pay and they can feel comfortable that we will keep their best interests in mind, always. Trust is at the heart of all financial advisory relationships. Click here for a visual outlining our process and fees.  

Welcome! My name is Kelly Luethje. I’m a fiduciary, fee-only CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™. I’m independent, unaffiliated from any broker or dealer, and I don’t take commission on any referrals or on products I recommend.

I’m here to help you feel empowered about your money – especially if looking at all the numbers causes you stress. I like getting down to what you REALLY want to do in your life and then helping you make it happen.

I don’t judge you. That means I officially promise never ever to…

  • Tell you that you have to stop going to Starbucks.
  • Undermine your financial dreams of buying a home or taking a vacation.
  • Make you feel like inferior when it comes to money.
  • Judge you for any money “mishaps” or “mistakes.”
  • Give you generic, Google-able advice that isn’t necessarily right for YOUR unique situation.

You’re probably here because you…

  • Are open to change. You like the idea of working one-on-one with someone you can trust who has a vested interest in your financial success.
  • May have recently experienced a significant life change that’s making you wonder what it means for your financial future. You might be recently married (or divorced), about to have a baby, in a new job, starting a new business, just received an inheritance, among other likely possibilities.
  • Tried to do things on your own already and pieced things together. You’d just like a more complete picture of everything together and some straight answers to your burning money questions.
  • Know your credit score – at the very least – and may even know a little more about money than your average bear. You’d just like to be more masterful about what you do with it!
  • Make anywhere from $50,000 per year or $150,000 per year – or even more – (hint: it doesn’t matter so much how much you make – it’s what you do with it.)
  • Would like to plan for the future and long term goals – like having children, buying a home, retirement, the needs of aging parents – among other things on your mind.
  • Might have student loan shame or credit card debt you’d like help dealing with.

MY STORY:

You might be shocked (or not shocked) to know there was a time I was less than perfectly responsible with my money.

Back in my twenties, I was working for a startup and got a huge pay raise once I completed my MBA. I remember thinking, “Wow – I have money now!” I saved in my 401(k) and met my student loan debt payments. I lived roommate-free in a great neighborhood and even bought my first car. I thought my new salary could handle these big expenses, but my credit card balances began adding up faster than I was paying them down.

To be honest, it didn’t feel like I was spending $1000 on random stuff, but I totally was.

I’d use my credit card thinking, “Oh the next paycheck will cover it.” I was allocating paychecks before they actually came in. A classic case of overspending.

In attempts to fix my money woes, I’d put big payments toward my credit card – and then still be using the card… and –BAM- I’m back where I started.

HOW I FIXED IT:

I needed to repair my cash flow problem, so I created a monthly budget and broke it down by pay period. I had to track every cash flow detail in order to stay on budget, pay down debt, and save outside of my 401(k). Up until then, I had a fear of budgeting. I thought it meant I couldn’t have any fun or control my own money, and ultimately feel life-endingly painful… but it really didn’t. Turns out – it’s not misery to save your money!

I ended up feeling…

  • Empowered because I finally had control over my finances.
  • Someday, I could realistically buy a home.
  • That eventually, I could take a vacation with my friends.

This experience was transformational for me. After my own stuff was under control, I wanted to help other people do it too! I researched what financial planners do and started the process of becoming a CFP® professional. I knew I wanted to work with people who were trying to figure out their own money puzzles. Budgeting and having a spending plan was the foundational piece, which led me to other areas of expertise:

  • Investing for the first time
  • Planning for life changes: Having a baby, Moving, Changing careers, Buying property
  • Saving for retirement
  • Paying down debt (Student loans, Credit card)
  • Tax planning
  • Insurance and Employer benefits

If you’re ready to start feeling empowered around money and if you’d like someone to be there and help you do just that, we might be a fit.

To find out, I’d love to invite you to schedule a free call here.