Educated Wealth Strategies
Eric C. Nichols, CFP®, CLU®, RICP®, CRPC® is a financial advisor who focuses on offering holistic, high quality, comprehensive financial planning advice to educators and their families. While Eric’s experience in the education community dates back to the beginning of his career, he’s served professionals in a wide range of other industries as well.
After attending Villanova University in Pennsylvania, Eric began his career at AXA Advisors, where he served as Divisional Vice President for about five years. In 2012, he branded his unique skillset and launched Educated Wealth Strategies, a financial services firm in the greater Philadelphia area that currently works with clients on over $80 million in assets. Eric serves as Educated Wealth Strategies’ President and Founder.
Throughout his career, Eric has served well beyond a thousand teachers and administrators, as well as their spouses and family members, throughout the United States. This includes spouses and relatives employed outside of the educational field, such as executives, lawyers, doctors, and business owners. Regardless of profession, Eric and his team at Educated Wealth Strategies empower their clients to accomplish financial goals through education.
Eric’s financial planning philosophy is a holistic one. He holds FINRA Series 7, 66, and 24 Licenses, and is also a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional (CFP®), Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU®), Retirement Income Certified Professional (RICP®) and Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor (CRPC®). As such, he is able to assess the full financial portrait of a family and help them to accomplish their goals through financial education, thorough planning, and proper guidance.
As part of his mission to serve and be an educational resource for teachers nationwide, Eric wrote and published a book titled “Financial Planning for Teachers” in 2016. The book was written to offer teachers a high-level overview of financial planning basics and how to effectively prepare for the planning challenges they can expect to face throughout their lives. The book empowers education professionals and their spouses via actionable advice and tactical solutions designed to put them on the path to achieving their family’s financial goals.
Eric enjoys outdoor sports such as hiking and backpacking, and is also an avid CrossFitter. As a board member of his local Cross Fit gym, Eric combines his passion for fitness with his commitment to philanthropy. Structured as a non-profit organization, the gym does not turn away anyone for their inability to pay, and the gym conducts regular outreach to local disadvantaged youth. Eric lives in the greater Philadelphia area with his wife and two (soon to be three) children.
BS, Finance, Villanova University
Assets Under Management:
Eric offers securities through AXA Advisors, LLC (NY, NY 212-314-4600), member FINRA/SIPC, offers investment advisory products and services through AXA Advisors, LLC, an investment advisor registered with the SEC, and offers Annuity and insurance products through AXA Network, LLC. AXA Network conducts business in CA as AXA Network Insurance Agency of California, LLC, in UT as AXA Network Insurance Agency of Utah, LLC, in PR as AXA Network of Puerto Rico, Inc. Educated Wealth Strategies is not a registered investment advisor and is not owned or operated by AXA Advisors or AXA Network. PPG 110585 (1/16)(Exp 1/18)
Congratulations on getting started with investing. Due to the way your question is phrased, I am assuming that you already have some money in a savings account or a money market account to serve as an emergency fund, that you have little or no credit card debt, do not have any large purchases planned in the near future, and student loans are not an issue. All of these concerns would take priority over long term investing at your stage. If you are looking to start a long term investment, I would recommend researching broad-based index funds either in mutual fund or ETF form. Take a look at U.S index funds as well as international index funds. Because you are just getting started, I would steer clear of individual stocks at this point as you wouldn't be able to create much diversification in your new portfolio and you are still learning the basics of investing. By buying and holding index funds you will have quite a bit of diversification, even if you don’t hold many funds.
Another option would be to choose a low cost allocation portfolio, or target-based portfolio that would automatically create a well diversified portfolio for you with representation from most of the major asset classes. Good luck!
Congratulations on your upcoming retirement. I’m sure you and your wife are anxious for you to retire so that you can get started on all of your plans together! I will try to answer this question in basic terms because I really need more information to give a more detailed answer.
- Are you comfortable retiring with debt? Some people are; some aren’t. The answer to this question would play heavily into whether I would recommend that you keep the mortgage or pay it off.
- What is the interest rate on your mortgage? If the interest rate has a 3 or a 4 in front of it and it is a fixed rate, you very well could do better with your money over the long term by keeping it invested and maintaining your mortgage. Even if your portfolio were to return a modest rate of return, you might still do better than paying off your mortgage. However, if you are not comfortable with retiring with debt, you should probably pay off your mortgage for the peace of mind.
- If your $450k portfolio is pre-tax, you might do yourself a disservice tax-wise by taking such a large distribution at one time to pay off your mortgage. In order to clear $84,000, you would likely have to distribute over $100,000. This may bump you into a higher tax bracket.
- Lastly, if your portfolio is comprised of only two stocks and they are both bank stocks from the same country, you seriously need to consider diversifying your portfolio. If one company were to have problems, you would lose half of your savings! You might want to look into a diversified portfolio using low cost index funds representing all of the major asset classes. With this approach would seek to maintain a similar amount of income per year and reduce your risk.
I hope this was helpful!
Thanks for the question. Many times clients will ask a variation of this question; “How do I rollover my 401(k) or 403(b) to a Roth IRA. There is a bit of confusion here.
First, a SIMPLE IRA, or Traditional IRA, 401(k) or 403(b) is comprised of pre-tax dollars. A Roth IRA is comprised of after-tax dollars. Think of this as oil and water—they don’t mix. So, if you want to rollover your SIMPLE IRA to a Roth IRA, you will first need to do a Roth conversion by paying the taxes on the pre-tax account balance.
You should decide whether you want to keep your account with the same custodian, or whether you want to change custodians in the process. If you want to change custodians, the successor custodian can help you determine whether you can do the conversion as part of the transfer process, or if you must first rollover into a traditional IRA with the new custodian and then do the Roth conversion.
Hope this helps!
Hello, thanks for your question. Many permanent life insurance contracts allow the owner to take withdrawals and loans from the accumulated cash value. The first step would be to contact your agent and/or the insurance company directly. They can tell you how much you can borrow and/or withdraw from your policy. Remember that the cash value in a life insurance policy is like the amount of gas in your car’s gas tank. If you take out too much and don’t refill it, your policy may lapse just like your car would stop running if it ran out of gas. Because of this, you should also request an in-force illustration showing how your loan and/or withdrawal could affect your cash value, death benefit and overall health of the policy. Then you can request the loan and if needed create a repayment plan to replenish your cash value.
This is a question that comes up a lot. Life insurance proceeds are generally tax-free. Double check with a tax professional for your particular situation, but it is likely that no tax will be owed.