Category Archives: Financial Planning

FEW’s July Column – The Risks of Failing to Plan for Long-Term Care Costs

There’s a high chance you’ll need nursing-home care, yet many fail to plan. You have planned for a comfortable retirement: where you want to live, how much you want to travel, how you would like to spend your days – and how you’re going to pay for it all. One thing that could derail this plan financially is your health. The related financial problem doesn’t stem from becoming sick and dying, but from becoming sick and living – and needing long-term care. Read Laura Mattia’s July 2014 Financially Empowering Women(FEW) column to learn more about planning for long-term care.

You can go to the ABC News website or click the link below to read the entire article.

ABC News Column July 1, 2014


Nicholas Scheibner of Baron Financial earns CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (CFP®) designation

Baron Financial Group is proud to announce that Nicholas Scheibner, a financial planner with the firm, has earned the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (CFP®) designation. Nick assists the Wealth Management Principals at Baron in developing financial plans, retirement forecasts, and cash flow analyses for our clients.

Nick is a graduate of William Paterson University where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Cotsakos College of Business Financial Planner program, one of the top schools in the country that offer the program.  At William Paterson University, he started the first official student chapter of the Financial Planning Association, and was part of the winning team that took 1st place in the National Financial Planning Competition in Denver, CO.

The CFP® certification identifies professionals who have met the high standards of competency and ethics established and enforced by the CFP® Board.  CFP® professionals are required to act in their clients’ best interests and have met rigorous professional standards and have agreed to adhere to the principles of integrity, objectivity, competence, fairness, confidentiality, professionalism and diligence when dealing with clients.

CFP® professionals have successfully completed financial planning coursework and have passed the CFP® Certification Examination covering the following areas:  the financial planning process, risk management, investments, tax planning and management, retirement and employee benefits, and estate planning.  They also agree to meet ongoing continuing education requirements and to uphold CFP Board’s Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility, Rules of Conduct and Financial Planning Practice Standards.

“The CFP® mark truly serves as the gold standard for personal financial planning,” said CFP Board CEO Kevin R. Keller, CAE. “Just about anyone can use the term ‘financial planner.’ But only those individuals who have passed a rigorous set of criteria and meet our strict ethical qualifications can call themselves a CFP® professional.”

 About Baron Financial Group (

The Baron Financial Group (BFG) is an independent Fee-Only Wealth Management and financial planning firm with offices in Fair Lawn and Morristown, New Jersey, New York, New York, and Sarasota, Florida. The firm is a Registered Investment Advisor offering objective personal financial advice to individuals without the burden of commissions.

James Shagawat is The American College Alumnus of the Month

JimJames Shagawat, Baron Financial Group Wealth Management Principal, has been selected as the June 2014 American College Alumnus of the Month. Jim completed the Certified Financial Planner® program in 2013 and the Chartered Financial Consultant®  program in 2012, both through The American College.  Jim was chosen for this honor because of his commitment to education and the financial services industry,  Click here to learn more about Jim:

James Shagawat Alumnus of the Month



FEW’s May Column – How Your Ex-Spouse Could Inherit Most of Your Money

Most people aren’t aware that their wills don’t have the final say concerning assets held in retirement accounts – 401(k) plans and individual retirement accounts (IRAs).  The beneficiary provisions of these accounts supersede those of wills. Read Laura Mattia’s May 2014 Financially Empowering Women(FEW) column to learn more about wills and beneficiaries.

You can go to the ABC News website or click the link below to read the entire article.

ABC News Column May 23, 2014


Financially Empowering Women™: Women: Ask for a Raise – But Make Sure You’re Worth it

For many of us, our human capital (we measure this as the PV of all of our future earnings) is greater than our financial capital. As a financial adviser, we view Human Capital as a very important asset in our overall wealth. On this show we are going to talk about how women can grow this very important asset class by discussing empowerment in their career. The most fundamental way for you as a working woman to increase your human capital is to get a raise. Of course we want to convert this human capital into investment capital so that you can save and grow it for future needs such as retirement. Recent studies show that women’s earnings on average are about 77 percent of men’s. Click the link below to listen to the podcast discussion on how to effectively communicate in business with guest Christine Clifton, business communication coach, trainer and speaker (201-738-7463).

Click here to listen to the broadcst

FEW’s April Column – My Advice to Women on Asking for a Raise

The single biggest thing women can do to earn more is act like men when it comes to raises. Many women are constantly searching for a clear way to increase their wealth, but the answer is right in front of them every day at work.  The most fundamental way for working women to increase their investment capital is to get a raise. Read Laura Mattia’s April 2014 Financially Empowering Women(FEW) column to read more about asking for a raise and becoming financially empowered.

You can go to the ABC News website or click the link below to read the entire article.

ABC News Column April 25, 2014

Financially Empowering Women™: Avoiding High Health Care Costs – Part of Your Financial Plan

Many of you have heard Laura say that when we plan for retirement, we should look at the things that we can control and put together our best plans to increase our probability of success. Well that is all well and good but there is one thing that we cannot control and it is an area of life that scares us all. Yes, we are talking about rising health care costs. Many people find the idea of planning for these costs so daunting that they choose to ignore these costs altogether when planning for retirement. Well, you know that ignoring something doesn’t make it go away, and furthermore, the idea of ignoring this problematic issue is incongruent with our philosophy of claiming our financial power. Click the link below to read more about avoiding high health care costs and listen to the podcast.

Click here to listen to the broadcst

Upcoming Financially Empowering Women™ classes for women being offered at William Paterson University in Wayne

Financially Empowering Women™, an educational two-session course taught by Baron’s Laura Mattia, will be held at William Paterson University, 1600 Valley Road, Wayne, NJ, on two consecutive Tuesday evenings, March 25th and April 1st, 2014 from 6:30-9:00pm. The class provides unbiased and objective knowledge for women who are in or near retirement, to help them make informed decisions and plan for a successful retirement.

Financially Empowering Women™ is about Claiming Your Financial Power.  You are in charge.  You control your destiny and you make financial decisions based upon what is best for you.  No excuses, you can do it and by taking claim of your financial life you will have the resources to achieve your goals.  Claiming financial power is not about hoarding money.  It is about understanding how money works and using it to help you live your life, on your terms.

Attendees will receive a workbook containing exercises, with examples, to become financially empowered.

To register call Valerie at William Paterson University at 973-720-3804 or visit their website at


Women, Wine & Wealth Series: “Women and Care Giving”

Baron Financial Group held its latest Women, Wine & Wealth event on Feb. 11, 2014 with guest presenter, Laurie Hauptman, Esq., discussing Women and Care Giving, caring for an elderly family member or a special needs child.  The presentation is part of an educational series, geared especially for women, combining an interesting financial topic with wine and Hors d’Oeuvres.

We believe that education is empowering.  Our purpose is to provide objective financial advice, allowing for informed decisions to plan for a successful retirement.  A question and answer session followed the discussion.

Laura Mattia of Baron Financial Group and Laurie Hauptman of Hauptman & Hauptman, PC discussing Women and Care Giving

Laura Mattia of Baron Financial Group and Laurie Hauptman of Hauptman & Hauptman, PC discussing Women and Care Giving

Laurie A. Hauptman, Esq. is a graduate of SUNY Binghamton and Hofstra Law School. She has been practicing for 25 years, the last 15 with her husband Yale at Hauptman & Hauptman, PC.  A law firm devoted exclusively to elder and disability law. Laurie is a frequent lecturer on elder law and special needs topics.






Financially Empowering Women™: Women’s Empowerment as Consumers, & What are ETFs?

In today’s show we discuss two very disparate topics;

Women’s Empowerment as consumers:  Money is one of the major sources of power. Understanding, controlling, managing, spending and earning money provides status, power, freedom and control of everyone and everything that money can buy.  As women, holding these abilities over money tips the scales and balances power, which is why I think the idea of financially empowering women is so very important. 

This is why we produce this podcast and offer seminars – to inspire women to become empowered and that is why we support organizations (from the local chapters of NOW to various other groups) that support women.  One such group is The Women’s Choice Award, which is dedicated to empowering women by supporting women’s decisions as consumers.  The Women’s Choice Award for Financial Advisors was created by WomenCertified®, Inc in partnership with (Women’s Institute for Financial Education).  Today we speak to the founder of the Women’s Choice Award and the CEO of WomenCertified®, Delia Passi, who is the leading female consumer advocate in the nation.

What are ETF’s:  An ETF or Exchange-traded funds is an investment company which usually invests with the objective to achieve similar returns as a particular asset class or market index.  ETFs have grown in popularity over the past decade because of their flexibility to trade like a stock and provide instant diversification in the form of an index fund.  In this answer to a mailbag question, we discuss the advantages of an ETF over individual stocks, mutual funds and index funds but we also talk about the need to understand what you invest in.  You don’t need to know about the plethora of investments that are out there, but you do need to know about the things that you own and if you decide to invest in ETF, make sure to do your research. 

Click here to listen to the broadcast

Nick Scheibner Featured in Financial Planning Magazine

Baron Financial Group is proud to announce that Nicholas Scheibner, a Financial Planner with the firm, and a 2011 graduate of William Paterson University, was recently featured in the November 2013 edition of Financial Planning magazine.  The article by Kenneth Corbin lists the top schools in the country with programs for Financial Planners, including William Paterson University, and the need for qualified, well-educated graduates in the field of financial planning.

  As more and more members of the baby boom generation retire and seek help with retirement planning, the need for Financial Planners rapidly grows.  Nick started with Baron Financial Group in 2010, as an intern, while pursuing his degree in Financial Planning.  Now, a full time Financial Planner at the firm, Nick is a CFP® (Certified Financial Planner®) candidate, having passed the rigorous exam and working towards fulfilling the requisite years of experience. 

Our firm is fortunate to have Nick as a member of our financial planning team and proud to offer Fee-Only retirement planning with a team of financial experts, with the top credentials in the industry. 

Click here to read the article in Financial Planning Magazine Nov 2013

Financially Empowering Women™: Planning for Families with Special Needs Children

For mothers of special needs children financial planning is not an option but rather a necessity! The child’s quality of life will depend upon your actions or inactions, as well as your ability and willingness to prepare today for tomorrow.

 Planning for children with special needs must be coordinated within the parents’ personal financial plan. When we work with a family with special needs we need to balance comprehensive financial planning for the entire family with the needs of the child, while incorporating the various disability and government programs available, in order to utilize the best planning techniques.

Special needs attorneys play a critical role in the planning process for families with special needs members.  Special Needs Trusts, guardianship, and support in getting desired services and benefits are all reasons to work with attorneys.  It is very important to work with an attorney who specializes in these areas.   In this podcast, we have invited Laurie Hauptman, from Hauptman and Hauptman to help us understand the role of a special needs attorney when you are putting together your plan. 

Click here to listen to the broadcast

Laura Mattia’s Finance Column to appear monthly on ABC

We are pleased to announce that our own Laura Mattia is authoring a monthly finance column as part of ABC  The column is aimed at women interested in improving their comfort level with money in general and gaining knowledge and the confidence to invest wisely.   The first installment can be found on the site’s Money homepage Click on Laura’s picture to find the inaugural column and all future columns.

Financially Empowering Women™ Classes held at the Franklin Lakes Public Library & William Paterson University

Financially Empowering Women™ is about Claiming Your Financial Power.  Claiming financial power is not about hoarding money.  It is about understanding how money works and using it to help you live your life, on your terms.  These educational classes, geared especially for women, were held in Franklin Lakes and Wayne in October.Few FL 2013

The women attendees learned:

  • What should I do now to give me the best chance to attain my goals for myself and my family in the future?
  • How do I protect my savings while enjoying my retirement?
  • Are there things that I should know about Social Security and Health Care?
  • How can I get the most out of my 401(k), IRA or other retirement plan?
  • How do I protect myself against the risks that could derail my plan, including divorce and widowhood?

The classes were taught by Laura Mattia, CFP®, MBA, PhD Candidate, Finance Professor at Rutgers University and radio show host of Financially Empowering Women™ with Laura Mattia.  Laura is also a Principal of Baron Financial Group, a Fee-Only, Registered Investment Advisory firm, which recently received the  Women’s Choice Award® for Financial Advisors, based on extraordinary recommendations from our female clients in a customer satisfaction survey.

Financially Empowering Women™: Women and Care Giving: Caring for an Elderly Family Member

Host Laura Mattia and special guest Laurie A. Hauptman, Esq. ( helps us understand how an elder care attorney can assist when a crisis hits, so that you’ll be emotionally, psychologically, and financially prepared to cope with this very difficult time. 

People have to plan for the future.  Life expectancies are increasing and people’s retirement money needs to be stretched out longer.  The government programs such as Medicare and Medicaid are being strained.  Through long term care planning an elder law attorney can help people utilize government benefits, such as VA Aid and Attendance,  to help pay for their increasing long term care costs.

Click here to listen to the broadcast


Financially Empowering Women™: Taking Control of Your Divorce and Your Life

The 7th podcast episode of “Financially Empowering Women™ with Laura Mattia,” discusses staying empowered during the divorce process.

Divorce can be devastating, both emotionally and financially. One joined life becomes two separate lives with separate finances and different directions. Assets must be split, pensions must be split, custody of children determined, and child support and or alimony established.

Our guest, Claudia Mott MBA, CFP, CDFA and owner of Epona Financial Solutions (, is a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst™ (CDFA).  She has been trained to provide financial assistance to people involved in a divorce. You can call Claudia in Basking Ridge, NJ at 201 572-2177.


Click here to listen to the broadcast

Baron Financial Group, a Women-Friendly Firm

Liz Skinner of InvestmentNews interviews Laura Mattia of Baron Financial Group, in the July 26, 2013 article “Women-friendly, with the seal to prove it”.  Laura discusses why Baron was chosen to receive the Women’s Choice Award for Financial Advisors, and how the firm helps educate women. The award is based on rigorous research and evaluation applying 17 objective criteria, and at the time of publication, only seven firms and advisers (only 11% of those evaluated) had qualified to receive this premier recognition.

” ‘The stamp says these people do the right thing for women,’ said Laura Mattia, a principal with Baron Financial Group LLC, which has been given the award. ”It helps them know we’ll answer every little question they ask.”

Ms. Mattia said her firm didn’t plan to make women the focus of their practice, but it found that women responded well to its focus on educating clients and hand-holding through the financial planning process.  Today, Baron Financial helps many single women, divorcees and widows – many of whom have never handled their own finances.  It also produces a monthly podcast, “Financially Empowering Women,” which attracts between 800 and 1,000 listeners.”

Click here to read the complete article