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Advisor Services

  • Financial Planning
    • -Estate Planning
    • -Comprehensive Financial Planning
    • -Retirement Planning
    • -College Planning
    • -Other Financial Planning
    • -Tax Planning
  • Pension Consulting
    • -401k
    • -403b
    • -457
    • -Defined Benefit
    • -Other Pension Consulting
  • Portfolio Management
    • -Individuals and/or Small Businesses


Funds Used With Clients

There are no funds listed for this advisor at this time.

Firm Client types



No timeline events available.
Employer Years Dates
Trillium Valley Financial Planning 10 years, 8 months Aug 2009 - Present
Trillium Valley Financial Planning, LLC 10 years, 8 months Aug 2009 - Present
Xerox, Corp 10 years, 1 month Jun 2002 - Jul 2012

Designations & Memberships

  • Financial Planning Association
    Financial Planning Association
    The Financial Planning Association (FPA®) is the largest membership organization for personal financial planning experts in the U.S. and includes professionals from all backgrounds and business models. We help connect thousands of consumers to competent and ethical planners who uphold the FPA Standard of Care.
  • Garrett Planning Network
    Garrett Planning Network
    The Garrett Planning Network Inc. is an international network of fee-only financial advisors and planners. We are independent advisors and our goal is to make competent and objective advice accessible through hourly as-needed financial planning.
  • National Association of Personal Financial Advisors
    National Association of Personal Financial Advisors
    NAPFA, the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors, is the nation’s leading organization dedicated to the advancement of Fee-Only comprehensive financial planning. Consumers and the media look to NAPFA for access to financial advisors who meet the highest standards for professional competency, comprehensive financial planning and Fee-Only compensation.

Articles and Answers

Insights by Philip Tilp

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Ask a financial questionAsk a question
43 y.o. & 50000 in a 403b. OK to use for living expense during 3 yr PhD? Stafford Loan iffy. Will gross 60000/yr after.
I am always heavily skewed on the side of “do not touch the retirement account”. The reason being is the impact of opportunity costs.If you leave the $50k in the 403b, and then contribute the max ($17500) every year after you get you out of school, then after 20 years of saving (and 8% growth) at a...  (more)
Answered Feb 2014
What is an accredited investor and how does one know if I am one? Is there a certain checklist of things that one needs to make sure one has?
Hi John,I am assuming you are interested in the definition as an individual. The SEC defines an accredited investor as :- A natural person who has individual net worth, or joint net worth with the person’s spouse, that exceeds $1 million at the time of the purchase, excluding the value of the pr...  (more)
Answered Jul 2013
My wife and i are looking at buying a new house. With the birth of another baby, we have decided that we need more room in the house. I have heard that i can take out a some money from my 401k for a down payment. Would this be a loan that i would have to pay back in 5 years? Are there any penalties?
Brian,Congratulations on your new baby. It is always exciting to have a new little person in the household.Regarding your question. You’ve hit a hot button, so please excuse me if I sound a bit harsh. You indirectly answered your own question when you stated the ‘money is just sitting in an accoun...  (more)
Answered Aug 2013
Starting financial planning at a late stage of career life - 401(k) & IRA?
Congratulations on getting committed to saving for your retirement. Assuming you have a number of high quality, low fee funds to choose from in the 401k, and the administration fees are low, then max out the 401k. Selecting the pre-tax version of the 401k will reduce your overall tax bill, which wi...  (more)
Answered May 2013
How do i get a loan to buy a home if i cannot get a conventioal loan?
Hi Susie,It sounds like you are in some financial difficulties and I am curious why you are putting a priority on buying a house. It may be best to rent and establish as firm financial foundation before jumping into a home.Regarding your specific question about using your 401k to buy a home. Are y...  (more)
Answered Nov 2013
What should my kids do with their UGMA accounts?
Michael,Robert and Craig made some good points. Just to reiterate regarding the retitling of the account. The money in the account will legally become your son’s and he can use it for whatever purpose he so chooses. (This is why UGMAs are sometimes called Ferrari funds…..). I assume this isn’t the ...  (more)
Answered May 2013
How do i start a claim for my pension plan?
Hi Elizabeth,For Social Security benefits, you can either go into your local Social Security office, or you can start your application online at also stated there is a Western Conference Teamsters pension. That is different from Social Security and may or ...  (more)
Answered Feb 2014
How old do you have to be to retire, also how many years do you need?
Edward,Rich and Rod have really good points. But the question I always ask my clients who are retiring, either young or old, what will you do next with your time. There are many studies available, and I've seen it in clients, where they retire because they can't stand their job or just want somethi...  (more)
Answered Jun 2013
I will be retiring in 6 to 9 months. How should I distribute my 401k contributions, in order maintain current balance?
Hi JosephThe other answers have some good information. However, I would like to take a bit different angle on your question. So I’ll start the answer to your question with a question – is the 401k your only asset for retirement? The reason I ask is, as you restructure your portfolio from an accumu...  (more)
Answered Jun 2013
How is a Non-Traded Real Estate Investment Trust (NTREIT) different from a Limited Real Estate Partnership...or are they different at all? An advusir said I'd receuve about 6% but principal would be safe. I'm not so sure.
Stay away from Non-Traded REITs. See the FINRA investor alert at for more details. Or just google FINRA Private REIT. ...  (more)
Answered Jul 2013
When interviewing a financial advisor, what questions should I ask?
The others have provided good questions. However, I would suggest the first question you should ask is where their fiduciary responsibly lies. That is, do they put your interests above all others, including their own, or is somewhere else? Their answer should always be they put your fiduciary respo...  (more)
Answered Oct 2013
I've had bad luck with a financial advisor - I paid $600 and got a folder of charts depicting my financial situation and a sales pitch for a roster of insurance products. How can I ensure that my next advisor is worth his/her commission?
BronwynOne thing I would like to add to the other's advice is to verify that the advisor's fiduciary responsibility is solely to you, the client. That is, their legal and ethical responsibility is to provide you with advice that is best for you, above all others, including themselves. You should re...  (more)
Answered Aug 2013
How can I buy stocks?
Hi Anthony,Martin and Alex have provided some good information. I’d like to add a bit to their comment by asking you some questions. How will you choose the companies you buy? Have you done fundamental research on them to know they are sound investments?What percentage of your liquid net wort...  (more)
Answered Sep 2013
I am 35 years old and I want to know how much do I need to put towards my 401K to retire ok?
Hi Melinda Congratulations on taking responsibility for ensuring you put away sufficient money to be able to retire. The good thing at your young age of 35 is you have time on your side to let the power of compounding help build your wealth.Regarding your questions – how much do you need to put aw...  (more)
Answered Oct 2013
What are my options & how do I make the best choice for me and my family?
Rich had some very good points. An alternative would be to open an IRA at Vanguard and have your 401k administrator transfer the funds directly to this account. With $5000, it might be simplest to put the money in a target date retirement account. These are all-in-one fund that have a broad selectio...  (more)
Answered Feb 2014
I would like information on taking out a loan on my 401K. Terms, interest ect.
I agree with Pam on her of not taking a loan on your 401k. I hear the comment ‘but the money is just sitting there’. Yes - That is the purpose of a retirement accounts! The purpose of the account is for a person to invest and grow their assets, tax deferred, for their retirement. It not savings acco...  (more)
Answered Dec 2013
Cost Disclosures and Expense Ratios?
Colin,If you look up a fund on Morningstar, under the Performance tab, there is a selection for Total Return and for Investor Returns. This shows the difference between what the fund returned with and without management fees.For example, looking at the Vanguard Wellesley Income Adm. fund, the 10 y...  (more)
Answered Feb 2014
My company's 401k plan wasn't listed. I am a local government employee. I have contacted our plan and haven't gotten an answer on how to look our plan up. I want to know all the fees I am paying. I am now on my third request to get this information from our plan's administrato. What is up with this
Deborah,Regarding your plan, my only thought is to check if your employer has a benefits website. Most do now. The plan administrator should have the information posted there. I realize that is not a great answer, but it could be a clue.Regarding your son. Congratulations to him for making a great...  (more)
Answered Jul 2013
Need to withdraw five thousand dollars?
Nester, I assume you are wanting to withdrawal the funds from your 401k. The others have made good points. Another thing to consider is, if you leave your employer, either voluntarily or involuntarily, the loan is very likely to be due, in full. This means you need to pay the entire balance back....  (more)
Answered Oct 2013
I have my 403b with Fidelity, and am 60 years old. I am starting a 70% work week soon, probably for the next 2-4 yrs. Fidelity is after me to put the bulk of my funds (close to $500K) into their fidelity portfolio advisory services, and have a personal?
Hi KatherineCongratulations on doing well with your own investing. Regarding your question, what I advise clients to do is, if they are comfortable and enjoy managing their own investments, then to continue. If, however, you are not, then having someone else help manage your money is fine. The key...  (more)
Answered May 2013
How do i find all the retirement plans that would be linked to topographic inc ??? and can i use somebody like edward jones to roll over and reinvest??? how does my part get calculated?? the ein is in my name??? for our erisa 5500??
Wade,Regarding your second question: If I understand your question, you as asking if you can roll over your 401k (or other employer retirement account). Typically, you can only roll money from a 401k or other employer plan into an IRA after you leave the employer. Once you are no longer employed th...  (more)
Answered Jul 2013
How much can an individual expect to pay an RIA for fee-only hourly? What about flat fee for 3(16) fiduciary services?
Hi KCPerhaps you are familiar with Garrett Planning Network (GPN). If not, all Garrett advisors provide hourly-based pricing services. All Garrett advisors are RIAs and CFP (R). They charge based on the amount of time involved to work with and for you, and your advisor will provide a written agre...  (more)
Answered Oct 2013
How do I recieve my funds from a decedent?
Tammy,My condolences on the death of your husband. I sure this is a very hard time for you. Pam and Michael have made some good points. I don't mean to compound your worry and stress, but I want to add that when you are looking for financial advisor to help you, ask if their fiduciary duty is sole...  (more)
Answered Oct 2013
At what age should my kids start building their credit?
I agree with Eddie – having them start establish credit just as they are leaving high school and entering college is a good time to look at it. They are going to need a credit score once they enter the ‘real world’ and will be ahead of the game if they have established a positive record. Check with...  (more)
Answered Jun 2013
Hello, I am planning to lease a Benz GLK 350.
QuinnThe others have made some good comments. I too raised an eyebrow when I read you don't qualify. I think there is an important question you need to consider. Are you saving, or have you saved enough for retirement. for those years when you won't be earning money? If you have, that is great, an...  (more)
Answered Jun 2013
My son inherited a 401k from his dad, however, his uncle & grandpa cashed it out without telling him about it!
Shawna,First, my condolences for the losses in your family. It is heartbreaking to hear your experience.Your ex-husband should have designated a beneficiary on the 401k documents. By law, the proceeds from the 401k can only go to the beneficiary. Because this is such a serious legal matter, you n...  (more)
Answered Nov 2013
When I pass will my child receive my 401k?
Your question raises a more general issue about the importance of periodically reviewing and, if needed, updating your beneficiaries on life insurance and retirement accounts. There are cases where, because a beneficiary had not been updated, a long forgotten ex-girl or ex-boy friend receives proce...  (more)
Answered Nov 2013
Would it be a good financial strategy for us to roll over all our 401k IRAs to an annuity? Please see details below.
When you look at financial plan, it is important to look at the whole picture, not just one product or investment. In that light, the item that caught my attention was your statement saying you are starting your SS benefits at age 62. If you are unfamiliar with how SS works, you will receive your f...  (more)
Answered Nov 2013
Does a financial advisor need 20 years of experience to give me great advice on how to invest?
Hi Toni,Experience is important. But overriding experience, the advisors fiduciary responsibility is a more important criterion to consider. That is, do they put your interests above all others, including their own, or is somewhere else?The first question you should always ask an advisor is where ...  (more)
Answered Oct 2013
When I convert my regular IRA to a Roth IRA, do I have to pay the taxes all at once?
Hi Rosa,A couple points about the taxes when converting your regular IRA to a Roth IRA. If you have a mix of pre-tax contributions and after-tax contributions, then you will not owe tax on the portion from the after-tax contribution. Since you have already paid tax on the money , there is no need ...  (more)
Answered Oct 2013
If I have an existing loan I am paying on in my 401k can I borrow some more money to catch up on something's.
Edward,It sounds like you have quite a full house full. Michael is correct that your question is plan specific and you need to check the 401k documents or with your HR department. However, before you consider this, I’d like to provide a note of caution. Are you aware that if you were to leave you...  (more)
Answered Oct 2013
What is the best advice you would give to a new startup CFO?
Nolan.I have to agree with Dave and the others. Cash flow and burn rate is king - from firsthand knowledge of two experiences back in the dot-com era.The first was my own company, which I tried to fund from minimal start-up funds and purely through cash flow. But when clients delayed payments or w...  (more)
Answered Oct 2013
I received a letter from Soc Sec. I am receiving SS disability and would like to cash in my stock.
Hi James,We are going to need some more information on your question before we know how to answer. Is this stock you received as stock options with an employer? Or are you looking to sell stock you bought in a personal account?...  (more)
Answered Dec 2013
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    Licenses & Conducts

    U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
    • license status
    • disclosures
    • as of date
      Apr 7, 2020
    • license status
      Not registered
    • disclosures
    • as of date
    Review the status and details of the disclosures noted above using the SEC's Investment Advisor Public Disclosure website:


    Trillium Valley Financial Planning

    Last updated on March 4, 2020
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    Fee Only Advisor
    This advisor has certified that they are compensated soley by their clients, and do not accept commisions or compensation of any kind based on the products they recommend.

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