Financial facilitator or mediator?

My husband and I need to get our lives together. We have two kids, are at the mid-points in our careers, and just need to figure out next steps, specifically regarding finances. Are there any books, websites or perhaps even professionals you have worked with to help determine your next steps? We're debating whether we should stay in the Bay or head somewhere else where it is easier to buy a home, trying to determine how much to save for retirement, making sure that we are the beneficiaries for each other on everything... ya know, things that adults typically do. If you have any recommendations, please reach out. Thank you!

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Life here is very expensive! Unless you have family ties here that are worth the cost I think your life would be less stressful if you move somewhere where housing is less expensive. That said I think a budget is a great family tool to get alignment. What is really important to you and where can you reduce. We drive really inexpensive old vehicles but we enjoy eating out. We don’t go on expensive vacations and focus on day trips etc.. We only get our house cleaned once a month and have no help for gardening. It’s tough!

Sarah Behr at Simplify Financial was very helpful to me around these issues. She is a fee-based financial planner with different package options depending on your needs. Sarah is kind, thoughtful, and very knowledgeable.

Hi there,

That’s great that you’re getting all of your ducks in a row! It’s not fun by any means, but we’ll worth it. I’d love to recommend my financial advisor. Her name is Jessica Meunier and her email is jessica [at] She is so knowledgeable and she can tailor your time together based on what goals you want to achieve. I can’t recommend her enough! 

Her website is:

All the best,


We met with Sean Burgess some years ago and found him straightforward and easy to work with. He is what is called a fee-only financial planner where he doesn’t charge a percentage of your assets, but charges a set fee to make a financial plan. In general this is recommended as the most cost effective way for this kind of advice (and a Certified Financial Planner is required to be a fiduciary, eg only make recommendations in your interest and not there’s.)

I had a very similar, “what is going on w my finances” a few years ago. I connected with the wife of a colleague who works in financial services (Nini Yang 408-464-7563) and I’ve been working with her ever since (last 2+ years). She did a financial review (w some education along the way), provided a full analysis, and developed a plan for me. Since she is also licensed for taxes and securities, her plan for me took into account diversifying tax strategies and investment strategies. Highly recommend!