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Financial Advisor & Retirement Planning

Third Act Retirement Planning in Roswell, GA

Our signature process for helping each of our clients achieve a better retirement: 

When you have a major problem with your heart, do you go to just any doctor? Or do you go to a cardiologist? There are many different types of doctors and getting the best outcome depends on choosing the right kind. 

It's the same with financial advisors.

  • We believe specialization in financial advising is just as important as it is for any other industry. At Third Act Retirement Planning, we provide investment management, retirement planning, and financial planning with one goal – making your retirement the most fulfilling and rewarding time of your life. 

 And we believe that requires three elements: Proper wealth management, maintaining your health, and being in touch with your relationship with our Lord.

By specializing in clients who subscribe to these values, we believe we can offer more personalized service and a higher level of care. To learn more about how we can help you, contact us to set up a complimentary consultation.


Who We Serve


We specialize in serving clients who are planning for retirement in the next 5 years or are already retired and want to transition into it in excellent health and a commitment to and relationship with the Lord so that it can be the best phase of their lives.

Value Proposition


We guide people into three critical areas that we believe will make their retirement the most fantastic time of their lives - their finances, their health, and their relationship with the Lord.

Our Services


We provide comprehensive investment management, retirement and comprehensive financial planning, retirement lifestyle design, and more to help our clients pursue the retirement of their dreams.


Financial Advisor in Woodstock, GA

There are so many things to look for when you are evaluating or looking to work with a financial advisor.  One of the things I want to go over as a key differentiation among financial advisors is the way that they are compensated.  And I want to go over a few of those ways here in this page. 

Types of Financial Advisors

To start, we have the fully commissioned financial advisor. 

This financial advisor sells mutual funds and insurance products typically for a commission.  They can also sell stocks and bonds, but they usually ought not to because the commissions are lower on stocks and bonds compared with mutual funds and annuities.

They are reps at broker-dealers and licensed with an insurance marketing organization typically. Insurance marketing organizations are called IMOs. They will also sell life insurance, disability insurance, and long-term care insurance.

The next type (as far as compensation goes) is called fee-based.

Fee-based still includes commissionable products like mutual funds, annuities, life insurance, disability insurance, and long-term care insurance.

However, in addition to all the things that a fully commissioned advisor does, the fee-based advisor also manages money for a set fee and may even do financial planning for a flat fee.  This model is also referred to as the hybrid model.

These types of advisors are brokers with a broker-dealer, and they are investment advisor representatives with an RIA to handle the investments.

And as with a fully commissioned financial advisor, they are also licensed with an independent marketing organization to market and sell insurance.  Both financial advisors hold a life and health license with the respective states that they live in and some in even more than one state.

The final compensation type of financial advisor we will discuss on this page is the fee only.  At one time, fee-only advisors only represented 6% of all financial advisors.  I am guessing that number has come up over the years but is still not more than 10%.

The fee-only financial planner sells advice and not products to make a living.

They do not work or sell products for any commissions.  They do not ever receive commissions either directly or indirectly from any product providers.  Typically, a fee-only financial advisor will charge a percentage of your assets under management, fixed fee per year and/or financial planning fees.

This is the type of financial advisor that Thomas Cloud Jr. is and is the one most recommended by top experts like Clark Howard.  Fee-only financial planners are also typically members of an organization called NAPFA.

So that is one way to differentiate financial advisors is just by the way that they are compensated.  You will also want to look at their education and experience.  What is both their college education and then, of course, what are their designations?  Over the years, have they taken the time to expand upon their college education and get designations?

The most recognizable certification, of course, is the certified financial planner designation.  And the test for the certified financial planner designation is so complicated that only about 50% of the people who take this test pass it the first time.

There are other designations as well that involve financial planning like the chartered financial consultant designation.

You also have the CPA designation, but that includes and is related to taxes and is for accountants.  You also have the CFA designation, which is more related to investments and it is not as focused on personal finance as the certified financial planner designation.

So certainly the most respected and useful designation that you would want to look for in a personal financial advisor would be the certified financial planner designation. 

Thomas Cloud Jr. holds this designation and has been a certified financial planner since 2008.

As with any profession, not all financial advisors are created equally.  You want to look at where your money is going to be held, who is the custodian for the money, means of feedback/communication, how often will you be meeting with your financial advisor?

Are they going to be helping you to reach your goals and discussing your financial goals with you or just managing your portfolio?

A bad advisor can put you in bad investments and make decisions for you that lead to higher taxes.

I will never forget the time that I had a client come to me from a huge and well-known brokerage house, and she was inside of an annuity that had fees that were 3.75% per year.

I was able to help her cut those fees in half.

And it was an annuity that was so high. But this is just one example of why you must be careful when you’re looking at a potential financial advisor.

You want a financial advisor who can help you efficiently and effectively plan and reach your financial goals and of course on our case we also encourage people to continue their path of healthy lifestyle and faith.