facebook twitter instagram linkedin google youtube vimeo tumblr yelp rss email podcast blog external search brokercheck brokercheck

FINANCIAL PLANNING AND INVESTMENT guidance 

Blue Flag Planning helps clients understand and manage their financial lives. Our individually-tailored services can help you achieve better control over your finances, manage your investments, plan for retirement or navigate through a life transition.

We'll work with you to clarify your options and give you the advice and support you need to make wise financial decisions.

ABOUT

Blue Flag Planning specializes in financial planning for established professionals in the years between their mid-40's and retirement. We understand the kinds of questions you may be asking yourself:

  • Where do I stand financially?
  • How can I balance competing priorities?
  • Where can I get objective advice?
  • When can I retire, and what's my financial plan for retirement?
  • Do I need to make any changes in my investments and retirement accounts?

We’ll help you to understand how the pieces of your financial picture fit together, work with you to develop an overall game plan, and answer your specific financial questions.

We’re also experienced in guiding clients through the financial aspects of life transitions such as career moves, buying and selling homes, and dealing with family changes. 

Blue Flag Planning is a fiduciary, putting your interests first. Our charges are based solely on the amount of time it takes to complete a planning project. We do not sell any commission-based products, do not receive any compensation for referrals, and do not charge a fee based on assets under management.

You can learn more about Blue Flag's approach in the pages that follow. 

TRACEY EVE JOHNSON Photo

TRACEY EVE JOHNSON

Tracey Eve Johnson


Tracey Johnson






  • MBA in Finance, Wharton School
  • BA, University of Sussex (UK)
  • CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER (TM)

MY STORY

My professional life has been focused on helping individuals and organizations manage their finances. After receiving an MBA in finance from Wharton, I began a corporate career at PepsiCo and then spent sixteen years at Goldman Sachs, eventually becoming Goldman's Treasurer.

When I left Wall Street to spend more time with my young family, I looked for an advisor to help build an overall plan for our finances. I wanted to team up with someone who was clear thinking, independent and knowledgeable, who would put our interests first, and whose fees corresponded to the value being provided.

I worked with a group of talented advisors, but found that their business model didn’t fit my needs. Like most financial advisors, they focused primarily on their clients' investments rather than on broader financial questions. They also required their clients to transfer their investments into accounts which the advisor then managed on an ongoing basis. The consulting-style advice I was seeking proved difficult to find.

At that point, I decided to build the expertise to do my own planning and began to think seriously about offering this service to others. In 2012, I enrolled in NYU’s financial planning certification program, which included coursework in insurance, investments, taxes, employee benefits, retirement planning and estate planning. I also began developing practical experience by helping family and friends with their planning. In 2014, I founded Blue Flag Planning LLC.

I enjoy the intellectual challenge of financial planning, using analysis and judgement to provide answers to individuals' financial questions. However, the greatest satisfaction comes from working closely with clients and their families, and seeing the difference that a well thought-out plan can make in their lives.

I grew up in Bermuda, attended high school and college in England, and have spent the last thirty years based in New York. When not working, I enjoy spending time with family and friends, and being outdoors hiking and playing tennis. I love to read and hope to become a better bridge player. In addition to serving on several not-for-profit boards, I'm active in local pro bono financial planning programs.

A ship that is ready to set sail flies a blue flag with a white square in the center. This blue flag announces that the captain and crew have completed careful preparations for the voyage ahead and have charted a safe course to their destination. As such, it is a fitting symbol for the safety and peace of mind that can come from having a sound financial plan.  

Tracey Eve Johnson is a member of:

  • The Financial Planning Association, the principal professional organization for financial advisors
  • The Garrett Planning Network, a national network of fee-only financial advisors

Form ADV Part 2A

Form ADV Part 2A is an annual SEC filing that provides details of the services Blue Flag offers, its investment philosophy and its fees. It also contains information about the experience of Tracey Eve Johnson. Form ADV Part 2A can be accessed on the SEC Website (search using the firm’s name Blue Flag Planning LLC).

Advisory Disclosures

A financial plan cannot assure that retirement or other financial goals will be met. Mutual funds, ETFs and other securities and investment products are not FDIC insured and may lose significant value. Financial advice is given only pursuant to a written agreement with Blue Flag Planning LLC.

Blue Flag Planning LLC is a Registered Investment Adviser with its principal place of business in the State of New York. The presence of this website on the internet shall in no way be construed as a solicitation to sell or offer to sell securities or investment advisory services for compensation over the internet or in any state other than the State of New York or where otherwise legally permitted or where an exemption or exclusion from such registration exists.

Access to this website and the materials it contains are provided for general information purposes only, and without any warranties, expressed or implied, regarding the accuracy, completeness, timeliness, or results which may be obtained from any information posted on this website or any third-party website linked to it.

APPROACH

Blue Flag's planning starts by helping you to clarify your specific financial questions and goals. Next, we'll work together to gather the information needed to build a clear picture of your current financial situation and resources.  We'll analyze the information you've provided in order to explore a range of scenarios and develop answers that meet your objectives.

While each situation is different, the hypothetical cases of the James family, Sara & Ed,  and Alana - created to represent planning scenarios we frequently encounter - illustrate the ways that Blue Flag approaches financial planning.

Scenario #1: "The James Family"

With three children in high school and successful but demanding careers, Tony and Liz’s finances were becoming increasingly complex. In addition to having specific questions about Liz’s stock options and the possibility of Tony’s switching to a less-stressful job, they wanted to get an overall sense of their financial direction.

We began by showing Tony and Liz how the various parts of their financial picture fit together, and what various earnings scenarios for Tony might look like over the long term.  We also discussed their more immediate financial priorities, which included funding their children’s college education and planning a renovation of their weekend home.

Once we had created a high-level overall plan, we used this to answer their specific questions.  We set up a schedule to handle Liz’s stock options and helped them decide how to finance the renovation project.   We also found several ways to simplify their finances, consolidating retirement accounts and streamlining investments.

Tony and Liz were pleasantly surprised by how much clarity they achieved from the planning process, and by how straightforward it was to make the recommended changes.

Blue Flag treats all client information with the utmost confidentiality. “The James Family" is a hypothetical client, created to illustrate the way that Blue Flag works with clients in a typical planning scenario.

Scenario #2: "Sara & Ed"

Sara and Ed, both in their mid-50s, were thinking about how the next 5-10 years might take shape. While neither of them had any immediate plans to stop work, they wanted to know if they were on track to maintain their current lifestyle in retirement. With their youngest daughter in her junior year of college, they were also considering whether it would make sense to sell their large house.

After helping them calculate their current financial position and estimate their retirement income needs, we used advanced financial planning software to map out their likely course and to explore various “what if” scenarios relating to their house. This helped them put together a rough timeline for the various pieces of their plan.

Blue Flag also provided a second opinion on the management of their investment portfolio and worked with their investment manager to realign their portfolio in light of their overall financial plan.

Understanding their financial path to retirement gave Sara and Ed welcome peace of mind. They expect to meet again with Blue Flag in two to three years to update their plan and make sure they’re staying on course.

Blue Flag treats all client information with the utmost confidentiality. “Sara & Ed" are hypothetical clients, created to illustrate the way that Blue Flag works with clients in a typical planning scenario.

Scenario #3: "Alana"

Alana wanted to enjoy her retirement while also making sure that her money would last. She hoped to spend several months each year travelling, but was unsure of the financial implications. She was also looking for help deciding when to begin taking funds from each of her accounts, and wanted to simplify her investment mix.

We first mapped out Alana’s projected income to help her decide how much time she would be comfortable spending travelling each year. We evaluated each income source - investment accounts, retirement account, Roth IRA, pension and Social Security - separately, to make sure that the withdrawal plan provided enough income to meet Alana’s needs and was also as tax-smart as possible.  

Alana’s investments and retirement accounts were spread over 9 different locations, which had made it difficult for her to see how she was invested overall. We pulled together the details from each account to form a high-level investment summary.  We then helped Alana decide how to adjust her overall asset allocation, and recommended specific actions to take in the individual accounts. 

Alana was glad to have received professional guidance as she navigated the financial transition into retirement, and was relieved to have put a plan in place.

Blue Flag treats all client information with the utmost confidentiality. “Alana" is a hypothetical client, created to illustrate the way that Blue Flag works with clients in a typical planning scenario.

your PLAnning

A financial plan can focus on a single question or can cover multiple areas. Your priorities may include:

  • Help setting financial goals
  • Spending vs. saving decisions
  • Investment portfolio updating and simplification
  • Planning for education
  • Decisions relating to homes, vacation houses and rental properties
  • Life transitions such as divorce, widowhood or inheritance
  • Preparing for retirement
  • Retirement account distributions
  • Strategies to reduce taxes and fees
  • Charitable giving
  • Coordinating assets with estate plans
  • Family trustee considerations

The planning process begins with an introductory meeting or phone call during which we discuss your financial position, goals and concerns and answer your questions about Blue Flag’s services. This no-charge conversation will help you decide whether you’d like to work with Blue Flag.

Within a few days of this conversation, we’ll follow up with a written proposal. The proposal will include a fee estimate based on the expected number of hours needed to complete your planning and an hourly rate of $300; a typical retirement planning project will involve a total of 10-15 hours of planning time. You’ll also receive several questionnaires to complete before the initial planning meeting.

Most financial planning questions involve relatively complex, interrelated analyses and discussions. This kind of planning is generally done over the course of several phone conversations or meetings. During these meetings we’ll review your financial situation, develop assumptions about your future direction, and use detailed financial analyses developed by Blue Flag to help you evaluate various options and opportunities. Together we’ll develop a coherent plan that reflects your preferences. 

You’ll also receive a written report which includes: 

  • a review of your current financial position
  • detailed projections based on one more possible financial scenarios
  • analysis and guidance addressing your particular financial questions
  • a review of your investment allocations
  • investment recommendations (typically centered around low-cost broadly-diversified index funds)

 

 

CONTACT

Email: tracey@blueflagplanning.com

Phone: 212-600-4093