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 Planning for retirement can be like planning a trip into the unknown.
Wouldn’t it be easier to navigate with a guide who’s been there before?


Dave Grant CFP Financial Planner in Barrington IllinoisHere's the important stuff:

When I initially work with clients, my aim is to say as little as possible. I want you to share you story, and I will probe with questions as needed. I want you to feel that you have a safe space to share the experiences you've had in life and with money, whether these experiences are good or bad. I want to give you the freedom to explore what life will look like, knowing that I will be able to do the relevant analysis to tell you if it will be possible. 

But most of all, I want to work with clients who trust our relationship and understand that they shape what it looks like, not the other way around.

Now here's the technical stuff......

I am a financial planner and have been providing fee-only financial advice to clients since 2007. Having worked in fee-only firms of various sizes before starting my own firm in 2013, I have advised clients ranging from young professionals, oil executives to happily retired, blue-collar families. In 2013, I launched my own financial planning practice called Finance for Teachers, Inc. with the purpose of serving K-12 educators in Illinois. Finance for Teachers is now a leading resource for assisting teachers with their personal finances, with its website being visited by over 70,000 educators each year. Wanting to open up my services to those not involved in the world of education and more towards those focused on having meaningful conversations surrounding retirement, I re-branded my firm into Retirement Matters, Inc. in 2016.

I am an advocate for providing financial advice using a fee-only model. I believe that everybody who needs financial advice should be able to receive it, not doubt the quality of advice they receive or be in doubt regarding the amount they are paying.

I am an internationally known planner specializing in how younger financial planners can excel in their career. I write a column for Financial Planning magazine, speak at conferences, consult with financial planning technology companies, and have earned various awards for this work.

I live in Cary, IL, am married to a middle school Math teacher (Highland Middle School, Libertyville) and I am a father of two boys. As a dual-citizen of the USA and UK, I am a chocolate connoisseur and think more milk in chocolate makes it taste better. I was devastated when Kraft bought Cadbury.


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I Do What I Love 

I have a passion for helping people with their financial lives. I find joy in walking pre-retirees through their final working years and watching them build confidence to tackle what comes next. I care more about understanding my client’s deepest concerns in their life and how they want their future to look, than the balance of their investment accounts.  

Money Is Much More Than Numbers 

With a background in psychology, I understand that money is about much more than numbers. With clients, I like to discuss their thoughts about money and how their life until this point might be impacting the decisions they make today. Only once this is understood do we discuss any financial strategies that will impact your future. 

My Mission is to Help the People of “Chicago-land” Plan for Retirement 

I am happy to call the Midwest home after immigrating from the UK more than a decade ago, and love working with the people in the suburbs of Chicago. I have lived in the Chicago suburbs since I graduated from University in England, and it has truly become home – but not so much that I have learned the names of the expressways, as I still use the numbers! In fact, I took all of the photos on this website during my own adventures.

When it comes to conversations, I like to carry them out in a “Midwest manner” – relaxed, cheerful and straight-to-the-point. I provide fee-only, impartial financial guidance, whether clients work with me on just one project or for many years – it’s all about what works for them. And hopefully, you.

As Featured In 

Featured in Scholastic
Featured in Investment News as Barrington Illinois Financial Planner
Featured in Chicago Tribune as Barrington Illinois Financial Planner
Featured in Kiplinger's as Barrington Illinois Financial Planner
Featured in National Education Association NEA as Barrington Illinois Financial Planner
Featured in WGN Chicago as Barrington Illinois Financial Planner
Featured in Business Insider as Barrington Illinois Financial Planner
Featured in Wall Street Journal as Barrington Illinois Financial Planner
Featured in Reuters as Barrington Illinois Financial Planner
Featured in FP as Barrington Illinois Financial Planner
Featured in Yahoo Finance as Barrington Illinois Financial Planner

Retirement Matters best serves clients who want to devote time to understanding how best to prepare for retirement, both emotionally and financially. This is typically a client 5-10 years away from retirement, but we also work with a select number of younger clients who want to focus on retirement planning. A typical client will be excited about planning their next steps, looking forward to receiving financial guidance and implementing suggestions, and have saved diligently throughout their career. 

We might be a good fit to work together if:

  • You understand that you need assistance managing your finances and need the guidance of a professional.
  • You want to transfer the burden of managing your finances to someone else so you can enjoy more time pursuing the things you enjoy.
  • You are prepared to devote the time needed to having an impactful conversation about your financial life

Anthony & Associates Certified Public Accounts logo

As part of our Wealth Management services, we work with Anthony & Associates, LLC to assist clients in reviewing, planning and filing their tax returns. 

Anthony & Associates, LLC located in Barrington, IL is a small, personal CPA firm focused on the tax and accounting needs of small businesses and individuals. They provide tax planning and compliance services, individual tax prep and filing, business formation, and book-keeping/payroll for small businesses.

The Recommendations I Suggest Will Always Be In Your Best Interest, Financially And In Creating Your Ideal Life


There are times when you research a company and you just want to know if they have helped people like you. As a financial services company, we can’t provide testimonials, however we can highlight some situations we’ve worked on – maybe they’ll be similar to yours?


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Kendall had hit the promotion she had been striving for within her medical specialty. With her significantly increased income, it left her with excess that she was not sure what to do with. She wasn’t looking to retire soon, but knew that retirement savings needed to be part of her long-term plan.

As part of her plan, we:

  • Optimized her retirement savings strategy to use various retirement plans (Roth IRA, 401(k), etc.) to allow for a balanced approach to retirement while making best use of company matches and tax-deferral opportunities.
  • Adjusted the payment plan for her student loans to pay it off faster but allow her to accomplish other goals.
  • Planned out her short and long term goals and ensured there was a spending/savings plan that aligned with these.
  • Started planning what house she could purchase now she was sure where she would be working.



Joanne has been running her business for the last 15 years, and the last 10 years she had seen great financial success. However, her marriage had failed during that time. She was now living by herself, trying to juggle the responsibilities of her business and employees and managing her growing wealth following the divorce. She knew she had to focus on the business and have someone else manage the finer details of her financial plan and investments. She needed someone to look at her business finances as well as her personal finances, and ensure they were both complimenting each other.

As part of their plan, we:

  • Organized her financial picture into an easy-to-understand summary.
  • Designed a process to streamline how business and profits impacted her personal situation.
  • Had multiple discussions regarding what retirement might look like – both in the best circumstances and if times became tough.
  • Designed a prudent investment portfolio that aligned with the optimum amount of risk Joanne wanted to take, while also planning for a long-term investment outlook.
  • Put a retirement plan in place to aid long-term savings and save on taxes.
  • Coordinated a business succession plan so the full value of her business would be financially recognized when she wanted to retire.

pre-retirement financial planning image


Retirement financial planning image


Andrew and Jennifer both come from a prudent, middle-class background and worked in service fields for their careers – Andrew in hotel management and Jennifer as a teacher. They had been taught how to save by their parents, but even that training didn’t quench the nervousness and anxiety they felt being on the doorstep of retirement. While they didn’t have too much time to make any adjustments, they were able to implement a plan that eased their concerns and paved the wave for an enjoyable retirement.

As part of their plan, we: 

  • Changed their retirement savings strategy so they had a more tax-balanced portfolio in retirement.
  • Reviewed their current insurance coverage so they understood how to transition into retirement without leaving gaps in coverage, or incurring significantly higher premiums.
  • Examined their current spending to understand what lifestyle their assets would support.
  • Explored how they would want to work in “encore careers” and how to balance this with having more free time to explore their passions.
  • Discussed the approaches they could take with their investments given the fact they may not need all of the money, and how they may want to manage these funds.
  • Made a “bucket-list” of things they wanted to achieve in retirement and understood if they could afford all those things.
  • Discussed potential changes to their estate plan and account titling, as they wanted to gift some of their money to charity and grandchildren.



Beth has been retired for three years. She’s done some fun things in that time, but is now realizing that retirement is going to be a long time, and she may not have the money to fill it with fun activities.

As part of her plan, we: 

  • Understood what fun things she had accomplished and what they meant to her. We also explored ways of finding the same joy without spending the same amount of money.
  • Planned how an upcoming inheritance may change her financial picture and how that should be incorporated into her current financial plan.
  • Reviewed her investments and aligned them to her new realization that she may not be able to spend it as freely as she once had.
  • Explored how she may be able to earn money exploring her passion of quilting which would mean she wouldn’t have to rely on her investments as much.

Retired financial planning image

I Don’t Aim To Compete With Other Firms On Price, But On The Quality Of Our Conversations


I Care More About You And Understanding Your Desire For The Future Than How Much Money You Have


From the day I started working as a financial advisor in 2007, I have always operated as a fee-only planner, meaning my compensation comes solely from the fees my clients pay, not from commissions or other third-party referral fees.  This significantly reduces potential conflicts of interest, and ensures the advice I provide is always in your best interest. 

As a Fee-Only planner, I receive no compensation from any product recommended. I do not represent any product or company; I only represent you. 

Fee-Only planners have always been held to the Fiduciary Standard, which requires us to put our client’s interest above our own. It consists of a duty of loyalty and care, and acting in the best interest of the client. We are bound by a Code of Ethics, which was adopted by the CFP Board to establish the highest principles and standards.

Planning For Retirement Can Feel Overwhelming, But It Doesn’t Have To Be


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Money Is About So Much More Than Numbers On A Page


Dave Grant CFP Financial Planner Barrington Illinois

Dave Grant, CFP®


Phone:  847-558-6991

Email:  dave@retirementmattersillinois.com

Office:  18-5 E. Dundee Road Suite 200, Barrington IL 60010