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 Planning for retirement can be like planning a trip into the unknown.
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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 your 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 they 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......

My name is Dave Grant. I am a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) professional, a NAPFA Registered Financial Advisor 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, being used by approximately 100,000 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, which means I only get paid by my clients - not through product commissions or other means. 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, consult with financial planning technology companies, and have earned various awards for this work.

I live in Cary, work in Barrington, am married to a middle school Math teacher (Highland Middle School, Libertyville) and am a father to two boys. I'm a proud member of the Board of Directors for YMCA Camp Duncan in Fox Lake, IL and love serving as a mentor through Kids Hope USA. 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 emigrating 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.

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 an individual five years (or less) from retirement, have a household income of over $150,000, and be consistently saving to increase their net worth. 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.

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Retirement Matters Service Matrix

Are you more "do-it-yourself" when it comes to your finances? A one-time, comprehensive financial plan might be what you’re looking for.

During your one-time financial plan, we’ll have in-depth discussions on pertinent financial topics. We'll cover everyday spending, debt management, income taxes, education planning, retirement planning, investment management, estate planning, legacy building, and charitable giving.

After taking a holistic look at your finances, we’ll work together to construct a personalized, comprehensive financial plan. At the end of our process together, you’ll receive fully customized advice and easy-to-understand reports covering all recommendations. You’ll then be empowered to complete all these recommendations yourself without ongoing support from Dave.


At Retirement Matters, we’re completely transparent about our costs. A one-time, comprehensive financial plan costs $3,000, with an annual review of your situation costing $2,000.

Our meetings can be conducted via phone, video, or in-person at our office.

Hourly services are available on a limited basis, at Retirement Matters discretion, and billable at $250/hr.


In order to maximize your financial life, you can engage with Retirement Matters in fully comprehensive planning with ongoing support from Dave Grant. Together, we’ll set financial goals, monitor your investments, and implement a detailed financial plan that helps to move you toward success.


During our ongoing financial planning partnership, we’ll discuss and plan for every situation. We will consider:

  • Spending
  • Debt management
  • Income taxes
  • Education planning
  • Retirement spending
  • Debt management
  • Income taxes
  • Education planning
  • Retirement planning
  • Investment management
  • Estate planning
  • Legacy building
  • Charitable giving

All of these components make up the entirety of your financial puzzle, and they each work together to build your financial success story.


As part of our ongoing financial planning partnership, you’ll have unlimited access to Dave Grant, your financial planner.

We’ll work to make financial planning easy by providing an online, private portal. Through this portal, you’ll be able to link your bank and investment accounts in order to view all your assets in real-time, all in one place. The portal acts as a personal vault for all file transfers and storage. It will also link to your financial plan so it’s also up-to-date.

At Retirement Matters, we are a fee-only financial planning practice. This means we don’t receive a commission from insurance, investment, or annuity sales. The only fee we receive is the amount we charge you, the client. 


The price for completing your financial plan is $3,000 with ongoing support costing $250/mo. You can retain Retirement Matters for as long as you need. If you need assistance implementing the recommendations of your plan, assistance is immediately available. If you’d like company in retirement meetings with state pension providers, an advocate in your Estate Planning meeting, or a set of eyes/ears on your newly-quoted insurance policies, that’s all available to you. Also, if you’re looking for a long-term relationship with a planner, this $250/mo. will cover an annual review of your situation as well as unlimited communication throughout the year.

For ongoing financial planning, we work with you to set up automatic monthly payments that help to ensure ongoing access.


Your investment portfolio reflects your risk profile, values, and all the wonderful goals you wish to accomplish. When you work with Retirement Matters to manage your investments, we help to build your portfolio with all of these things in mind.


At Retirement Matters, we believe no-one can control or predict stock market returns. We aim to focus on controlling only things that are controllable.  When helping clients with their investment portfolios, we focus on three things:

  • We are tax sensitive, ensuring you don’t pay more in taxes than needed.
  • We have a 100% passive investment style, meaning we keep your investment expenses as low as possible.
  • We will construct a globally diversified portfolio ensuring you take part in returns from all over the world, not just one country.

Using a passive investment philosophy, asset allocation and location, and tax-loss harvesting (where appropriate) ensures a professional investing experience can be had by all.

Regular Rebalancing
Dave Grant, your financial planning and investment management professional, will rebalance your portfolio quarterly to ensure your account remains on target.

Various Accounts Available
At Retirement Matters, we have accounts available for individuals, small businesses, foundations, and trusts. Whatever your investment management needs – we’ve got you covered.

Investment management is available to both one-time and ongoing planning clients with accounts over $100,000.


Our investment management services are billed at 1% of the account balance and are withdrawn from your investment accounts – leaving your everyday cash-flow intact.


Retirement Matters offers full wealth management services to clients who have assets managed by Retirement Matters. This service includes financial planning, investment management, income tax review and preparation by a CPA, and access to a financial planner and accountant. Most clients in this premium service offering have managed assets of $750,000 and above, but there is no minimum requirement.


We’ll develop, implement, and monitor a comprehensive financial plan – along with managing your investments. We’ll put together a plan that takes into account your spending, debt management, income taxes, education planning, retirement planning, investment management, estate planning, legacy building, and charitable giving.


Our tax-sensitive, passive mutual fund and ETF investment approach ensures a diversified portfolio that moves you toward saving success. We will also work to rebalance your portfolio quarterly so that it’s always in line with your risk tolerance and long-term investment goals.


Our comprehensive planning package offers you access to both Dave Grant, CFP® (your financial planner) and one of our partner CPAs year-round. While Dave helps to guide your investment strategy to ensure it is tax-efficient, your CPA will help you prepare and file your federal and state taxes each year, and ensure your financial plan and investments are “tax-appropriate”.


This service has a limited client roster – ensuring our Wealth Management clients receive a premium service. We pride ourselves in providing premium services, so in addition to this exclusive service offered to a limited pool of clients – we also offer an online, private portal. This portal helps to link your bank and investment accounts, helping you view your assets in real-time, all in one place. It also acts as a personal vault for all file transfer and storage between you and your advisory team.


This package includes multiple services and is covered by one fee. The financial planning, investment management and income tax review/prep fees are paid through your accounts (restrictions apply) to provide a streamlined experience for you. This fee is deducted from your account – no check writing required. The minimum quarterly fee is $2,500.


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The financial planning process can seem vague if you’ve never been through it. But there is a definitive method to putting your financial plan in place. Here are some graphics which should help explain it:

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Initially, we’re going to spend a lot of time talking about you. This is where you get to tell your story, whether it be about money or otherwise. Many experiences influence how we deal with money so we’ll explore various areas of your life. You’ll get prompted with questions and I’ll listen while taking copious notes. We’ll explore where you’ve come from, where you see yourself now, and what you want the future to look like. If you’re not sure - there’s no pressure - we’ll put some loose parameters on it, and work with those.

Do Not put alt image text here

Click to Enlarge Image


Then I’ll give you a list of things I’ll need to start putting a plan together. You’ll go away and gather data and submit it to your personal document vault.

I’ll then spend at least a couple of weeks analyzing your situation through various lenses and designing various scenarios for how you can achieve what you would like in the future. The important thing to remember is that this is YOUR plan, I’m just going to give you some guidelines and options on how to achieve it.

Once we’ve discussed which options and recommendations you’re comfortable with, you’ll either make changes or I’ll work with you to implement them (depending on the service you select).


If you’ve decided to retain me on an ongoing basis, we’ll talk regularly - via email, phone and in-person. We’ll make sure your plan fits your life as it changes, and that you’re still able to achieve everything you’ve set out to do.

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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?


Pete has been an executive at a large health care company for the last 20 years and during the last 10 years has received various promotions. However, his marriage had failed during that time. He was starting to earn more money and see his wealth grow and wanted to focus on planning for the future. He loves his career but needed someone to manage the finer details of his financial plan and investments. 

As part of his plan, we:

  • Organized his financial picture into an easy-to-understand summary.
  • Reviewed his company benefits package and optimized his options to his specific situation. This ranged from 401(k) investments, health care options, and company stock plans.
  • Had multiple discussions regarding what Pete's ideal life looked like and designed his financial life to support this.
  • Designed a cost-effective investment portfolio that aligned with the optimum amount of risk Pete wanted to take, while also planning for a long-term investment outlook.
  • Put various retirement savings in place to aid long-term savings and save on taxes.

pre-retirement financial planning


Retirement financial planning


Andrew and Jennifer both come from a prudent, middle-class background and worked at the executive level for most of their careers – Andrew in the banking industry and Jennifer in bio-tech. 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 a recent inheritance from her Mother will substantially change her situation.

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 her 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 will have more than enough money to live comfortably.
  • Explored how she could be helping others with her newly-found wealth and how much joy that would bring her and others..

Retired financial planning

I help clients design their perfect life.

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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.

The favorite part of my job is seeing the sense of relief on client's faces when I show them what their retirement will look like.

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Money is more than just numbers. 

We take as much time as you need to explore what it means to you.

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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