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Envision, plan for,
and live your ideal life.

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True Wealth is Discretionary Time

First Step Wealth Planning exists to help clients envision, plan for, and live their ideal life by focusing on both their emotional and money readiness.  Money may not be the most important thing in your life, but it does affect everything in it.  If properly cared for, your money can enhance your ability to live your ideal life.  

We serve clients that are seeking guidance on how to align their finances as they move into their non-earning years and on how families can plan to save, shop and pay for sending their children to college.  

Wherever you are in your personal journey, we will help you align your money to what is most important and with your most deeply held values.  We will get you organized to put your entire financial life in perfect order.  We will guide you to help you gain the confidence to accomplish your vision despite what cannot be controlled.  Take the first step and contact us to start a conversation about how to receive the care you need to raise your confidence in your financial reality.

Meet Erik Photo

Meet Erik

Erik Nero, CFP®, CCFC | Founder & President

erik@first-stepwealth.com  | 

(518) 893-1592

Erik believes that harmony between one’s faith, fitness, family, friends, and finances can lead to a more fulfilled life.  Erik created First Step Wealth Planning to help his clients experience their ideal lives through creating greater confidence in their financial lives while removing the barriers and conflicts of interest that exist at other firms. 

Professionally, Erik has been helping families make smart decisions with their money for over 20 years.  He has held positions in wealth management for families and institutions at a variety of large, multi-national firms and has had the privilege of getting to know the stories, desires, and dreams of hundreds of clients.  This privilege has been both educational and rewarding.  Erik is grateful to have learned from so many wonderful people, which led him to realize what matters most to people is their time and their ability to live the life that they want.  He has narrowed his focus to work with those who seek greater simplicity in their lives, so that they can spend more time on what is most important to them.  Erik is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Practitioner and a Certified College Financial Consultant (CCFC).

Erik is a husband of over 20 years to his wife, Nicole.  They have three children, and a chocolate Labrador.  Although he spent many years of his career in New York City, Erik and his family have made a home in Saratoga Springs, New York.  He is a native of New York’s Hudson Valley region and a graduate of Siena College.  He loves being present and involved in the many activities his children participate in, as well as the art, culture, restaurants, and activities that are abundant in Saratoga Springs.

Your Values Guide Your Decisions

Gain greater understanding of what is most important to you and your family today. 

We will use this understanding to align all your financial decisions with your goals and values so that your wealth can translate into more discretionary time. We will create a plan that gives you the best opportunity, with a high level of confidence, to achieve your goals despite the many aspects of life you cannot control.  

“A journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step.” 

Lao Tzu

Our First Meeting -
Share Your Story and Your Dreams

Here, we will discuss what is important to you, what you want to achieve and how you believe you will feel once you have achieved those goals.  This meeting is at no financial cost or obligation but will require approximately one hour of your time.  We will illustrate what your current financial position is so that you can see where you stand in relationship to your goals.  Following this session, we will determine if there is a good fit between you and our team.  If you feel we are a good match we then will make an offer for you to join our client community.

The First Strategy Session
How You Achieve Your Goals

Using the information resulting from our first meeting, our team will develop a comprehensive analysis to show you how to align your wealth toward achieving your specific goals so that you can experience the thoughts and emotions you indicated were most important.  We will offer specific action items regarding every aspect of your financial life that can help support your goals.  At the conclusion, we will establish a schedule of meetings over the following 12 months that are designed to ensure that the agreed upon action steps are completed, that you are tracking toward your goals, and that you have the highest level of confidence in every aspect of our team’s support of your financial life.  

Strategy Progress Meetings

It is during these meetings that we will review the progress toward your goals and cover specific items that we have surfaced that will require additional attention.  It is typical that we will have a greater frequency of meetings within the first year of your engagement with our firm.  Once you are highly confident in every aspect of your financial life, we will move to regularly scheduled strategy progress meeting three times a year. We recognize that life is dynamic, and we are always available when you need us should questions arise or circumstances change.

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Our Commitment to You

Be Understood

To have all your financial decisions in alignment with your most important goals and deeply held values.   

To have your financial house in order and to keep it that way, always. 

For you to have the highest confidence in all aspects of your financial life.

Our team will provide you with a level of care, clarity and confidence that is supported by powerful tools and subject matter experts to help you make the best decision for any financial matter.  

Understanding leads to clarity and greater confidence.

Our Fully Comprehensive Wealth Planning Services


Income Planning

Achieve income security both now and in the future.

Tax Strategies

Potentially reduce your tax burden.

Tax Preparation*

Coordination with your tax strategies.

Social Security and Medicare Optimization

Education and guidance on the various options and choices.

Roth IRA Optimization

Potentially reduce taxes in the future.

Employee Benefits Analysis

Understand how the benefits available through your existing plan can support you and what changes you can expect if you leave.

Insurance Planning

Protect yourself, your family, and your property from various calamities.

Estate Planning

Properly account for all your assets and ensure they are left efficiently to those you wish.

Debt Management

Reduce your expenses as you head to the next phase of your life.

College Planning

Provide your family members the opportunity, while protecting your goals.

Investment Management

Design a mixture of investments that supports your plan in a manner you feel confident in.

Charitable Giving

Offer you ways to efficiently contribute to the causes you have a passion for.

Simple & Transparent

We are fee-only, and act as a fiduciary to ensure you make decisions that are in your best interest.  We do not offer any products or receive any commissions.   

One flat, annual subscription rate covers the services we provide.  There is an upfront planning fee due that is equal to 25% of the agreed upon annual rate.  Following this, our fees are charged monthly.

Let us know your story

Contact Us

Let's start a conversation about how we can help you make even better decisions about your money and achieving your financial goals.