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

Retire Well

Values-based financial guidance and investment management for those about to retire 

Your Values Guide Your Decisions

Values Based

We use a values-based planning process that seeks to align your money with your values.  It starts by exploring your values so that you may gain greater recognition and understanding of what is most important to you and why.  It helps to clarify your attitudes and behaviors regarding money so that you can focus on how money can support what matters most.  

Values-based planning is a method to help you openly think about your emotional state toward money.  For many, money is a taboo subject, and is woefully neglected in our educational system.  This can lead to feelings of isolation due to a fear of judgment or lack of a good resource to turn to.  When uncertain about something, humans tend to stay with the status quo, despite the potential outcome.  Change involves risk and risk could cause harm.  

Gaining relevance and understanding through values-based planning promotes confidence that leads to positive actions and the potential for better outcomes.  It is instrumental in helping people give themselves the permission to live the lives they envision by coming to terms with how they have treated money in the past.     


Flat-Fee Pricing

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.   

All new relationships start with a plan based on your values.

The rate for a plan starts at $2,400, with half due upon our agreement and the other after delivery of the plan.

At the completion of the plan, we offer implementation and ongoing wealth management services that are billed monthly.  Monthly rates start at $350.   

True Wealth is Discretionary Time

Meet Erik Photo

Meet Erik

Erik Nero, CFP® | 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 helping them align their wealth to their values. 

Professionally, Erik has been helping families make smart decisions with their money for over 25 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.

Erik is a husband of over 20 years to his wife, Nicole.  They have three children, and a chocolate Labrador, Shiloh.  Although he spent many years of his career in New York City, Erik and his family have made a home near 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.

Plan with Confidence

Focus on Relevance

Gain Understanding

Act with Purpose  

“When your values are clear to you, your decisions become easier.” 

Roy disney

Introduction -

Determining Proper Fit

This meeting serves as an introduction where we both will learn about each other and where we can offer some suggestions on how best to achieve what you are looking for despite whether we end up working together.  If we decide our Values-Based Planning approach is a good fit, we will move forward an engage in a planning relationship.

The Roadmap

Discover Your Values

No numbers and figures! This a discussion about your values, what you truly want to accomplish and why.  The outcome of this meeting will set the course for the suggestions on how to move forward on your path toward your goals.  

Drafting the Plan

Collaborative Approach

Here is where we will get into the functional aspects of how to move toward the goals you set.  Together, we will review your current financial reality and use various tools to illustrate how certain choices can lead to potential outcomes.  At the conclusion, we will have a clear understanding of your top priorities and begin the analysis to determine which choices offer you the best way forward.

Final Draft & Implementation

Steps to Move Forward

We review the specific implementation steps to move you toward the goals you set that align with your values.  Implementation, investment management and ongoing guidance is offered as a service for a flat-fee monthly rate.

Get Started

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 fully organized and to keep it that way. 

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 planning

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.

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.