SERVING THE UNIQUE NEEDS OF PUBLIC EMPLOYEES.
Looking to demystify your financial landscape? We specialize in financial planning across the unique challenges and opportunities public employees face.
WHY SPECIALIZE IN THIS SPACE?
This is our community and what we know best.
Co-founder Amy Crooks spent several years working as a lobbyist for the Oregon Community College Association – tracking employee benefits, advocating for better funding, and supporting sound public policy. Her time there helped her develop what is now a deep expertise and critical awareness of the financial landscape of public employees.
Her husband, Alex Crooks – a financial professional at Edward Jones at the time – helped translate and tailor this deep expertise into a unique new service offering focused on public employees. Together they launched Crooks & Company Financial Management and have been supporting an almost exclusively public employee client-base since 2001.
The space is complex and lacks personalized support.
Often written and rewritten over decades by different committees, legislators, and judicial orders, public employee benefits and retirement plans can be extremely hard to follow. Your age, pension tier, marital status, and retirement timeline can all dramatically influence your best path forward.
Because of this variability, your HR department may not always have all the details or be up to speed on upcoming changes. Your union (when applicable) is of course monitoring things, but usually through the lens of “the group’s” well-being. Legislative changes often impact individuals differently, which is why our clients rely on us to give them custom, personalized support and instruction.
HOW DO WE SUPPORT PUBLIC EMPLOYEES?
We get your questions answered.
Understanding your benefits, insurance, and pension shouldn’t require a business and law degree. We help public employees by translating their financial landscape into clear, human language.
We know you have a lot on your mind. We’re here to clarify those nagging questions:
- Am I taking advantage of all the opportunities to save?
- Are my financial accounts structured effectively?
- How do PERS, Social Security, and retirement savings all work together?
- What should I use for health insurance and how much will it cost?
- Will I have enough in retirement?
- What are the rules for using my different accounts?
- How can I use funds without penalty from the IRS?
- What happens if the state changes the rules?
We help you take advantage of your unique opportunities.
As a public employee, you have access to a variety of unique financial options and opportunities that private-sector workers lack. We work with our clients to build a broader understanding of these opportunities and their impact on your overall financial well-being.
- Worried about switching to COBRA when you retire? No need. You can stay in your group’s health care plan even after retirement all the way until Medicare kicks in at 65.
- Are you a public safety officer? The IRS lets you pay up to $3k per year for health insurance from your 457/Deferred Comp account - and it's tax free.
- Planning to retire before 60? You have access to a retirement savings account that will let you withdraw funds without penalty as early as age 50 or 55.
We help you avoid common pitfalls.
A generic financial advisor would likely try and consolidate your retirement accounts into a single IRA upon retirement. This wouldn’t be a bad idea - if you were a private-sector employee.
The reality is that general financial advice and best practices that work for most people, don't work for you. Examples:
- Public safety officers can start spending from their 457/Deferred Comp penalty-free as early as age 50. Move those funds into an IRA and you’ll be waiting until 59 and a half.
- Similarly, those working in education can start spending penalty-free from their 403(b) account as early as 55. Again - unless it is moved into an IRA.
We monitor legislative changes on your behalf.
Every legislative session, we monitor bills and public hearings that relate to public employees and their benefits. Our goal is to ensure that you are informed of potential upcoming changes and that your financial plan takes into account the latest rules and regulations.
Some bills introduce new opportunities, others new risks. Whatever the shift, we work with you to develop an effective, personalized response.
I have a specific question.
Benefits selection is coming up and I want to make the right choices.
I heard changes are coming to PERS/ my insurance/ my benefits. Am I OK?
I’m considering a new job… Can you help me weigh the pros and cons?
I want to get organized.
I want to understand what I have right now and if it’s enough.
I want to know the right thing to do over the next several years.
I want all my assets and benefits to be working together in unison.
I want to leverage my savings.
I have $250k+ of investable assets that could be serving me better.
I want to make the most out of all my hard work.
I want to set my family up for success for years to come.
READY TO CONNECT?
Whether you’re ready to dive in or you just want some questions answered, our team is here to listen and help.