Kirk Tushaus has used his expertise to help clients reach their financial goals for more than 40 years. He founded the firm and has seen it through many incarnations as it has evolved through the decades. Originally called ArMA Financial Services Inc., Kirk began working at the company in 1995, serving the needs of families, physician groups, and nonprofit organizations while holding the titles of president and partner. Along with a partner, he purchased the firm in 2001.
Kirk and his two sons, now partners, Chase Tushaus and Blair Tushaus are committed to the long-term financial well-being of their clients with the formation of the company as an independent fiduciary firm.
Kirk says, “We still have physicians as clients, but we have expanded our client list and our services offered over the last four decades. I have the great privilege of working with family members through the generations, and I enjoy helping people achieve their vision for financial success. My intention has always been to be a ‘good steward’ of money looking out for the best interests of our clients. We all enjoy working together as a family and as a collaborative team, and we each bring unique skills and ideas to the table for the clients’ benefit. They learn from me, but I also learn from them.”
One of the most unique aspects of Tushaus Wealth Management is their dedication to the community through volunteering and philanthropy. Many of their clients share the same outlook and charitable proclivities, and TWM offers various ways clients can expand on their contributions even further using tax-advantaged strategies, including donor-advised funds. “Being able to invest in the charities and causes you care about is a big plus, especially for faith-based people like us, and that’s why we’re constantly searching for and offering new ways to do it,” Kirk says. “Giving back to the community is huge. I’ve met incredible people because of it. And the biggest thing about giving back to the community is this: we’ve gotten far more out of it than we’ve ever given.”
Kirk entered the financial services industry in 1980 after graduating from the University of Kansas with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. He currently holds a Series 65 license making him a fiduciary, fee-based financial advisor. He first got licensed in 1981 and has held Series 7, 24, 63 and 27 licenses in the past, which allowed him to make commissions on equities trades. “I started out working for large brokerage firms when I first started out in my career, and we were not held to a “fiduciary standard” that we are and should be held to today. I was never comfortable with the lack of accountability back then and made the move toward fee-based holistic planning in the late 1980’s. Doing what’s right for the client has always been and always will be our approach,” Kirk says.
“We do many different things for clients, more than just investment management. With our aging population, we do a lot of retirement planning. The focus with retirement is often on tax mitigation, creating reliable income streams that won’t run out, taking RMDs (required minimum distributions) properly, and providing safety nets to help protect assets. We also provide Social Security and Medicare guidance.
“Estate planning is important in retirement, but frankly, it’s something we recommend at every age. We understand the importance of medical and durable powers of attorney, different types of trusts, taking care of special needs children, and communicating your final wishes early-on because no one has a crystal ball to know when it will be their time to go. A lot of hurt feelings and fights can happen when there’s a death in the family if everything is not spelled out, understood, and all beneficiary designations kept up to date. Every client definitely needs to work with a pro in this area.
“We help people with nearly anything financial these days, even lending. Through our third-party custodian, Charles Schwab, clients with assets can sometimes get mortgages for reduced rates. We also have relationship with lenders that can benefit business owners. In addition to almost all things financial, as an example of how far our service extends, we’ve even been known to help people purchase and set up their smartphones,” Kirk quips.
Born and raised in the Kansas City area, Kirk feels he was drawn to finance as a career because he enjoyed working with numbers and people, and he was raised by a single mom who had great financial discipline. “My mother worked for a large law firm but wasn’t wealthy by any means, although she did become one of three partners in a private bank holding company, which I am very proud of. Nevertheless, she sacrificed and paid for my private schooling at a well-regarded Catholic high school called Bishop Miege, and I know that at the time it was a stretch for her financially. I think that made all the difference for me and am forever grateful for her sacrifice. It changed my outlook on life and provided the foundation of what is really important” he says.
As a result of his childhood experience, Kirk believes it’s very important to help single, divorced, and widowed women achieve their goals, and protect their futures. He has worked with one of the largest nonprofit organizations for women for many years, and still handles the financial planning for several board members. Even when working with couples, he’s very cognizant about protecting each spouse in the event of the loss of the other one. “Communication is critical. It’s not a great situation to let one spouse handle all the finances while the other is in the dark. We strongly encourage both spouses to understand their financial plan, and what will happen if they have to carry on alone someday.”
A respected and engaged member of the Scottsdale community since 1985, Kirk has served on committees and boards for organizations including Notre Dame Preparatory High School, the Catholic Community Foundation for the Diocese of Phoenix, and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix. In 2004 he founded the Marine Corps – Law Enforcement Foundation’s Arizona Chapter to support families of our nation’s fallen heroes. In 2005 he started an annual Arizona golf tournament to benefit the organization which has raised over $1,000,000 to help pay for the education of children who have lost a parent in the line of duty.
Kirk and his wife, Marianne, enjoy spending time with their sons and with friends, as well as participating in events hosted by the various charitable organizations with which they are affiliated.
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