Our success depends on the success of our clients. Each family comes to us with unique businesses, goals and needs. It’s our role to simplify and strengthen their lives by implementing strategic financial solutions.
We invite you to hear directly from some of our clients:
Assistance with College Admissions and Taxes Adds Up to Big Savings for North Carolina Family
Husband and wife team Dick Balbier and Laura Burnett are the talent behind Ultimate Kitchens, providing kitchen design services and custom cabinetry. With their only child, Emma, in high school with plans to go to college, the couple attended a Walters Firm college planning seminar in 2016. There, they found much more than strategies to help pay for their daughter’s continuing education.
“The Walters Firm seminar was full of so much information that we had no idea about,” Laura recalls. “I made an appointment with Heath Walters immediately, and we sat down and spoke for three or four hours. Heath was so nice and so knowledgeable.”
To ensure that the family paid the lowest possible amount of tuition, Heath provided hands-on assistance with college applications and financing, walking the family through the process of letter writing and FAFSA applications, as well as appeals for federal student aid.
“During the process, I called the Walters Firm so many times,” Laura remembers. “They always called me right back, asking me to send them our paperwork so they could help us get it ready. Never once did I feel like I was bothering them.”
After sending applications to colleges all over the country, Emma was accepted into her top choice on her own merit, with generous financial assistance. The family will save about $50,000 a year on college costs, adding up to $200,000 over four years of higher education.
“The Walters Firm is amazing,” adds Laura. “It got to the point where we asked, ‘Are these people for real?’ They are a blessing.”
Reorganization and Tax Savings
Some of the college savings were achieved with the help of a thoughtful business tax strategy. The Walters Firm recommended that the couple split their two sides of the business into separate legal business entities: Ultimate Kitchen Design, which is the primary business and an S corporation, and Ultimate Kitchens Direct, an online cabinetry business established as a C corporation.
Dividing the company reduced the couple’s personal tax burden and allowed them to funnel more of their income back into the businesses, increasing their ability to qualify for financial aid for their daughter’s education.
“Heath is a miracle worker,” Laura says. “He always goes one level deeper. Every time I’ve had a meeting with him, I see him getting excited about what he’s doing for us. He feels like he is personally involved. We’re not just a client. It’s very inspiring.”
The couple was so impressed with what the Walters Firm was able to achieve with their college planning, they decided to turn over their businesses’ bookkeeping to the firm as well. This move freed the couple to focus more time on marketing, sales, design, and customer service, while Walters focused on saving them money.
“I have a lot more freedom now,” Laura says. “They are ethical, good people, and they are really helping us.” In the first year of their partnership with the Walters Firm, Laura and Dick expect to achieve $75,000 in tax savings.
“We’d had a couple of accountants who would take our financial information and punch it in, but we were paying way more tax than we should have been paying,” Laura says. “We found out that we had been putting things in the wrong place, and our accountants were not really advising us.”
Spreading the Word
“Meeting Heath and the whole team at the Walters Firm was one of the best things that has ever happened to us and to our business,” Laura says. “They have saved us so much money and have taken so much pressure off.”
“I have been in business a long time, and I’ve had lot of CPAs,” Dick says. “Heath Walters stands out above everyone else. The difference is simple: He cares.”