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If you can't find the answer you are looking for on this page please go ahead and give us a call on: 540.659.0300. Alternatively, send us an email at: We would love the opportunity to further assist you.

I first became an elementary school teacher.  Education has always been important in my family.  When I was divorced, and became a single mother, I became very interested in Real Estate, and thought perhaps I could better support my family.  After getting my license, my main interest was in helping those who had never owned a home, get their first home. 

Over the years I developed a process to assist them in getting their finances in order to qualify, which then led me to financial planning, my true source of satisfaction.  Additionally, I wanted to figure out how myself and my children's father, had lost over $180,000 through a financial advisor, leaving me devastatingly broke upon our divorce.  Back to education, I now understood what that financial advisor had done, and was determined it would not happen to other people, not on my watch!  I also watched my parents, who had a successful business, pass almost totally broke because of financial mistakes that could have been avoided.  I was determined to educate others, to help them avoid the mistakes and prepare for retirement success.  Thus began my career in retirement planning! 

I quickly learned that Estate Planning is critical also if we are to protect ourselves and our assets during incapacitation or death.  My parents had no planning, which caused challenges when they became very ill, and decisions had to be made.  We saw clients' families struggle when their parents passed, going through probate, taking 1 to 2 years to settle everything.  Education again……we became Certified Estate Planners so we can educate our clients and assist them with Estate Planning BEFORE there are issues.  Now, 25 years into my career, I find it uniquely fulfilling to give families security and peace of mind.

We have been practicing in the area of Northern VA over 25 years.  The majority of our clients are Federal Employees, who have had an entire career with the government, but were not given the detailed information they need to maximize their benefits, and prepare for a comfortable and secure retirement.  Unfortunately, their access to knowledgeable HR personnel and retirement workshops is limited.  Combining our years of assisting over 300 Federal Employees retire successfully, plus our education as Chartered Federal Employee Benefit Consultants (ChFEBCSM), with HR Training, we can educate and assist Federal Employees anywhere in the country to create a unique, successful, plan for their retirement.

Yes, we do!  Because there are so many large federal contractors, such as Lockheed Martin, Boeing, General Dynamics, Northrup Grumman, Leidos, BAE Systems and others who serve the Federal Government, we have become knowledgeable about their benefits and retirement packages also. 

Absolutely!  Our clients live in different parts of the country.  We hold virtual meetings utilizing the latest technology and have regular communications on the phone, through email and use of our encrypted portal.

While the majority of our clients work with us electronically, we are happy to meet with clients in person in our office in Stafford, VA.  

On the Retirement Planning side, each client starts with a complimentary overview of where their income and expenses are now (gross and net of taxes), and how they will change in the future in retirement, as age and event "trigger points" occur.  With a "Contingency PlanSM" we can address age 59.5 eligibility for rollovers and withdrawals from your 401(k)/TSP, creating "Income Pipelines" to keep up with inflation, minimize taxes, and guarantee you'll never run out of income, best dates for you/spouse to take your pension/retire, strategies for maximizing Social Security, Required Minimum Distributions at age 72, spousal survivorship and Long Term Care.  Included are ongoing meetings as needed to address the best way to handle financial and family emergencies, relocation, inheritance, refinance, etc.

Estate Planning is a separate service, which can be in concert with your retirement planning, or a stand alone service.

A Fee Based Advisor focuses on the client's planning, rather than the sale of products for a commission.  For a flat or hourly fee (client choice), we provide Retirement & Estate Planning uniquely tailored to the client's needs and goals.  Assets under management incur a fee, based on a straightforward percentage of assets under management. 

Yes, we are fiduciaries and take an oath each year to put our client's needs above our own. Most people working in the financial industry are not fiduciaries. By definition, that means they are not required to do what's in your best interest. GuidedQuest, LLC has chosen to operate as a true fiduciary, which means we are legally bound to make decisions in your best interest. Part of being a fiduciary means your investment accounts are held with an independent third-party custodian.  In addition we hold the Certified Financial Fiduciary (CFF®) designation.

Our entire client management process is built on each client's individual plan. We've designed a detailed client service calendar that a dedicated associate is responsible for executing.   Our Client Relationship Manager (CRM) Software is used to its fullest for each individual client to keep their plan up to date with scheduled dates for reviews of their situation based on (as an example) their target retirement date, Social Security claiming strategy, Required Minimum Distributions, etc.  . 

Following this client service calendar allows us to follow a process that ensures we don't let anything fall through the cracks and get neglected. Some of this is the behind-the-scenes work that won't involve you. It's simply us doing what you are paying us to do. But often, we will have to reach out for clarification or questions. 

Although I have dedicated associates who help me administer this calendar, I am directly involved on a daily basis in the direction and execution of these tasks. 

Our custodians have reports with transactions and other information available for download on a monthly or quarterly basis.  In addition, you can access your account in "real-time" during the day to observe values and transactions. We also provide comprehensive "Asset Profiles" of all your accounts, whether custodied with us or elsewhere at any time, subject to your request.

We don't do quarterly meetings or check-ins. Instead, we communicate on an as-needed basis, except for a required Annual Review to ensure your plan meets your needs and we're up to date on compliance with you.  These annual reviews will include (but are not limited to)

  • In-depth review and analysis of your "Asset Profile" with a copy provided for your records
  • Review of changes in your "Expense Worksheet" to determine your needs for the coming year
  • Review progress and update your "Life Income - Living Asset Cycle" TM (LI-LAC) Income Plan
  • Review cash positions
  • Review tax consequences and possible tax savings for the coming year
  • Risk Tolerance Review
  • Trusted Contact Review
  • Beneficiary review
  • Estate Plan review/update
  • Answer any financial questions about purchasing a new home, vehicle, rental property, long-term care needs, etc.
  • Review personal information (phone numbers, addresses, etc.)

This method of communication typically means that we are in contact with our clients more frequently than those firms that employ a quarterly or semi-annual review schedule. 

We offer open communication in whatever format you desire. Whether it's by phone, video chat/Zoom, or good old-fashioned email, your preference dictates how we communicate. With that said, most of my clients will send an email or call our Director of First Impressions, Holly, and we'll respond with an email, set a meeting, or record a quick video and simply email the link.

One-Time Planning: We provide planning and analysis of the best retirement income stream payouts and sequences for now and in the future.  We coordinate the best Social Security filing solution, tax reduction planning, and the effect of Roth conversions as part of this analysis.

The easiest way to understand this relationship is to think of it as being similar to engaging an attorney to prepare a Will, Trust, or another type of legal instrument. We obtain the data we need from you to construct the strategy, and we then send the finished product to you along with a thorough walkthrough. We can address any questions you may have about that plan after this is provided, but there is no continued interaction after that.

The cost of this plan ranges from $1,500 - $2,000. 

If you'd like to see an example of a Life Income - Living Asset CycleTM  (LI-LAC) plan, click here [Link to page with sample plan video] 

Ongoing Management: The comprehensive client relationship we provide is for individuals who prefer ongoing advice from us throughout retirement on ALL matters, such as Medicare, RMDs, Long Term Care, Tax Reduction, mortgages, moving, etc.  This entails the same planning procedures as those we carry out for a one-time planning engagement, plus acting as your mentor as you approach retirement, during retirement, and in assisting your heirs later.  We'll create and carry out your strategy, then manage your investment portfolio following the goals of your plan.

All planning, ongoing consultation, and investment management are covered by a single charge based on the portion of your retirement assets that are in our custody. 

No, During this call, we'll find out more about your needs. Based on that discussion we may or may not recommend a retirement income plan.  Not everyone needs our services and we only want to use our time and energy on the cases where we can add value

There are three parties involved in the management of your accounts

  • The Advisor
  • The RIA
  • The Custodian

Let's cover each of these individually.

The Advisor

Our lead advisor is Nora Hartquist.   Even though she has a team helping her, she is the ultimate responsible person for your account. Her services as an advisor are offered to the public through our advisory firm, GuidedQuest, LLC.


According to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rules, a legal entity (not individual person) must be the registered investment advisor (RIA). The investment advisor representative (IAR)  is the individual advisor underneath the RIA that formally delivers the advice.

Currently, my RIA is GuidedQuest, LLC.   I am the owner of this firm, and have worked as an  Advisor with other RIAs in the past.  I own my own RIA, and Insurance & Estate Planning Firm (Hartquist & Noblet, LLC, an affiliated company) to be truly independent so we can search and obtain the best solutions for your unique situation and not be influenced by a "parent" firm.

The Custodian

This is the third party company who is responsible for the custody of your assets. They are the ones who process your fee billing, statements, trades, and multiple other back-office tasks. As the Advisor, I have a choice of who to use as a custodian and can even use multiple firms at the same time. For example, I could use TD Ameritrade, Schwab, Fidelity or a number of other companies alongside my current custodian. For now, I've chosen to use both T.D. Ameritrade (soon to be Schwab), and Axos for their ease of use, technology

Yes! You can access your account through a computer or mobile device. 

Our custodians have reports with transactions and other information available for download on a monthly or quarterly basis.  In addition, you can access your account in "real-time" during the day to observe values and transactions. We also provide comprehensive "Asset Profiles" of all your accounts, whether custodied with us or elsewhere at any time, subject to your request.

Our services are not for someone NOT looking for a Retirement or Estate plan.  Those who are looking for pure wealth management unrelated to their specific goals, who do not want to disclose their situation and risk tolerance cannot work with us.  As fiduciaries, we must know your overall situation and are required to tailor our recommendations to your best interests.

We want to be very clear that we do not engage in market timing. The data is very clear that this simply does not work. This has been our position through bear markets and bull markets.

Instead, we engage Tactical Managers who REACT to market data, using computer algorithms that have proven to reduce market losses. This doesn't mean that our portfolios won't decline. They will! But we view that as a natural, normal part of investing.

Because we primarily serve retirees and pre-retirees, we employ two Tactical Managers.  Our conservative Tactical Manager has historically had less volatility for those who are living on their investments.   We never want to multiply clients' losses by withdrawing from a declining portfolio.  Our more growth-oriented Tactical Manager has much more market volatility, with a history of higher returns over time, for investments to be used in the future.

In addition, we employ "safe strategies", bond alternatives, to reduce market losses.  For example, this past year, 2022, bonds lost almost as much value as the stock market, making the traditional 60/40 portfolio a disaster for most investors.  Our bond alternatives cannot incur losses, and therefore propped up our clients' overall portfolio returns, allowing them to feel more comfortable during this volatile time.

None of this means we employ a "set it and forget it" approach to investing.  Each client's portfolio will change strategies over time as they enter a new stage of retirement, whether it's RMDs, spousal survivorship, etc.

GuidedQuest, LLC will never take custody of your money.  It will be invested with an independent third-party custodian, TD Ameritrade or Axos, who offer full security and FDIC protection.

There is a written succession plan in place that includes seasoned advisors on our staff who are already familiar with your plan and could instantly carry-on your plan without interruption if Nora were to pass away or become disabled today. In order for any team member to assist you, service your account, and make sure your plan is on track, our team meets every morning to evaluate all client plans that have been set.

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