Seamlessly integrate EVERY piece of your financial picture.
- Individual & business income tax preparation
- Investment management
- Retirement planning
- Home loan
- Life and Medicare Insurance
Reduce your tax and gain a holistic perspective on your finances. You can save time and money and avoid miscommunication by using a single point of contact for all your financial needs. Shift the time spent on managing multiple professionals managing your money to enjoying the important things in your life.
Your Financial Worries
- Sales pitches
- Bait-and-switch tactics
- Hidden costs of financial advisement
- You don’t know who to trust
- You want a return on your investment of time and money
Over 20 years of trusted service in five key financial areas:
- Wealth management & retirement planning
- Home Loan
- Life & Medicare Insurance
- Protection planning
Upfront, no-obligation cost estimates
Direct access to the firm’s founder and his network of tax and other financial partners
Focus on consultation, not commissions
3 Easy Steps to Financial Security
- Choose the financial service you need
- Schedule a call
- Reduce your stress by adding other services as needed
Protect & Extend
Caring for your elder parent’s finances
Loss of a loved one
Your Life Stages
Basic finance for young adults
Budgeting for your wedding
Buying or refinance your first-home
Financial readiness for new parents
Funding your child’s college education
Helping You Achieve Financial Success
Unlock Your Full Financial Potential. Meet THE NEW YOU
Who says good financial help is too expensive and only for the wealthy?
Try any of our a la carte services, then build from there.
A la carte tax service with ability to add other services
Stop feeling out of control with your money
Get a holistic picture, long-term picture of your finances
Save time & money with one central point of contact
Allocate the time saved to your family
See what 100+ happy customers say about us on Yelp
- Tax service
- Why should I hire a tax preparer?
- How can I trust you?
- How much does it cost to get my taxes prepared?
How many people really enjoy filing their own taxes? Even with tax filing software, the risk of filing mistakes is costly. Tax software is only as good as the information you put into it, and it does not always take into account your unique situation. We can help you maximize your returns while minimizing the risk of unnecessary tax audits.
Our tax preparers are licensed as an Enrolled Agent (or EA)—a federally-authorized tax practitioner certified by the U.S. Department of the Treasury. If you get into tax problems, we can represent you before the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Franchise Tax Board, Employment Development Department, and other taxing authorities for tax issues including audits, collections, and appeals. We also utilize Certified Public Accountants (CPA) counsel our clients on tax planning.
The cost of tax preparation is based on the complexity of your return. Common tax returns have a set price, while more unique tax situations require a customized estimate. Contact us to get a cost estimate of our services.
- Is it cheaper to get a loan through a big-name bank than a broker?
- Isn’t a mortgage broker a middleman with a higher costs than direct lenders?
- What are wholesale lenders and how are they different than direct lenders?
- What is the difference between pre-qualified and pre-approved?
- How much house can I afford?
Generally no. Big banks have layers of overhead that include marketing costs, different levels of management compensation, employees, and shareholders. Mortgage brokers work with WHOLESALE lenders with a competitive offering and lower overhead costs. Our low-cost mortgage services have saved our clients anywhere from $4,000 to $500,000 on their mortgage loans compared to major banks.
Yes, a mortgage broker is a middleman. So are big banks. What stands between you and the banks are their layers of employees and costs. What stands between you and our WHOLESALE lenders are mortgage brokers.
Wholesale and direct lenders originate loans, package these loans, then generally sell them to Wall Street.
Wholesale lenders reduce their marketing and loan-processing costs by working with mortgage brokers. The rates they provide to mortgage brokers tend to be lower than those of direct lenders, and the broker marks them up to compensate his work.
Direct lenders tend to incur marketing and loan-processing costs. These costs are passed down to the buyer directly.
In the end, the cost to you is likely the same. As a mortgage broker, we add value not necessarily by slashing loan prices, but by looking at your situation holistically. We can lock in a great interest rate on your loan AND help you avoid potential tax and other financial mistakes.
Pre-qualification is the first step in the mortgage process. A lender will get basic information on your income, debts, and general creditworthiness to give you a quote on a loan.
Pre-approval is the next step where you need to provide financial documents such as tax returns, bank statements, and pay stubs. The lender performs a credit check at this stage, which may impact your credit score.
Most financial professionals recommend you keep your housing expenses (loan payment, property tax, and home insurance cost) to less than 28% of your gross income. We recommend you sit down with a financial professional to factor in other variables unique to your situation. We can provide this service.
It will be based on the complexity of your tax filing situation and how cooperative you will be. Our minimum filing fee is $250, with most paying between $385 to $575.
Each of you will have a unique situation. First we will be try to understand your goals. Once we understand this, we can outline the service you will need and the associated cost. For reference, our financial guidance comes with a $750 enrollment fee. Asset-based management fee ranges from .85% to 1.45%.
We work with wholesale lenders. Our compensation is usually paid from the difference between the wholesale lending rate and retail rate.
It will varies depending on the type of program we mutually agree to use. Some will be fee based while others will be commission based. Regardless, we offer you options without conflicting with your interest.
- What kinds of insurance do you offer?
- Why should we buy through your company?
- Should I review my old life insurance policy?
Life, Medicare supplement, Medicare Advantage plans, disability, and long-term care insurance.
As an independent firm, we contract with many insurance companies, allowing us to put you with the right product that fits your situation.
Generally yes. If you have no dependents, you may not need life insurance anymore. Or perhaps you need a policy with different coverage. Our agent can fit you with the insurance products that give you peace of mind and fit within your budget.
*Dealing with complicated retirement tax codes
*Understanding payout options of retirement and insurance accounts
*Sorting out financial documents (certified copies of the death certificate, annuity papers, retirement plans, etc.)
*Filing taxes for the deceased
*Sorting through unfamiliar financial statements (bills, credit cards, mortgages, investments, taxes, etc.)
*Determining the deceased’s pension, 401k, and other benefits
*Notifying Social Security Administration
*Determining whether or not to make significant changes immediately, such as paying off a mortgage or other debts
- Who we work with
- Family oriented
- Investment management
- Near retirement
- Financial guidance
- Collaborative view
Our clients tend to view money as a mean, not and end. They value family over money.
Our investment management clients usually have assets in excess of $200,000.
Our clients approaching retirement are usually within 6 years from actually retiring and have investable assets over $150,000.
Our financial guidance clients usually have over $20,000 saved and are regularly saving $800+ per month outside of 401(k) type programs.
Our clients tend to view us as part of their team and trust our recommendations.
- Should I contribute into a Roth or Traditional IRA?
- I am approaching retirement. Can you help me with Social Security question?
- I am concerned about medical costs. How can I plan for medical care during retirement?
- My friend told me I should buy long-term care insurance. Is this a good idea?
The best way to answer your question is to run a tax projection based on your current level and your projected income at retirement.
We can go over Social Security retirement age, how to apply for Social Security, how much you will get, the taxation of your benefits, and many more.
Medical costs are highly dependent on your health and insurance situation. We can go over the medical insurance options you have during retirement and what additional costs you can anticipate.
This will depend on your financial resources, your age, your health, and how you want to manage your risks. We can help you discuss this issue.
- What retirement issues can you help me?
- Are you a traditional financial folk who talk about numbers all day long?
- Will I owe taxes on my rollover?
- What do I need to rollover my retirement account?
If you are about five years from retirement, we can help you evaluate how financially ready you will be. We can position you with tax-saving strategies, prevent you from missteps, and explain what options you will have with your Social Security and or Pension plan. Here are some questions we can answer:
- How do you maximize your retirement income?
- How much taxes will you incur from withdrawing your retirement accounts?
- To minimize taxes, which combination of accounts should you take out and when?
- What healthcare planning should you be aware of before retiring?
No. Life is not all about money. Your happiness is ultimately about your life’s driven purpose, whether in retirement or not, and with your definition of retirement. You can have this psychological and philosophical discussion with us. Then we can design financial vehicles to allow you to live your life to the fullest.
Generally, you will not incur tax liability if you properly complete rollover procedures. We are familiar with this process. Contact us for help.
We can walk you through this process, reducing your potential mistakes.
- Small business owner
- What services do you provide to small business owners?
- What kind of small business do you help?
Help you reduce taxes by evaluating your retirement plans
- Project tax liability and plan accordingly
- Discuss various tax filing obligations as a small business owner
- Reduce unintended consequences of small-business taxes
- Reduce stress with assessing your bookkeeping need
Our knowledge best serves small businesses with gross revenue between $250k to $1.5 million.
- Who we don't work well with
- People who follow markets all day and
- Peple who want us to buy stock on hearsay
- People who constantly poke holes in advice
- People who are fee sensitive
- People who always second guess our plan
cannot stick to a disciplined approach to investing and allow short-term swings in the market affect their long-term financial plan.
We focus on long-term planing and investment and do not provide stock trading service.
A do-it-yourself kind of person will likely and constantly find ways to do something better, and therefore will likely not like their current plan.
We don’t work well with people who want professional advice but are very fee sensitive.
Trust is very important. When a person continue to second guess our recommendation because of outside influences, it tends to derail our planning.
Here is a fictional case study to illustrate real-life cases with devastating outcomes. Names, characters, business, events, and incidents are the products of our imagination. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
Loss of a Loved One
FEATURE STORY: Katherine and the $200k tax bill
Problem: Katherine and Vix are married. At age 55, Katherine quit her job to care for her elderly father, Jack. With great appreciation, Jack transferred the title of his $1,000,000 home to Katherine; he purchased the home for only $50,000 several decades ago.
A few years later, Jack passed away, and Katherine moved into this house after she and Vix divorced. She went back into the workforce, retired at age 65, sold her home, and moved to Florida to buy a new house using all of the proceeds from the sale.
When filing her taxes, her accountant said she owed the government over $200,000. Katherine used up all her cash to buy a new home and did not anticipate having such a huge tax bill. After going to her bank, she realized she could not quickly refinance because of the drop in her income. Consequently, the IRS and California will assess penalty and interest on the taxes she owed.
Prevention: First, we would have saved Katherine over $200k if she consulted with us before her father transferred the title. Secondly, she could have asked us after the first mistake by her father. In addition to tax knowledge, we also understand the mortgage rules. Therefore, we would have been able to not only project her tax liability but also structure her purchase with a loan before she retired. Our solution could have provided her with a mortgage interest tax deduction and eliminated her tax penalty and interest assessment.
Problem: Jane Walmart, a 55-year-old marketing consultant, got a letter from the IRS stating she owes $1,300,000 in taxes and a lien filed according to Internal Revenue Regulation 301.6323(f)-1?
Solution: We took on this case, got the IRS to release the lien and allow us time to investigate and resolve this giant tax issue. In one of the year, the IRS owes this client. Due to the statute of limitations, however, our client lost on the opportunity to get back her refund. At the conclusion, we SAVE this client over $1.3 million of inaccurate assessment. She ends with over just $8k of liability, most due to failure to file and related penalties.
Problem: Jo Max, a 50-year-old self-employed mechanic, got a letter from the IRS stating he owes $123,000 due to an audit of his 2003 to 2017 tax returns. A lien filed according to Internal Revenue Regulation 301.6323(f)-1.
Solution: Unfortunately, Jo used a tax preparer who did not know how to make a proper argument and got stuck with this bill. Jo already settled with the IRS. For some reason, whoever helped him did not adequately file the IRS installment paperwork, forcing the IRS to put a lien on his property and bank accounts. Furthermore, those people took Joe’s money and had not been very responsive. Time was running out. We took this on, communicated with the IRS, got the lien released, and filed the appropriate paper.
Problem: Carol’s dad passed away and was not a resident of California. However, Carol got a letter from FTB saying that her dad must file a California tax return.
Solution: We helped Carol by providing FTB with proper documents and filed the appropriate form. FTB accepted, and closed this case.
Problem: Jake Miller started a technology consulting firm in 2018. In November 2018, EDD sent him a letter, Notice of Assessment, stating he owed $11,540.
Solution: Jake hired us to resolve this with EDD. We spent several hours communicating with EDD and filing appropriate returns. Luckily for this client, we were able to reduce his bill to zero.
FEATURE STORY: Jane Doe, RMD, and the $155k tax bills
Problem: Jane Doe inherited a $500,000 retirement account from her uncle when he died on December 28, 2014. Like her uncle, Jane is frugal and has always filed her taxes. In early 2015, her husband became ill. Her work health insurance covered her family; therefore, she continued working while caring for her sick husband. In 2017, she sought help with filing her taxes. We discovered she missed a critical deadline regarding that $500,000 IRA. First, her uncle did not take out his RMD in 2014. Second, due to the preoccupation with her sick husband plus work, she forgot to take the RMD for 2015 and 2016. The IRS and FTB assessed her over $30k of penalties, plus she had to amend her past tax returns. Third, she had only three years to distribute all of this asset. This problem increased her tax liability by over $125k. The total devastating outcomes cost her over $155,000.
Solution: All too often, a competent person like her uncle becomes forgetful. If he or close family members had sought professional help, this devastating situation could have been prevented. For over two decades, we learned some of the reasons for these mishaps. They include:
- Pride of being independent
- Mistrust of financial professionals
- Mistrust of family members
- Not knowing where to start
- Believed bad things only happen to other people
- Do not think the advice is worth the cost
Some of the reasons may be legitimate. However, you should assess the validity and take appropriate action before it is too late. Contact us for further conversation.
FEATURE STORY: Pat Stepup, Harvest Loss & Use Step-up, SAVE over $170k on taxes.
Problem: This is a bittersweet story. Pat has been buying and selling stocks for over 50 years. With constant changes to tax laws, his wife Hanna hired us to file their taxes. In the next tax year, we learned that Pat has terminal cancer. Throughout their decades of marriage, Pat has always been the one handling their finances. Therefore, Hanna is apprehensive and needs lots of guidance.
Solution: After the second year of tax filing during the off-tax season, we reviewed their investment positions, and harvested losses to offset their tax liabilities. When Pat passed, we coordinated with his investment custodians, helped Hanna with confusing paperwork, and used step-up tax rules to save her money in taxes. Between all the strategies, the Stepup family saved over $170k and reduced lots of stress.
About US: Founder Kiak Tae and his family
The founder of Gardena Financial, Kiak Tae, knows what it is like to be illiterate and poor. Kiak was born in Cambodia during “The Killing Fields” era to uneducated Chinese parents. As a young child, he and his family endured incredible hardship as they escaped the Khmer Rouge regime through the jungle, finding refuge in Thailand. Kiak was bit by a venomous snake on the journey, and nearly lost his leg to the injury.
Read more about Kiak's journey
Kiak made a new start in the United States. He had no formal schooling before the age of 10. He realized he had to work harder than those with more resources.
Resisting the peer pressure from fellow immigrants to join the Asian gangs in the area, as a teen Kiak taught himself basic finance from books he found in the library.
With some encouragement from the Fulfillment Fund and a few great teachers, he went to Haverford College, received a degree in economics, and began working in the field of finance. He was then able to save enough to buy his parents their first home. In 1997, he was featured on a KNBC program called “Beating the Odds.”
Kiak Tae believes that with a solid work ethic, a will, and a guiding hand, everyday Americans can achieve greater wealth. Providing financial resources and knowledge to the average American is his motivation for becoming a financial educator.
What is an Enrolled Agent?
An Enrolled Agent is a tax advisor who is a federally authorized tax practitioner certified by the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Enrolled Agents represent taxpayers before the Internal Revenue Service for tax issues including audits, collections, and appeals.
What is an Investment Adviser Representative?
A professional who works for an registered investment advisor firm and has passed a security test in order to offer investment advice. Kiak Tae holds a Series 7, 66, and 24.
What are NMLS Mortgage Loan Originators?
Mortgage licensed professionals who are licensed to help consumers originate loans. Kiak Tae is licensed as a real estate broker as well. These are just three of the five credentials Gardena Financial holds.
Ready For a Change?
We Can Help.
Start with our tax service.
1. Schedule A Call: Your tax return is done almost immediately
2. Free past tax return evaluation
3. Relax. We’ll take care of eFiling and represent you in the case of an audit.
Call The Office
1516 W. Redondo Beach Blvd
Gardena, CA 90247
Use the Form Below
Call (424) 999-8829
Get a tax consultation, review last year’s tax return, and get insight for only $95!
Your situation is unique and will require assessment. This is a 1-hour maximum consultation. New clients only.