Who We Are
Our financial planning firm began in the early 1980s as an expansion of a Stephen Poplaski, CPA, an accounting firm. At that time, our firm offered traditional tax and advisory services to individuals and small businesses. What Steve enjoyed most was helping business owners improve profitability, streamline operations, and assisting with transitions businesses to new owners.
Often the owners of companies would ask Steve for help with personal finances. To accommodate his clients, Steve started down the path of gaining more knowledge in the area of personal finance, leading to earning a CFP designation and graduate school, ultimately obtaining a PhD in Personal Finance. His doctorate focused on behavioral finance and financial decision making.
Our current company, Lighthouse Financial Management, LLC, was formed in 2002, where Steve continues advising small businesses and providing tax services for our financial planning clients. Our complete team now includes several CFP practitioners and an Enrolled Agent
Stephen C. Poplaski, PhD, CPA, CFP® is a Certified Public Accountant, (CPA) and a Certified Financial Planner™ Practitioner, (CFP®). Stephen has been with Lighthouse Financial Management, LLC, since its starting date in January 2004. At the firm, Stephen’s primary focus is individual tax planning and preparation. He also provides consulting for clients who own business entities and works with our financial planning team.
In addition to his work at Lighthouse, Stephen is an Associate Professor at Johnson & Wales University’s Feinstein Graduate School, where he teaches courses in personal financial planning, corporate analysis, and valuation, individual income tax, and applied behavioral finance. His research interest is in the area of lifetime giving to charitable organizations.
Stephen holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting, a Master of Business Administration degree in Finance, a Master of Science degree in Financial Planning, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Human Ecology. He also serves as a member of the Kansas State University Advisory Board for undergraduate and graduate degree programs in financial planning and a peer reviewer for the Journal of Financial Planning.
Research Article - Investing in Education: Impact of Student Financial Stress on Self-Reported Health
Maureen J. Poplaski, RICP®, CFP® is a Certified Financial Planner™ Practitioner, and a Retirement Income Certified Professional®. Maureen works with our clients to design and implement effective retirement plans that are driven by investment portfolios constructed and managed specifically for each client’s needs. Her guidance helps clients make informed financial decisions as they navigate the challenges in the years before and during retirement.
Maureen began her career in financial services at Lighthouse Financial Management, LLC in 2009 as an Investment Advisor and the firm’s Compliance Officer. She is a NAPFA (National Association of Fee-Only Advisors) registered advisor and a member of the Financial Planning Association.
Her educational background includes a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Fairfield University and a Masters of Arts degree in the Foundations of Education from Connecticut College. Before her work at Lighthouse, Maureen worked as an educator in the public school system.
Aaron P. Wade is a Certified Financial Planner™ Practitioner who joined Lighthouse Financial Management, LLC in 2014 with prior work experience in a financial services firm. Aaron is responsible for providing ongoing support for our clients, including portfolio oversight, data gathering, and the development of financial plans. Aaron has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music from Providence College and also works outside of Lighthouse as a musician.
Paul Drechsler-Martell is an Enrolled Agent and Registered Paraplanner Qualified Professional™ who has been providing assistance to Lighthouse clients since 2011. Paul is responsible for assisting our clients with the preparation of their income tax returns, scheduling appointments, and helping clients with our financial planning website tools. Paul graduated from SUNY Purchase with a degree in Cinema Studies. Paul also works outside of Lighthouse as a stunt performer on many popular TV shows.
Our Affiliate Firm
Stephen C. Poplaski, CPA, CFP®
Stephen is a licensed Certified Public Accountant with over thirty years of experience in providing management consulting, accounting and tax services for individuals, business entities and their owners.
National Association of Personal Financial Advisors
The National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) is the country’s leading professional association of Fee-Only financial advisors— highly trained professionals who are committed to working in the best interests of those they serve. Since 1983, Americans across the country have looked to NAPFA for access to financial professionals who meet the highest membership standards for professional competency, client-focused financial planning, and Fee-Only compensation.
Members of NAPFA are committed to the highest standards of proficiency in the industry and adhere to the NAPFA Fiduciary Oath.
American Institute of CPA’s
As the national, professional organization for all Certified Public Accountants, the AICPA’s mission is to provide members with the resources, information, leadership, and tools that enable them to provide valuable services to benefit the public as well as employers and clients. From financial literacy to public policy issues and peer review transparency to audit committee effectiveness, the AICPA is working to ensure that the public remains confident in the integrity, objectivity, competence, and professionalism of CPAs.
Financial Planning Association
The Financial Planning Association® (FPA®) is a professional organization for CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (CFP®) professionals, educators, financial services providers and students who seek advancement in a growing, dynamic profession. FPA members adhere to the highest standards of professional competence, ethical conduct, and clear, complete disclosure to those they serve and take part in FPA’s One ConnectionTM for professional education, business success, advocacy and community at the national and chapter levels.