facebook twitter instagram linkedin google youtube vimeo tumblr yelp rss email podcast blog external search


Create a Financial Road Map
for Your Life

Gain More Control – Feel Less Anxious

We work with busy, urban professionals who want to chart their own course.

You have a lot going on in your financial life – let us help you put it all together.

We want to know what is most important to you – what motivates you – and what keeps you up at night. Understanding the “big picture” is critical in building a balanced, flexible financial roadmap. The goal is to empower you.

We will focus on your most urgent concerns --like helping you organize your finances, buy an apartment, save for retirement, evaluate your investments, plan for a child, review your tax situation and/or examine your insurance needs.

We provide guidance - You control your money

We are a good fit if you want a financial planner who:

Offers independent, unbiased advice
Collaborates with you
Does not sell you products or demand account minimums
Listens to your unique concerns
Values the “human side” of financial planning

Who We Are

Cindy Sterling

Cindy Sterling

President and Founder, ChFC, RLP

I founded Sterling Financial Planning in 2004 with a vision in mind: To provide busy urban professionals with unbiased, accessible, financial advice.  

My interest in financial planning comes from my mother.  “Girl talk” for us was discussing CD rates and the recent article in Money Magazine.  

Though I love “the numbers", I also realize that emotions played a huge role in how we spend our money. This may explain why I studied Economics (B.A.) and Psychological Services (M.S.) while at the University of Pennsylvania. I later earned my Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) and Registered Life Planner (RLP) certifications. Financial planning enables me to blend all of these interests.

My background also influences how I collaborate with clients.  I have worked as an adolescent counselor in Northeast Philadelphia, development officer at Vassar College and gift planning consultant with Washburn & McGoldrick, LLC.  All these experiences have taught me that analysis and empathy are essential when making change.  I bring both to my financial planning practice.  

I love the city –but I also need to escape it at times.  I split my time between New York City and Portland, Maine.  My wife, Kristen, and I have two little dogs that run the roost in either location.  In good weather you will find me stand up paddle boarding on the Casco Bay or training for a half marathon along the coast.  I am also crazy about tiny houses!

Why Work With Us

We are a fee only financial planning firm - we act as a fiduciary to you. This means we have an obligation to focus on what is truly best for you. Holding ourselves accountable to NAPFA’s Fiduciary Oath, we are dedicated to providing objective investment advice and unbiased financial recommendations to you. We do not sell any financial products, nor do we receive commissions or referral fees. We believe this removes conflicts related to sales compensation and allows us to truly focus on what is best for you.  We receive all our compensation from our clients.

We do not manage money. We believe that unbundling investment management fees from financial planning is the most equitable situation for both the client and the planner. Through this, we are able to provide exclusive attention to your financial and life goals.

The Garrett Planning Network

The Garrett Planning Network is an international network of fee-only financial advisors and planners. The goal of this large network of independent advisors is to make competent and objective advice accessible through hourly as-needed financial planning. 

National Association Of Personal Financial Advisors

The mission of the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors is to advance the profession of financial planning based upon NAPFA's core values and to improve the quality of clients’ lives.

The NAPFA Fiduciary Oath:

  1. The advisor shall exercise his/her best efforts to act in good faith and in the best interests of the client.
  2. The advisor shall provide written disclosure to the client prior to the engagement of any conflicts of interest, which will or reasonably may compromise the impartiality or independence of the advisor.
  3. The advisor, or any party in which the advisor has a financial interest, does not receive any compensation or other remuneration that is contingent on any client's purchase or sale of a financial product.
  4. The advisor does not receive a fee or other compensation from another party based on the referral of a client or the client's business.

The Kinder Institute of Life Planning

The Kinder Institute of Life Planning trains advisors to help you reorganize your relationship to money so that your financial resources are dedicated to supporting your life's goals. The Institute’s work has been profiled in The Wall Street Journal, Morningstar, TIME, Business Week, Money Magazine, Financial Times, and many more.

Financial Planning advice

as you need it

when you need it

Contact Us Today

"1-2-3" Service

A 3 Step Process to Help You Focus on
Your Most Urgent Financial Needs

The goal is to identify your most pressing financial concerns, build a roadmap and help you start implementing the plan.

The "1-2-3" Service works in the following way:


Step 1

Identify Important Goals

We will review your overall situation, determine where you are now and discuss where you want to go. We pay attention to your values to make certain your money complements what you want to do in life. 

You send completed financial planning questionnaires and financial documents two weeks before our meeting to start the process. 

The initial meeting for a single person is 90 minutes and 2 hours for couples.


Step 2

Plan Review

After our initial meeting, we will prepare a written financial plan. This is where we “plan the work.” We will review the plan in detail together on a phone call. The plan will provide you with projections, investment analysis and “next steps” so you can start taking immediate action to achieving your highest priority goals.


Step 3


This is where we “work the plan.” We will assist you in implementing the most urgent “next step” outlined in the plan.  You determine what this is.  For many clients, this has included things like starting investment accounts, evaluating insurance and/or having a conference call with your accountant.  You can then implement the remaining “next steps” in your own timeframe.  

Service cost depends upon complexity and can range from $3,000-$5,000 for singles and $4,000-$6,000 for couples.

Stay On Track - Maintain Control

Contact Us Today

Ongoing Service

After completing the “1-2-3” Service, we offer an Ongoing Service to help you “stay on track.” The Ongoing Service goes beyond the “1-2-3” Service by providing the following benefits:

Plan execution

Assists with implementing the remaining “Next Steps” outlined in the “1-2-3” Plan.

Email and phone coaching

Provides ongoing financial coaching (through email or phone calls) throughout the year.  This includes reviewing new benefit options, determining what mortgage to secure, reviewing tax issues, etc.

"Check Up"

Annual Financial “Check Up” in person meeting and Follow Up Report.

Sterling Connections

An ongoing personal finance portal to monitor your money.

Our Ongoing Service is a flat fee of $3,000-$7,000/year (depending upon complexity and time required) paid on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis.


To schedule a complimentary phone call, please email me at cindy@sterlingfinancialplan.com

I look forward to learning more about you and your financial goals.

Schedule a call


Sterling Financial Planning
475 Park Avenue South, Suite 2100
New York, NY 10016


(212) 405- 1616




(212) 202- 4631