Gary Scheer is a financial advisor in Morristown, New Jersey. He is a nationally recognized Financial Educator, Author, and Speaker, along with being a Certified Senior Advisor (CSA) and Registred Financial Consultant (RFC). He is the CEO of Gary Scheer, LLC as well as a managing director of RedwoodTaxSpecialists1040.com. Gary has appeared on NBC, CBS, ABC, Pix 11 News, News 12 NJ, Fortune, Forbes, and U.S. News & World Report.
Gary has built a team of tax planning experts at Gary Scheer, LLC, where they assist affluent and ultra-high net worth business owners, professionals, and executives with substantially reducing their taxes. They have also been helping their clients preserve, protect and pass on their wealth for over 30 years.
Gary is a Purdue University graduate and has been a Registered Financial Consultant since 2009 and a Certified Senior Advisor since 2003. After having gained experience at a couple different insurance companies, Gary found his way to a boutique financial planning firm in New Jersey. After about 5 years there, he had a falling out with the head, so he and a friend decided to go out on their own. In 1994, they formed a business named Financial Management Group located in New Jersey. They were successful together for 16 years before a mutual parting of ways. Gary then founded Gary Scheer, LLC, where he could stay on the cutting edge of the financial, tax, and other strategies to help high income business owners, professionals, and executive business clients.
In March of 2021, Gary also became managing director of Redwood Tax Specialists. There, the goal is to help grow the advisory portion of a business’s practice through proactive and holistic tax planning.
Gary was born in Brooklyn, NY and moved to Long Island at the age of 3. He now resides in Morristown, New Jersey with his wife of 38 years, Susan. He has 3 children and 2 grandchildren. They enjoy reading and traveling, but they enjoy spending time with their grandchildren even more.
As a complement to his professional achievements, Gary is past President and former Treasurer of a local private school board. Additionally, Gary has played trumpet with the acclaimed Livingston Symphony Orchestra in Livingston, NJ, for over 25 years. He is an avid runner, being in track and field and cross-country, and continues to try to take good care of himself.
Gary is very philanthropic and regularly contributes to charities including the Gottesman RTW Academy, Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest, Special Olympics, and Morristown Rotary Club.
Gary Scheer has built several successful businesses based on helping others. He always maintains this quality as a loving husband and father. He aims to continue to set the right example in compassion and generosity by impacting his community in a positive way.
How did you get started in this business?
In college I had planned to go into the hospitality industry. My major was in Restaurant, Hotel, and Institutional management. After I graduated, I worked in the hospitality field with Hyatt and Hilton hotels in management and sales management training capacities for a couple years. I decided it just wasn’t for me, I wasn’t happy. I wanted to change fields and decided to go into finance. At that time, in the early 1980s, financial planning became more available to the middle class, so I capitalized on this opportunity and began working for an insurance company as a Financial Planning Consultant. Then from there, I gained experience at the different companies before a friend and I started our own, which turned into just my own after many years. Now I have Gary Scheer, LLC and I am a managing partner at Redwood Tax Specialists.
How do you make money?
With either business, we charge the client a fee based on the services we are providing. We keep them current with the market rates so that they are always fair. When it comes to paying for the services provided, our clients usually understand that the tax savings and other benefits are going to far outweigh what they are paying, so they usually don’t mind too much.
How long did it take for you to become profitable?
When my friend and I went out on our own, we were profitable within the first two years. We had decades of experience, knowledge, and many clients between us which helped us to hit the ground running. When you are in an industry for many years and then branch out on your own, you typically have a better chance at being profitable quicker than if you are starting from scratch. Either scenario can be scary at first, so make sure that you plan as well as you can and keep your overhead low when you are new.
When you were starting out, was there ever a time you doubted it would work? If so, how did you handle that?
I didn’t doubt it because I was already responsible for generating my own business, networking and had been in field for 12 years. I was very comfortable with the transition. In addition, both of my parents and in-laws are entrepreneurs so I guess you could say that it is in my blood. I also like to take my time in considering all possibilities in making a decision and often consult with mentors and coaches too, to get feedback. They have had a lot of experiences, so they have given me confidence when making decisions both for business and personally.
How did you get your first customer?
I believe it was a client that was loyal to us from when we were working under the other company. They wanted to stick with our services, so they followed us in our new venture.
What is one marketing strategy (other than referrals) that you’re using that works really well to generate new business?
Sending emails to clients works very well. Not in a spammy way, but in a way that keeps them informed and educated. You can even have fun with it. Send them emails that help them get to know the team too, when they have faces and stories to associate them with, it brings whole new level of human connection to your business that is going to help you gain clients that will also want to stick with you long term.
What is the toughest decision you’ve had to make in the last few months?
Going from trying to be all things to all people in the financial planning space and then trying to concentrate in one direction. You could call it a case of “Shiny object syndrome”. There are so many opportunities in the financial field that I’d want to get involved in, so I’d create a new division rather than focus on one particular specialty and be really good at it. I finally decided to have that focus I was aiming for with Redwood Tax Specialists.
What do you think it is that makes you successful?
A major key to my success has been my open mindedness to learning and implementing new technologies to better serve my clients. Also, I have always had this inner drive to help others. It was what I was originally looking for when I thought I wanted to go into the hospitality industry. Then I found a way to help others in the financial field so that drive to keep going, even when I was tired, or when I was having that hard time focusing, it beat out any other feelings to stop and I have kept going. I am especially proud of what we are doing with Redwood Tax Specialists because we are able to help smaller businesses, which makes a big impact on a community, and I can feel the difference it is making.
What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
I was helping with health insurance benefits for small businesses. I had a situation where one of our clients (a small private school) had an employee diagnosed with cancer. She went on disability and had been taken off payroll from her employer since she had near terminal cancer. At that time, her insurance company’s new COBRA administrator took up to two weeks to send a COBRA packet to a departed employee by regular mail following notification of their termination of employment and insurance coverage. By the time the insurance was reinstated after the signed paperwork and premium check was received, a total of three weeks may have passed. For most people this would not have been an issue.
Unfortunately for her, she was denied coverage for a $5,000 chemo treatment because her insurance was officially terminated. In order to break through the bureaucracy to help her and her family, I had the COBRA provider rush the paperwork to me, obtained the needed signatures and wrote a check for the family’s monthly premium from my checking account and hand delivered the check to my customer service rep at the insurance company and arranged for her to drop the paperwork off with the COBRA company the next morning. The employee’s coverage was instantly reinstated. I was later reimbursed.
This was a satisfying moment because I was able to actually do something in a moment where it seemed hopeless. There can be a lot of red tape when you are working with small businesses and insurance, so it felt great to get around that for once. The woman had surgery that night and was doing better by the next day.
What does the future hold for your business? What are you most excited about?
I am very excited to grow Redwood Tax Specialists. As I was speaking about earlier, getting really focused on one area and becoming an expert on that area is something we will continue to pursue along with bringing proactive and holistic tax planning services to CPA’s and their clients.
What business books have inspired you?
My favorite business books are The E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber and Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
To take more chances early and not be afraid to fail.
Are you willing to be a mentor? If so, how should someone contact you?
I am very willing to be a mentor. I am already a mentor, so yes, I am eager to mentor other great personalities. I am very friendly with everyone, and this friendly attitude of mine keeps building trust.