About

NorthStar Financial & Retirement Planning is an independent retirement planning firm specializing in helping individuals and couples in their mid-50’s and older to retire with confidence. Our areas of expertise are retirement income planning, tax reduction strategies, and investment management. Our mission is to provide efficient investment strategies along with a lifetime guaranteed and sustainable income for our clients, while being as tax efficient as possible.

Our History

NorthStar Financial & Retirement Planning began in 2007 when founder George Fossing left his position as a Branch Manager for a large insurance company. He felt he was underserving his clients due to having limited products and resources that were offered through just the one company. Now, being independent, he has access to the universe of products and solutions for his clients.

George also took notice that retirement planning has gotten more complicated over the years, and realized it takes a team to fully understand and grasp the new reality that today’s retirees face. NorthStar is one of just a few firms that can truly offer investment strategies, social security planning, tax planning, healthcare planning, and estate planning — all under one roof!

A Fiduciary Approach

What Is a Fiduciary?

Financial advisors who are fiduciaries hold a relationship of trust with their clients and abide by fiduciary duty. Fiduciary duty is the ethical obligation to act solely in someone else’s best interest. In theory, this should minimize conflicts of interest and make a financial advisor more trustworthy. All of our Investment Advisor Representatives (IAR) act as fiduciaries.

Fiduciary Defined

A fiduciary is an individual who is ethically bound to act in another person’s best interest. This obligation eliminates conflict of interest concerns and makes a fiduciary’s advice more trustworthy.

Fiduciaries must:

Put their clients’ best interests before their own, seeking the best prices and terms.

Act in good faith and provide all relevant facts to clients.

Avoid conflicts of interest and disclose any potential conflicts of interest to clients.

Do their best to ensure the advice they provide is accurate and thorough.

Avoid using a client’s assets to benefit themselves, such as by purchasing securities for their own account before buying them for a client.

Our Team

George Fossing has 23 years of experience in helping clients prepare for retirement. He enjoys guiding his clients to and through a successful retirement. As well as being an Investment Advisor Representative (Series 65), George holds the Retirement Income Certified Professional (RICP) designation through the American College and teaches adult education classes at several higher education institutes about retirement strategies.

After college, George worked in management for a Fortune 500 company and eventually became a branch manager for a large insurance company in Greenville, SC. He decided to form NorthStar Financial and Retirement Planning, LLC — an independent upstate wealth management and retirement planning firm — in 2007 to provide retirement and investment guidance for the local community. He also has been trained by Ed Slott’s nationally recognized IRA Elite Advisor Group.

George and his wife, Meredith, have lived in the Carolinas for over 26 years where they have raised four beautiful children. The oldest is following in his grandfather’s footsteps by serving in the U.S. Marine Corps. Their daughter recently completed her Masters in Education at Clemson University. “The twins” are sophomores in high school. George is also active with the Boy Scouts of America, and is proud to have achieved the rank of Eagle Scout as did his twins. George enjoys sailing, fishing, and chasing golf balls in the woods when he has time.

George also hosts a weekly radio program, “Stop Worrying, You’re Retired!” on Thursdays from 9:05 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. on WHKP AM 1450 Talk Radio in Hendersonville, WORD 106.3 FM in Greenville on Sundays at 3:00 p.m., and on Saturdays from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on WGTK 94.5 FM. He also spending time each Wednesday mornings (10:00-11:00am) as a guest on CBS Channel 7 “Your Carolina with Jack and Megan.” George has written for Fortune and CNN Money & Kiplinger’s Magazine.

Zach has been in the financial services industry since 2013. He has helped clients with the implementation of different insurance, tax-reduction, estate preservation, and income strategies. He enjoys working with individuals and small businesses, presenting them with solutions that provide security and clarity.  He is a big believer in that there is more to gain by avoiding the losses than by potentially picking the winners.  He graduated with a degree in business from USC Upstate in 2010 and is from the Greer/Greenville area.

Kevin has been in the financial services industry for more than 30 years, primarily as a Regional Sales Director for nationally known insurance and investment firms. He interacted daily with retail investment advisors and agents throughout the Southeast, coaching them to greater success with their clients. Now it’s his turn to bring the knowledge he has gained and the skills he has used coaching advisors to his own clients at NorthStar Financial and Retirement Planning, serving as an Investment Advisor Representative (Series 65).

Kevin’s goal is to provide benefits and strategies of wealth accumulation to small-business owners and individuals. These strategies work during pre-retirement and accumulation planning into a successful retirement income phase for a stress-free retirement.
Kevin and his wife, Alyson, have lived in Charlotte, North Carolina, for nearly 20 years. They have two children who have completed their high school and college educations in Carolina schools, and live nearby, in Charlotte, which makes their parents extremely happy! Kevin and Alyson met in college in New Orleans and began investing in real estate before graduating.

When not coaching and planning, Kevin’s other passion is the outdoors. He enjoys managing his timber farm, KP Farms, in Chester County, South Carolina, where he raises loblolly pine trees for wood production. Kevin created a hunting and recreational club in 2006, so others could participate in the environment he loves.

Helena oversees all operational aspects of managing the asset and insurance services to ensure the highest level of delivery of services consistent with NorthStar’s standards. Additional responsibilities include overseeing compliance procedures and ensuring standards are being followed and maintained. Helena is the “hub” to the “spokes” of NorthStar!

Helena’s experience is invaluable. She has been employed in the financial service industry for nearly 22 years and has worn many hats. She has worked with both large and boutique-sized companies. She spent many of these years as a client relationship specialist, learning all aspects of the brokerage and insurance industry. Helena currently holds life, health, accident, and insurance license.

Helena, originally from the Philadelphia area, is a proud wife and mother. She is married to her childhood sweetheart David and has three beautiful adult children and five grandchildren. She likes decorating, baking, and cooking big family dinners. She loves spending time with her family, going to the beach, and traveling with her husband.

Tracey MacDonald joined NorthStar Financial & Retirement Planning in May 2019. Tracey will be building relationships with clients and supporting them in their needs. She looks forward to using attention to detail and organizational skills to encourage and support staff at NorthStar.

Tracey is from North Carolina and has a BS in Business Administration and a Minor in Psychology from the University of North Carolina Charlotte. Tracey and her husband, Darin, native of Michigan, have made their home in South Carolina since 1992 and have raised 4 children who have made life exciting. Tucker is a college graduate and golfer and makes his home in FL, Madison is a College Graduate and makes her home in Colorado, Parker will be attending college and playing golf for North Greenville University and Bryson will be a Senior in High School. Tracey enjoys all college sports and enjoys playing tennis and exercise. Tracey is Thankful – Grateful – Blessed!

Attorney Christopher H. Barrier works with NorthStar’s South Carolina clients to assist them with their diverse estate planning needs. He has assisted many of our clients with properly drafting their wills, trusts, and other estate planning and directive documents, as well as has helped many of our clients with questions and issues throughout the probate process.

Mr. Barrier is a graduate of Furman University and the Washington and Lee University School of Law. He has practiced law in Greenville for over 10 years. Mr. Barrier assists clients of NorthStar Financial with their estate planning needs.

Dow S. Barton has been working the field of retirement planning for 25 years on both the individual and corporate level. Dow also has experience in all phases of group benefits (health insurance, pharmacy benefits, ancillary products) as well as Medicare.

Dow was born and raised in Miami, Florida. He is a graduate of William Jennings Bryan College (B.Sc.) and a graduate of the Solomon L. Huebner School of The American College as a Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU). Having lived in Greenville for the past 28 years, this city is home. Dow and his wife, Hilda, have four children (three Clemson and one USC Upstate grads) and three grandchildren – Lucy, Sam, and Georgia. In addition to family, Dow enjoys the mountains, hiking, F3, white water, and music.

Daisy is the official NorthStar Greeter. She has been an integral part of the NorthStar team since 2016. Even though she is paid only in dog treats, she has remained a steady and loyal employee. Her talents include wagging, smiling, and allowing guests to pet her. Her hobbies include swimming and going on long walks.

George Fossing

President, Investment Advisor Representative

George Fossing has 23 years of experience in helping clients prepare for retirement. He enjoys guiding his clients to and through a successful retirement. As well as being an Investment Advisor Representative (Series 65), George holds the Retirement Income Certified Professional (RICP) designation through the American College and teaches adult education classes at several higher education institutes about retirement strategies.

After college, George worked in management for a Fortune 500 company and eventually became a branch manager for a large insurance company in Greenville, SC. He decided to form NorthStar Financial and Retirement Planning, LLC — an independent upstate wealth management and retirement planning firm — in 2007 to provide retirement and investment guidance for the local community. He also has been trained by Ed Slott’s nationally recognized IRA Elite Advisor Group. George and his wife, Meredith, have lived in the Carolinas for over 26 years where they have raised four beautiful children. The oldest is following in his grandfather’s footsteps by serving in the U.S. Marine Corps. Their daughter recently completed her Masters in Education at Clemson University. “The twins” are sophomores in high school. George is also active with the Boy Scouts of America, and is proud to have achieved the rank of Eagle Scout as did his twins. George enjoys sailing, fishing, and chasing golf balls in the woods when he has time. George also hosts a weekly radio program, “Stop Worrying, You’re Retired!” on Thursdays from 9:05 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. on WHKP AM 1450 Talk Radio in Hendersonville, WORD 106.3 FM in Greenville on Sundays at 3:00 p.m., and on Saturdays from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on WGTK 94.5 FM. He also spending time each Wednesday mornings (10:00-11:00am) as a guest on CBS Channel 7 “Your Carolina with Jack and Megan.” George has written for Fortune and CNN Money & Kiplinger’s Magazine.

Zach Jenkins

Investment Advisor Representative

Zach has been in the financial services industry since 2013. He has helped clients with the implementation of different insurance, tax-reduction, estate preservation, and income strategies. He enjoys working with individuals and small businesses, presenting them with solutions that provide security and clarity. He is a big believer in that there is more to gain by avoiding the losses than by potentially picking the winners. He graduated with a degree in business from USC Upstate in 2010 and is from the Greer/Greenville area.

Kevin Keller

Investment Advisor Representative

Kevin has been in the financial services industry for more than 30 years, primarily as a Regional Sales Director for nationally known insurance and investment firms. He interacted daily with retail investment advisors and agents throughout the Southeast, coaching them to greater success with their clients. Now it’s his turn to bring the knowledge he has gained and the skills he has used coaching advisors to his own clients at NorthStar Financial and Retirement Planning, serving as an Investment Advisor Representative (Series 65).

Kevin’s goal is to provide benefits and strategies of wealth accumulation to small-business owners and individuals. These strategies work during pre-retirement and accumulation planning into a successful retirement income phase for a stress-free retirement. Kevin and his wife, Alyson, have lived in Charlotte, North Carolina, for nearly 20 years. They have two children who have completed their high school and college educations in Carolina schools, and live nearby, in Charlotte, which makes their parents extremely happy! Kevin and Alyson met in college in New Orleans and began investing in real estate before graduating. When not coaching and planning, Kevin’s other passion is the outdoors. He enjoys managing his timber farm, KP Farms, in Chester County, South Carolina, where he raises loblolly pine trees for wood production. Kevin created a hunting and recreational club in 2006, so others could participate in the environment he loves.

Helena Erman

Director of Operations

Helena oversees all operational aspects of managing the asset and insurance services to ensure the highest level of delivery of services consistent with NorthStar’s standards. Additional responsibilities include overseeing compliance procedures and ensuring standards are being followed and maintained. Helena is the “hub” to the “spokes” of NorthStar!

Helena’s experience is invaluable. She has been employed in the financial service industry for nearly 22 years and has worn many hats. She has worked with both large and boutique-sized companies. She spent many of these years as a client relationship specialist, learning all aspects of the brokerage and insurance industry. Helena currently holds life, health, accident, and insurance license. Helena, originally from the Philadelphia area, is a proud wife and mother. She is married to her childhood sweetheart David and has three beautiful adult children and five grandchildren. She likes decorating, baking, and cooking big family dinners. She loves spending time with her family, going to the beach, and traveling with her husband.

Tracey N. MacDonald

Executive Assistant to Operations

Tracey MacDonald joined NorthStar Financial & Retirement Planning in May 2019. Tracey will be building relationships with clients and supporting them in their needs. She looks forward to using attention to detail and organizational skills to encourage and support staff at NorthStar.

Tracey is from North Carolina and has a BS in Business Administration and a Minor in Psychology from the University of North Carolina Charlotte. Tracey and her husband, Darin, native of Michigan, have made their home in South Carolina since 1992 and have raised 4 children who have made life exciting. Tucker is a college graduate and golfer and makes his home in FL, Madison is a College Graduate and makes her home in Colorado, Parker will be attending college and playing golf for North Greenville University and Bryson will be a Senior in High School. Tracey enjoys all college sports and enjoys playing tennis and exercise. Tracey is Thankful – Grateful – Blessed!

C. H. Barrier

Estate Planning Attorney

Attorney Christopher H. Barrier works with NorthStar’s South Carolina clients to assist them with their diverse estate planning needs. He has assisted many of our clients with properly drafting their wills, trusts, and other estate planning and directive documents, as well as has helped many of our clients with questions and issues throughout the probate process.

Mr. Barrier is a graduate of Furman University and the Washington and Lee University School of Law. He has practiced law in Greenville for over 10 years. Mr. Barrier assists clients of NorthStar Financial with their estate planning needs.

Dow Barton

Chartered Life Underwriter

Dow S. Barton has been working the field of retirement planning for 25 years on both the individual and corporate level. Dow also has experience in all phases of group benefits (health insurance, pharmacy benefits, ancillary products) as well as Medicare.

Dow was born and raised in Miami, Florida. He is a graduate of William Jennings Bryan College (B.Sc.) and a graduate of the Solomon L. Huebner School of The American College as a Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU). Having lived in Greenville for the past 28 years, this city is home. Dow and his wife, Hilda, have four children (three Clemson and one USC Upstate grads) and three grandchildren – Lucy, Sam, and Georgia. In addition to family, Dow enjoys the mountains, hiking, F3, white water, and music.

Daisy Fossing

Official Office Greeter

Daisy is the official NorthStar Greeter. She has been an integral part of the NorthStar team since 2016. Even though she is paid only in dog treats, she has remained a steady and loyal employee. Her talents include wagging, smiling, and allowing guests to pet her. Her hobbies include swimming and going on long walks.

Our Strategic Partners

We work with a select group of strategic partners to help provide the most holistic view of your retirement. We believe each client should have the best team to support you in your individual needs, so we’ve curated a knowledgeable and experienced group of partners to help you meet those needs.

Nicholas Atkeson

Investment and Portfolio Design Team from Delta Investment Management

Mr. Atkeson is a principal of Delta Investment Management. Mr. Atkeson has over 21 years of industry experience. Prior to founding Delta Investment Management, Mr. Atkeson was a partner and portfolio manager of Delta Force Capital, a San Francisco based hedge fund and held senior positions at Banc of America Securities, ThinkEquity and Susquehanna International Group. Mr. Atkeson is co-author of “Win By Not Losing: A Disciplined Approach to Building and Protecting Your Wealth in the Stock Market by Managing Your Risk” published by McGraw Hill. Mr. Atkeson graduated from Haverford College with a BA in Economics and from Stanford University Graduate School of Business with an MBA.

Mr. Atkeson is a principal of Delta Investment Management. Mr. Atkeson has over 21 years of industry experience. Prior to founding Delta Investment Management, Mr. Atkeson was a partner and portfolio manager of Delta Force Capital, a San Francisco based hedge fund and held senior positions at Banc of America Securities, ThinkEquity and Susquehanna International Group. Mr. Atkeson is co-author of “Win By Not Losing: A Disciplined Approach to Building and Protecting Your Wealth in the Stock Market by Managing Your Risk” published by McGraw Hill. Mr. Atkeson graduated from Haverford College with a BA in Economics and from Stanford University Graduate School of Business with an MBA.

Andrew Houghton

Investment and Portfolio Design Team from Delta Investment Management

Mr. Houghton is a principal of Delta Investment Management. Mr. Houghton has over 21 years of industry experience. Prior to founding Delta Investment Management, Mr. Houghton was a partner and portfolio manager of Delta Force Capital, and held senior positions at ThinkEquity, Banc of America Securities and Susquehanna International Group. Mr. Houghton is co-author of “Win By Not Losing: A Disciplined Approach to Building and Protecting Your Wealth in the Stock Market by Managing Your Risk“. Mr. Houghton has a BA in Economics from Boston University and served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Togo, West Africa.

Mr. Houghton is a principal of Delta Investment Management. Mr. Houghton has over 21 years of industry experience. Prior to founding Delta Investment Management, Mr. Houghton was a partner and portfolio manager of Delta Force Capital, and held senior positions at ThinkEquity, Banc of America Securities and Susquehanna International Group. Mr. Houghton is co-author of “Win By Not Losing: A Disciplined Approach to Building and Protecting Your Wealth in the Stock Market by Managing Your Risk“. Mr. Houghton has a BA in Economics from Boston University and served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Togo, West Africa.

Mike Kress

Investment and Portfolio Design Team from Delta Investment Management

Mr. Kress is a portfolio manager at Delta Investment Management. Mr. Kress has 50 years of industry experience. Prior to joining Delta Investment Management, Mr. Kress worked at Sanctuary Wealth, ThinkEquity, Banc of America Investment Services, Credit Suisse First Boston and Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette. Mr. Kress has a Bachelor of Business degree from Ohio University.

Mr. Kress is a portfolio manager at Delta Investment Management. Mr. Kress has 50 years of industry experience. Prior to joining Delta Investment Management, Mr. Kress worked at Sanctuary Wealth, ThinkEquity, Banc of America Investment Services, Credit Suisse First Boston and Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette. Mr. Kress has a Bachelor of Business degree from Ohio University.

Lynn M. Wilson, CPA, MBA

Tax and Accounting Advisor from Goldsmith, Molis, and Gray CPAs

Lynn has extensive experience in income tax reporting and advisory services for estates and trusts, individuals and small to medium sized businesses. She is accomplished in sophisticated estate and gift planning techniques, including trust commutation and decanting, and net gift tax reporting. In her practice, she networks and collaborates with nationally recognized experts, while focusing on partnering with local professionals to build strong client advisory teams.

She provides IRS representation and has provided expert witness testimony in trust and estate proceedings. Her clients include high net worth individuals, family business, executors and trustees. She also enjoys working with entrepreneurs and startups, and she is experienced with both domestic and foreign cryptocurrency transaction reporting.

Lynn was raised in Asheville, where her first job was in her grandfather’s grocery store on Haywood Road in West Asheville. She attended UNC-Chapel Hill and stayed in Chapel Hill to raise her two daughters. Prior to taking her CPA she served as Director of Finance for a civil engineering firm and as Director of International Recruitment for the Kenan-Flagler MBA Program at her alma mater. Lynn returned to the Asheville mountains in 2016 to be closer to her extended family. She has traveled extensively for work and pleasure and has sung and performed with several Triangle are groups in venues including Duke Chapel, Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall. In addition to travel and music, she enjoys walking on the Biltmore Estate and hiking in the mountains, yoga, cooking and Carolina basketball.

Lynn has extensive experience in income tax reporting and advisory services for estates and trusts, individuals and small to medium sized businesses. She is accomplished in sophisticated estate and gift planning techniques, including trust commutation and decanting, and net gift tax reporting. In her practice, she networks and collaborates with nationally recognized experts, while focusing on partnering with local professionals to build strong client advisory teams.

She provides IRS representation and has provided expert witness testimony in trust and estate proceedings. Her clients include high net worth individuals, family business, executors and trustees. She also enjoys working with entrepreneurs and startups, and she is experienced with both domestic and foreign cryptocurrency transaction reporting.

Lynn was raised in Asheville, where her first job was in her grandfather’s grocery store on Haywood Road in West Asheville. She attended UNC-Chapel Hill and stayed in Chapel Hill to raise her two daughters. Prior to taking her CPA she served as Director of Finance for a civil engineering firm and as Director of International Recruitment for the Kenan-Flagler MBA Program at her alma mater. Lynn returned to the Asheville mountains in 2016 to be closer to her extended family. She has traveled extensively for work and pleasure and has sung and performed with several Triangle are groups in venues including Duke Chapel, Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall. In addition to travel and music, she enjoys walking on the Biltmore Estate and hiking in the mountains, yoga, cooking and Carolina basketball.