Matt Johnson

Matt Johnson is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) who specializes in retirement planning. He is the founder of Roots First Financial and an associate of Cherry Creek Wealth Management, Inc. Matt is a graduate of Brigham Young University where he received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in accounting. He began his career in Big 4 public accounting with Ernst & Young where he remained for 5 years. Matt then shifted focus to financial services with a specific emphasis on tax planning and social security in retirement.

“I noticed there was a gigantic gap in retirement planning. If there’s ever a question about taxes, most financial advisors refer a client to their respective CPA. The paradox, however, is that most CPAs are so busy getting tax returns done in the spring, that they only focus on how to lower clients’ taxes in the current year. It is rare that a CPA will sit down with a client and plan how to lower their taxes over the long run. That’s where I come in.”

 “The reason I enjoy teaching Social Security classes is because it’s an enormously complex system for which it’s very difficult to get accurate information. I’ve had numerous people come to my seminar that had been told conflicting information by the Social Security Office. One lady was even able to go collect a lump-sum check for 6 months of back pay and began a strategy that would pay her $90,000 over the next 3 years that prior to my class, she was unaware existed.”

In addition to his CPA, Matt holds insurance and securities licenses and is a National Social Security Advisor. Outside of the office, Matt enjoys spending time with his wife and 3 kids, getting outside and playing hockey (poorly).

Richard Staves CPA, PFS, CRPC®, AIF®

Richard Staves is an experienced tax and financial planner and is currently the Managing Member of Cherry Creek Wealth Management, Inc.  Richard assists high net worth clients, retirement plans and business clients in the areas of retirement planning, tax and estate planning, wealth management, employee benefits, Social Security optimization, insurance and investment portfolio management.  He has 30 years of experience representing clients before the IRS and state tax agencies in audits, Appeals and Collection Due Process Hearings and has assisted in several Tax Court cases.

Richard began his career with Arthur Andersen & Co. in 1975 and later started his own accounting practice in 1980.  In 1998, Richard converted his CPA practice to a financial services firm and later merged that practice with Wells Fargo.  He is a former Vice President and Senior Wealth Advisor with the Wells Fargo Wealth Management Group.

His professional licenses include:

  • Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
  • Personal Financial Specialist (PFS)- American Institute of Certified Public Accounts (AICPA)
  • Charted Retirement Planning Counselor (CRPC®)- College for Financial Planning
  • Accredited Investment Fiduciary (AIF)
  • Colorado Life, Health, Fire and Casualty insurance licenses

Richard is a member and active participant in the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the Colorado CPA Society.  He is a former member and volunteer with the University of Denver Low Income Tax Clinic representing Clinic clients before the IRS and Colorado Department of Revenue.  Richard is an avid fly fisherman, plays golf poorly and travels whenever possible.