Zach Swaffer
Wealth Advisor

"My planning process is centered on building a coaching relationship with my clients which enables me to construct a sound financial plan and make the necessary adjustments as life evolves"


Zach’s passion is coaching. After an injury derailed his athletic plans, Zach became a student coach to help develop and mentor his former teammates. During this time, Zach learned how much he enjoys working with others and watching them grow as individuals during the process of reaching their goals.

After graduating from Hillsdale College in Michigan, Zach started working at Chemical Bank, in their leadership development program. During this time, Zach decided to make the shift to becoming an advisor and turned his career to coaching others in financial planning and started with Trilogy Financial in 2018.

Zach joined Trilogy Financial for two significant reasons. The first, because Trilogy is an independent advisory firm which allows him to work in the best interest of his clients and choose products that are best suited for his client’s needs and goals. Finally, Zach found Trilogy’s emphasis on the coaching relationship that advisors develop with their clients. With a substantial background in athletics, Zach has seen the effects good coaching has on individuals and their progress. In addition to helping others finally, being active in the community is very important to Zach.

While living in Michigan, Zach is a founder of a non-profit called St. Max’s Fellowship for Teens. A non-profit organization that focused on providing safe, fun, and transformative mission trips for “at-risk teens.” Since moving to Denver, Zach has continued his community efforts by joining a local group called Warren Village Young Leaders. This group of young professionals works with a local non-profit that focuses on economic empowerment for single-parent families. Zach is also a member of the young professional’s board for the Colorado Special Olympics.

In his free time, Zach enjoys backpacking, hiking, attending concerts, reading, cooking, and playing recreational league sports.

ZACH's Client Relationships

Zach and his team support a wide variety of clients, but here are some of the groups he has built his practice around.

Let’s talk about employer loyalty. For much of the 20th century, Americans (by and large) followed a standard script: enter the workforce and work for a single company for decades, then throw a retirement party at 65 and cash in a pension – a reward for years of company loyalty. This pension provided retirement income; usually, a percentage of the yearly salary the employee earned while working. American Express established the first corporate pension plan in the US in 1875. By 1960, about half of the private sector employees had a pension. Of course, in 1960 the average life expectancy was 67, meaning that if you retired at 65 (standard at the time), the average pension only had to provide income for two years.

Since 1960 there have been many advances in modern medicine raising average life expectancy to 79. Suddenly, plans designed to cover a few years of post-retirement income were expected to cover retirees well into their 80s and 90s. Companies offering pensions began to realize that their retirement plans were becoming increasingly - sometimes prohibitively - expensive to fund. As pension expenses continued to rise towards the end of the 20th century, many companies were forced to design new systems to ensure their employees were financially secure come retirement.

The 401(k) plan hit the streets in 1980. The employer-sponsored retirement plan was rolled out as a replacement to traditional pensions and has since become the most common retirement savings mechanism in America. In essence, the 401(k) provides a tax-deferred way for employees to set aside wages for retirement. Employees elect to divert a certain percentage of their income each year to a 401(k) account. The diverted funds grow tax-free in that account until the employee retires.

In addition to providing the account, most companies offer a savings-match system. For instance, in a 3% match system, the company would match up to 3% of an employee’s elective contributions to their 401(k) account. The employer match provides a strong incentive for employees to start planning for retirement. If an employee doesn’t divert AT LEAST the match threshold into a 401(k) they miss out on the employer match – in other words, they lose out on free money from their employer.

Let’s talk about the benefits. Funds in a 401(k) account are able to grow tax-free. Because growth is not disturbed by capital gains taxes, accounts are able to grow faster than a standard individual account. Of course, there’s always a catch: money in employer-sponsored plans - like a 401(k) - cannot be withdrawn prior to age 59 ½ without paying penalties. Most plans offer options for the participants to increase their contribution rate on an annual basis, and small increases in contribution rate (even as small as 1%) year over year can make a huge difference by the time you retire.

Contributing to employer-sponsored retirement plans such as a 401(k) or 403(b) - the non-profit version of a 401(k) - is a vital part of preparing for retirement. The money is automatically deducted before your paycheck is cut, making it easy to budget and painlessly save for retirement at the same time.

Contributing to employer-sponsored retirement plans is an essential step towards retirement planning – but it is only the first step.
Please contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you are interested in discussing the next steps you can take to ensure retirement security.

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. Investing involves risk, including the risk of loss. Dollar cost averaging involves continuous investment in securities regardless of fluctuation in price levels of such securities. An investor should consider their ability to continue purchasing through fluctuating price levels. Such a plan does not assure a profit and does not protect against loss in declining markets.


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