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Abe Ringer, CFP®, CDFA® Photo

Abe Ringer, CFP®, CDFA®

Principal and Founder

Financial planning is my passion and life's work. Personally, there is no greater joy than helping my clients realize what's possible and guide them towards achieving it. I am an endless student of the financial planning profession. I am also a writer, thought leader, pro-bono financial volunteer, educator and absolute believer in the power of financial planning to change one's life. 

Growing up in a small town in upstate New York (way upstate!) I witnessed first-hand how poor personal financial management deteriorates quality of life and defeats hope. And how financial wellness creates an unmatched sense of well-being, security and pride. These observations have been reinforced over my twenty plus year career in financial planning. My goal each and every day is to lead as many people as possible towards financial wellness and eventually to financial independence. 

It is my belief that financial planning should be more accessible to a broader range of individuals and families than we currently offer as a profession. To address this need, and through a relentless pursuit of efficiency, technology and operations, I've developed a way to offer fiduciary standard, high-quality hourly financial planning advice economically.  I also provide more traditional forms of financial planning and investment management such as retainer and full-service offerings. 

I put myself through Siena College earning a degree in Finance while working at night. I then earned an M.B.A. while working full-time. In 2012, I achieved the coveted Certified Financial Planner Designation(TM). As a member of the Financial Planning Association of Massachusetts I have as the Director of Partnerships and also do pro-bono work as a Dana Farber Financial Coach. 

My career in financial planning began at the Ayco Company (a Goldman Sachs Company) in their multi-family office practice, where I observed and learned the extraordinarily complex financial planning needs of some of the nation’s most affluent families. In 2006, I moved to Boston and started to build a new practice at what was then Smith Barney. In 2016 I started Breakwater Financial with a goal of creating a firm that could deliver the ideal client experience. 

Today I live in Needham, Massachusetts with my wife Beth and sons Jack and Luke. When not advising clients or spending time with family, I enjoy a number of hobbies and pursuits including running, mountain biking, CrossFit, snowboarding, hiking, coaching flag football, endlessly reading, cooking, and writing.

James Carnahan Photo

James Carnahan

Client Services / Strategic Alliance with Total Office, Inc.

Shortly after retiring from the US Military with 21 plus years of service, James entered the Financial industry to assist his wife’s growing company, Total Office, Inc..  With expert skills and training in operations, processes and security, James quickly became head of Operations for the company.

Today, James brings his expertise and love for helping clients through the paperwork maze by assisting Breakwater Financial and their clients in setting up accounts, transfers, RMD’s, updating accounts, troubleshooting and much more.

In his off time, James is an avid trial and marathon runner, writer and with a B.A. degree in Literature, and can often be found reading a good book while traveling in his motor home with his wife visiting their six grown children and three grandchildren.

Please note that James is not a direct employee of Breakwater Financial, LLC. However, he is here to help clients of Breakwater with the assistance of his firm, Total Office, Inc. Total Office inc. has been helping Independent Financial Advisors address their administrative needs for the past 30 years. 

Vicky Sawyer Photo

Vicky Sawyer

Client Services / Strategic Alliance with Total Office, Inc.

Every team needs that one person who provides exceptional frontline customer service and for Total Office Advisors, that person is Vicky Sawyer. Vicky has over 34 years of combined experience working in Customer service and Account Administration for the Financial Services Industry. Whether it is coordinating the opening of new accounts, chasing down a complicated transfer of assets or simply taking care of day‐to‐day tasks, Vicky brings a caring approach to ensure clients have the peace of mind that someone is minding the details.

When away from the office you can find her volunteering as a Girl Scout leader and more notably Vice President of the Lake County Buckeye Square Dance Club. Vicky has been dancing since 1979 and is an expert in her field. She teaches her passion to young and old alike; the beauty of Round Dancing, Square Dancing and many other eclectic styles such as the romantic Rumba, Waltz and energetic Foxtrot, the Jive and her favorite, Cha Cha! When resting at home she loves to read, sew, craft, bake and spend time with family, both human and the furry kind.

Please note that Vicky is not a direct employee of Breakwater Financial, LLC. However, she is here to help the clients of Breakwater with the assistance of her firm, Total Office, Inc. Total Office inc. has been helping Independent Financial Advisors address their administrative needs for the past 30 years.

Sue Berlier, CFP®, CTFA Photo

Sue Berlier, CFP®, CTFA

Client Services / Strategic Alliance with Nifty Advisor Support

Sue has over 20 years of experience in the financial industry and has worked for some of largest banks in Louisiana. During her career, Sue specialized in trust and wealth management, where she held various positions in administration, operations, business development, and management. Sue currently works for Nifty Advisor Support where she enjoys working with financial advisors and their clients. She is a Certified Financial Planner practitioner and a Certified Trust and Fiduciary Advisor.


Originally from Baltimore, MD, Sue currently resides in Madisonville, LA.  When not working, she enjoys taking beach trips to the gulf coast, practicing her juggling skills and attending classic car events with her husband and their 1967 Camaro.


Please note that Sue is not a direct employee of Breakwater Financial, LLC. However, she is here to help the clients of Breakwater with the assistance of her firm, Nifty Advisor Support.