Debra Donaldson Scott grew up on a working family farm in Georgia with five older siblings and huge extended family, earning her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from the University of Georgia, a Paralegal Certification from the National Center of Paralegal Training and completing the Certified Financial Planning Program from the University of Georgia and Boston Institute of Finance. Her informal education through personal life experiences has provided valuable insight into understanding her clients' concerns, struggles and needs financially. Debra worked in the metropolitan Atlanta area as a corporate and litigation paralegal for many years then obtained her insurance and securities licenses in 2000. Debra worked for Wachovia Bank as an officer and Financial Specialist until 2007, obtained her Series 7 and 65 and affiliated with Cetera Advisors LLC and ATLANTA PLANNING GROUP in 2016, founded STATEWOOD ADVISORS LLC to offer comprehensive financial planning to her clients ranging from young professionals to the elderly, entrepreneurs, small business owners, executives and families. Her clients come from all walks of life and have a wide array of financial questions, needs and experiences.
Due to her background with corporate clients, commercial lending and litigation, Debra's specialities are small business and executive planning, including benefits and retirement planning and retirement income planning. However, she has a soft spot for working with women who find themselves solely responsible for the finances of their businesses or families due to circumstances they did not anticipate such as illness, death or divorce. Debra enjoys teaching clients the fundamentals of preparing for short term, intermediate and long term financial goals and covers cash flow analysis, risk management, and investment planning, including preparing for retirement, college and windfalls such as inheritances and awards from lawsuits. Clients are comfortable asking questions because Debra avoids jargon and simplifies explanations of complicated concepts in a relatable way. As a creative individual who slowly developed expertise with math and numbers, she appreciates the discomfort, confusion and fear many clients experience with financial terminology, accounting and strict budgeting. The loss of a parent at age 15 required her to support herself financially and learn financial skills which she eventually mastered and shares with her clients in a compassionate way whether their needs are very basic or sophisticated and complex. She collaborates well with estate, family law, personal injury attorneys, CPAs and other professionals to benefit her clients.
Debra lives in Atlanta with her husband, Neal, 2 rescue dogs and 2 rescue cats. In addition to animals, she loves sports, travel, live music and entertaining friends and family.