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SoundPath Retirement Strategies


Benjamin J. Koval, MBA, CFP®

We are logic-driven consultants helping retirees construct a comprehensive plan with the goal of creating a consistent income stream they can rely on throughout retirement. SoundPath Retirement Strategies was established in the Greater Seattle area by founder Benjamin J. Koval because he believed that the needs of senior investors were not being adequately addressed by brokerages and typical financial advisory firms.

President and founder of SoundPath Retirement Strategies, Benjamin J. Koval, has over a decade of experience in finance and has a focus on retirement planning. Ben is an MBA, a Certified Financial Planner™, and an Investment Advisor Representative (IAR) holding a Series 65 license. He is also a Washington state-licensed life insurance producer.

“I established this firm in response to my concern that the needs of senior investors were not being adequately addressed by brokerages and typical financial advisory firms,” Ben says. “SoundPath seeks to provide retirees and pre-retirees with a logical path for their post-career lives using cutting-edge financial analysis that helps address the specific needs of senior investors. We are a logic-driven firm focused on helping clients work toward retirement security no matter what the market is doing.”

SoundPath Retirement Strategies, LLC is licensed in Washington. All the firm’s financial advisors and planners are Series 65 licensed, meaning they cannot receive commissions on securities trades.

“My goal—and the goal for our firm—is to be absolutely honest and serve as a true fiduciary for our clients in the fullest sense of the word, ensuring their interests are foremost at all times,” Ben says.

Ben has appeared as a financial advisor in the media extensively both in radio interviews and webinars. He enjoys sharing financial knowledge and the firm is committed to providing free educational seminars, workshops and classes to the public in the Greater Seattle area. “Financial principles can seem complex at first, but they are important. They can be explained in meaningful ways. We want people to understand how they can retire with a plan and with the intent to be successful,” he says.

Ben’s greatest priority in life is his family, and he believes that having that sensitivity provides him with important insights as he helps others’ families with their financial planning needs. He says, “I am totally honest with my clients, and my recommendations are always centered on what’s best for them and their families. I simply enjoy when I’m able to help hard-working people find a path toward their retirement dreams.”

Benjamin spent his preschool years on the Kitsap Peninsula and his school years at Lake Tahoe, returning to the beautiful Pacific Northwest shortly after completing graduate school. He earned his Master of Business Administration (MBA) and Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Nevada, Reno.

He and his beautiful wife, Michelle, have been married for 14 years and the family has resided in Redmond, Washington since 2014. They have four sons, ages four through 12. “My faith is the center point of our family,” Ben says. He enjoys spending time with his family when they are at home as well as when they are out exploring the many outdoor and cultural resources of the Northwest. In his free time, Ben plays recreational basketball. He is a lifelong active church member and currently serves as a volunteer youth leader. He has also served as a volunteer youth coach in soccer, football, and basketball.

“My greatest joy is helping my clients assemble a plan that can potentially guide them toward achieving their retirement goals and dreams. Because I consider so many of my clients friends, I’m just as emotionally invested in their success as they are, so my satisfaction is driven by their results.”

– Founder Benjamin J. Koval, MBA, CFP®

Investment Advisor Representative

Matt R. Lybarger, MBA

Matt graduated with a bachelor’s degree in (ministry) leadership from Northwest University in Kirkland, WA. He went on to earn a master’s degree in theology from Regent College at the University of British Columbia, as well as an Executive Master of Business Administration (Executive MBA) in both finance and advanced corporate level strategy with a focus on mergers and acquisitions. Matt is an ordained minister, a board-certified counselor with the AACC, a certified Police & Fire chaplain, and a Series 65 licensed Investment Advisor Representative (IAR).

“I believe my diverse education comes together nicely in financial advising. I am a natural “people person.” And I am admittedly a bit of a nerd when it comes to strategy, finance, and counseling, all with the aim of leading people to a place of financial peace of mind.”

Matt’s delivery style when offering investment advice is often described as warm, friendly, and educational.

Prior to becoming an Investment Advisor Representative (IAR), Matt spent 10 years as a business consultant in the technology and medical sectors, working with corporations to think strategically about their workflows, assets, and desired return on investments (ROI). Matt has also worked in his church as both a pastor and relationship counselor.

“I entered the financial space for some of the very same reasons I entered the corporate, medical, ministry and counseling spaces. We all need each other in life. None of us are Superman or Wonder Woman, able to succeed in every aspect of life all by oneself. We each have strengths and weaknesses, knowledge and ignorance. My goal is to share with my clients the education, knowledge and financial expertise I’ve acquired so that they can reach (and exceed) their goals.”

– Matt Lybarger

Meet the Leadership Team


Connie Crouch

Connie is a graduate of the University of Nevada, Reno with a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting and IS Systems. She oversees the firm’s operational accounting and regulatory compliance and, as part of the management team, develops and implements strategic planning for the firm. Connie has worked her entire career in audit, tax, and accounting systems ranging from non-profits and medical practices to wholesale distributors, retailers and manufacturing firms.

“I am dedicated to being honest and ethical at all times and applying both my skills and experience in ways that create an optimal environment for clients and colleagues to chase their own definition of success.”

Operations Manager

Sydney Brace

Sydney graduated from Central Washington University in Ellensburg, Washington, with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. She has been in the retirement planning industry for more than five years and is well-versed in the administrative side of the business. Sydney enjoys helping people and the opportunity to tackle the challenge of solving problems quickly and effectively, as well as connecting clients with the resources they need to work toward their retirement goals.

“My goal is to take care of each client to the very best of my ability and work with them through the financial planning process to make it as smooth as possible while still implementing all the necessary elements.”

Retirement Planner/Research Analyst

Richard Koval

Richard is a Series 65 licensed Investment Advisor Representative (IAR) in the state of Washington. Building upon his 25-year career as a senior consultant in a prominent consulting firm focusing on physician succession and retirement planning, Richard helps our clients idealize a lasting retirement. He is the leading Research Analyst for SoundPath Retirement Strategies.

“I enjoy using my decades of experience to propose solutions I believe can solve the problems of retirees and pre-retirees. I think implementing innovative strategies is the best way to overcome many of the barriers in the way of financial success.”

True Fiduciaries

SoundPath is a fiduciary firm—meaning our focus is on providing you with retirement advice which is in your best interests at all times. Based on each client’s unique situation and needs. Below are some of the services and strategies we may utilize in your customized, comprehensive retirement plan. The overarching goals are retirement income security, tax efficiency, protection from retirement risks such as market risk and the risk of losing a spouse, and creating your desired wealth legacy.

Income Analysis/Cash Flow/Budget Analysis
Investment Analysis/Asset Allocation
Retirement Needs Analysis/Planning
Retirement Plan Review
Life Insurance Review
Long-Term Care Review
Estate Analysis/Estate Planning
Investment Counseling
Tax Efficiency Analysis
Portfolio Monitoring
Legacy Account Management
Tax Minimization Strategies
Survivor Assistance