Our Company

Over the years, we have found that a team approach can be an effective method to help clients who have a wide variety of needs as they maneuver through a complex financial-services world.

We invite you to discover and experience the power of our services. We believe it has far-reaching benefits for our clients to get opinions from several sources with diverse backgrounds, education, and experience.

No one strategy fits everyone, which is why every client gets our undivided attention—from planning to execution to follow-up. We take a proactive approach to helping you develop a strategy to address your financial goals and objectives, using the most efficient methods available.

Recognizing that everyone encounters challenges along the way, we strive to anticipate and address those situations as they occur. We want to keep you on track toward a meaningful and purpose-driven financial future.

We invite you to check out all the material on our website. If something prompts a question, please send us a quick email or call our office. We would enjoy speaking with you.


Gary Hicklin
Co-Founder/Partner

Gary is a Partner and Co-Founder of Core Financial Strategies headquartered in San Luis Obispo, CA. He is an accomplished advisor, educator, and presenter on financial topics. His forty-year career experience includes providing professional services in real estate, insurance, securities, business management, and process automation. Today he works to help families and individuals develop personalized financial plans and make investment decisions that support their lifestyle goals for retirement.

Gary’s career in the financial services industry started in 1979 as a licensed real estate professional specializing in income property investment and development. In 1984 he expanded into insurance and securities with a focus on helping clients make informed and intelligent long-term investment decisions. As a knowledgeable resource in business management, analysis, and process automation, Gary spent much of his career traveling the U.S. helping companies of all sizes implement state of the art payroll and benefits solutions. His services included the design and implementation of automated solutions for the administration of defined contribution and benefit retirement plans.

Currently, Gary applies his financial service expertise toward helping retirees and pre-retirees attain their financial, retirement, and estate planning goals. He is known among his clients as a solution-driven advisor with a keen eye for detail and dedication to only recommending what will empower his clients to achieve their retirement goals. Gary has a Business Analysis certificate from George Washington University, is certified as an Information Technology Operational Management professional, holds a PMP certification from the Project Management Institute, and has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and Human Resource Management from Columbia College.

Gary has lived on the California Central Coast for over 20 years. He loves spending time with his wife, children, and grandchildren who live nearby. He is an avid reader, golfer, and surfer.


Sharon Hicklin
Co-Founder/Partner

Sharon Hicklin is a Co-Founder and Partner at Core Financial Strategies, an independent financial services firm specializing in comprehensive financial and retirement planning strategies. She works with individuals, business owners, and professionals with a focus on asset preservation and growth. 

Sharon has been in the financial services industry since 2006 and brings with her a variety of disciplines as an entrepreneur, business executive, and business/financial consultant. She was the VP/Branch Manager for a large US Bank for several years and has enjoyed serving her clients in a number of other capacities including: business/financial management for “A” list musical artists; budget analysis and forecasting for companies of all sizes; personal financial investment and retirement strategies; portfolio review and recommendations for individual and small businesses; and residential mortgage loans.

Sharon has focused her career on the service of others and is committed to doing what’s best for her clients and the businesses she represents. As a conservative wealth manager, Sharon works to provide low-risk, personalized investment management strategies, helping pre-retirees and retirees grow their accumulated wealth throughout retirement. She also helps them effectively plan for the distribution of that wealth according to their estate plan. Registered as an Investment Advisor Representative she is held to the fiduciary standard, the highest standard in the financial industry.

When asked how she feels about working in the financial services industry, Sharon often says that she truly feels good about being able to make a difference in people’s lives. By always doing the right thing for her clients and being honest with them, she knows that she is alleviating the stress of financial planning, which truly allows them to enjoy life’s journey into the comfortable retirement they have worked so hard to achieve.

Raised in Southern California, Sharon bought a home in San Luis Obispo County in the early 90’s and has lived in the area full-time since 2003. She loves hiking, biking, kayaking, and volunteering in her community. She is the caregiver to her aging mother and enjoys family, friends and the community when she is not working.