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About us


Ben Hockema, CFP®

Founder & Advisor

Ben founded Illuminate Wealth Management  on January 1st, 2020. Prior to Illuminate, Ben spent over a decade at another independent RIA firm in the Chicago area, including three (3) as a shareholder. Ben’s goal in founding Illuminate was to focus on serving a smaller number of clients, providing a deeper, more personalized level of service, while continuing to adopt the rapidly changing best practices in the industry.

Ben is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER and has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and Financial Planning Magazine, among others. Ben, along with his peer group he co-founded in 2012, were featured as the cover story in TD Advisor Solutions Magazine. Ben is a member of the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) and the XY Planning Network.

When not running Illuminate and serving clients, Ben spends time with his wife and two kids, cooking new recipes, as well as golfing and playing volleyball. Ben can be found learning new things and is always excited to share.

What I’m Currently Reading, Listening to and Learning:

"Bubble in the Sun", "Guns, Germs, and Steel", “A History of the United States in Five Crashes”, “This Is Marketing”, “Profit First”, “The End is Always Near”

Dan Carlin Hardcore History, Ep 65: Supernova in the East IV, 10 American Presidents Podcast Ep. 1: Nixon by Dan Carlin, Invest Like the Best Ep. 177: Jeremy Grantham - An Uncertain Crisis, MacroVoices Ep#233: Diego Parrilla: False Diversification

Currently enrolled in the Institute of Business & Finance Certified Tax Specialist (CTS) program

Gary Bowyer


Gary started his own Financial Planning firm in 1985 and worked with many clients throughout his career. In 2010, Gary sold his company to a larger RIA, but continued to work for several more years. In 2010, Gary began mentoring Ben Hockema and transitioning his long-time clients to him. After fully retiring in 2017, Gary continued to provide experience and support to Ben and jumped at the chance to continue in a more formal manner, buying into Illuminate Wealth Management from the start. Gary’s role is to continue to provide experience, perspective and in-depth research to Illuminate Wealth Management behind the scenes.

David Shirley


While David’s “day job” is in construction engineering, David provides an incredible understanding in how to get and serve clients. David met Ben in daycare at 6 months old and have grown up together. When presented the opportunity to support Ben in founding Illuminate Wealth Management, David could not pass it up. David’s main role is to spread the word on how Illuminate is helping clients live their lives without the financial uncertainty many experience and to help develop new ways to serve our existing clients.

Contact Us

We understand that each client has their own way they like to meet. Some prefer regular in-person meetings, while others are happy with Virtual meeting via Zoom or Phone meetings. We are happy to meet you the way you would like.