The following blog post is part of The Road to Financial Wellness blog tour. The Road to Financial Wellness is a three-month, grassroots campaign promoting financial empowerment on a national level and encourages people to pursue their dream lifestyle. Find out more about local events near you.
Financial Empowerment. Wow, what a powerful idea! This is what I strive to provide for my clients. At Integrity Wealth Advisors, I help my clients to remove the guesswork from their finances by crafting a unique plan in pursuit of their financial goals. In this post, I’ll share with you a story of how financial empowerment can change your life. We can easily get caught up in graphs, charts, and numbers but financial empowerment is all about how gaining financial clarity makes you feel.
During my first year as a financial advisor, I met with a wonderful woman who needed guidance. She was an educator that had been investing for a number of years. When I started asking her about retirement she became visually and audibly distraught. She was not confident in the amount of money she had saved up to that point. She was in her late 50’s and mentioned to me that her back had been bothering her for a number of years and that working every day was becoming a struggle. She actually used the word “hopeless” when thinking about retiring. I asked her what her ideal retirement scenario would look like. If possible, she’d ideally retire in less than 5 years and spend time volunteering, which she is very passionate about. She added that there was no way she could retire before 66 years of age when she would receive full social security benefits. I told her what I always tell my clients, “I’ll tell you if there is good news and I’ll tell you if there is bad news, but we will remove all of the guesswork.”
She had a nice inheritance from her father who had passed away a few years prior. She also had a six-figure 403(b) at the school that she had worked for the past 25 years. I made sure to look at every aspect of her financial life. I analyzed social security strategies, retirement income solutions, insurance, her risk tolerance, asset allocation, and more. All in all, I was very excited for our next meeting when I could present her with my findings. What happened next changed my life as well.
We met as we always did, at her kitchen table. We chatted about work and about summer vacation plans before we got into her financial planning. I reviewed the information she gave me, which I had analyzed to show her current allocation, net worth, and then the holy grail…her retirement outlook. I was able to show her that not only could she retire before 66, but she could retire the very next year! She could do this without any reduction in the lifestyle she was currently accustomed to. After a few seconds of shock, she broke down in tears. She told me how grateful she was that I had helped her with her planning and how happy she was that her hard work had paid off. Financial Empowerment. This woman had finally been able to breathe a sigh of relief. She had often worried -even lost sleep at night- about the thought of working 10 more years and still not knowing if that would be enough. Financial empowerment is removing the guesswork from your financial picture. When you do that, you can breathe easier knowing that you are on track and that you are the master of your finances, not the servant.
This experience solidified in my mind that being a financial advisor is what I was meant to do. There is no better feeling than what I felt that day at that kitchen table. I was able to empower someone else and change her view of her own future. Helping people to achieve their financial dreams is an amazing feeling. Don’t wait until you are losing sleep and feeling helpless about your finances to seek professional advice. Work with an advisor that cares about you and will work with you each step of the way in pursuit of your financial goals. You never know, you may just gain a lifelong friend. Or better yet, you might just cry on their shoulder.