Last week, I buried my father. He died at home, in his sleep, at age 85. For most of us, we’d call that a pretty good deal. But it’s hard to say good-bye to your father. Above is a picture of him holding me as a newborn.
For me, this was one more chance for my dad to set a great example. He taught high school agriculture shop and was the local FFA advisor for 30 years. His funeral was marked by students telling me and my family about how much Dad meant to them. They commented on how he made a difference in their lives. I was, and am, so very proud of my dad for this.
When I got into financial services in 2002, I was attracted by the chance to have some independence and the opportunity to help people reach important goals. I have always wanted to follow my father’s example, but I was not cut out to teach high school kids. So this job was a great opportunity.
Over the last 17 years, my business has evolved and my process has improved. One reason I added the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ designation to my resume was to be sure I had the very highest level of training and to allow me to deliver the very best value to all my clients. I now have training in the very latest best practices in critical areas of financial planning:
- Cash flow and budgeting
- Risk protection (insurance products of all kinds)
- Wealth accumulating and investing
- Retirement planning
- Tax strategy
- Estate and wealth transfer planning
The key reason I shifted my business focus in 2011 to become a fee-only fiduciary financial planner was so that I could clearly and obviously focus on my clients’ best interests first and always.
- This structural shift puts me on the same side of the table with my clients.
- I am a client advocate
- I only get paid by clients, never by a product manufacturer or a distributor.
I currently work with about 100 families, which is about two-thirds capacity. I’m happy that I have the time and the structure to customize my advice for each family. It gives me a chance to make a real difference for each family. I’m working hard to be sure that I make that difference. It’s a tribute to my dad.
At my father’s funeral it was wonderful to hear from so many people about how Dad touched their lives. It’s a reminder of the difference one person can make. If you are interested, Dad’s obituary can be found here. My Facebook post tribute to Dad and comments about Dad can be found here.
If you would like to talk specifically about your financial situation a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional can be an excellent resource.
To find a CFP® professional near you, start your search here.
As you visit with financial planners, I suggest a couple things to check:
- Is the advisor always the client’s advocate – a fiduciary advisor?
- Is the advisor only paid by clients, not any financial product manufacturer or distribution network? That would be a fee-only advisor.
These two points help assure that you are working with a professional who is committed to your best interest at all times. It seems sort of obvious to me that a professional would work in this way, but it’s not automatic.
A fiduciary, fee-only, CFP® professional can help you create a great financial plan driven by your goals and priorities and addressing all aspects of your financial life. With a big-picture approach, you will be better prepared to understand your options at every step along the way.
Yes, I am a CFP® professional. I’m always a fiduciary and I only work on a fee basis. And yes, I’m still taking on a few great families to be part of my financial planning practice.
If this article has you thinking about your own circumstances, contact my office at email@example.com. I am always happy to meet with people who are working on their retirement plans. Dunncreek Advisors does not provide legal or tax advice, nor is this article intended to do so.