In December of 2013, the owner of Zephyrus Financial Services and my longtime friend, Tim Piehl, hired me as a sales assistant. Throughout the years, I discovered I had a unique skill set perfect for working with clients and helping them plan the retirement of their dreams.
Now, I am a fully registered financial advisor and have the privilege of working with people every day. Hearing people’s stories and financial journeys is a highlight of my job. Through those stories, I’ve been able to pinpoint three common mistakes people make when planning for their future.
#1. Thinking they can put off saving for retirement
The earlier you start, the better off you’ll be. Before I started this job, I was a person who never thought about contributing to my 401k or what my goals were for the future. I always thought because I didn’t have much money, saving for the future wasn’t meant for me. I would argue now that people on tighter budgets need the planning piece as much or more than those with a ton of disposable income.
No matter your journey to starting the financial planning process, at Zephyrus Financial Services, we meet you where you are. Sometimes people are ready and really open with conversations around money, and sometimes, they are not. If clients are still warming up to the idea of planning for their future, we’re happy to come alongside them and educate them along the way.
#2. Thinking they need a lot of money to start the process
They don’t. This is just one of the many misconceptions I discuss with people every day. The technical side of investing can feel overwhelming to people. This is when I get to tap into the teaching degree I earned in college. I can usually take high-level concepts or details and make them accessible to people who don’t do this for a living. It’s really important for people to be comfortable asking questions if they have them, and they usually don’t if they feel like things are too technical.
We can start working with people of any age, income level, stage of life, relationship status, etc. There are several easy ways for people to get started with what they have:
- Open an account for yourself to save $50 a month.
- Enroll in your employer-sponsored retirement account. Be sure to contribute enough to get the match from your company.
- Start a 529 plan for your children or grandchildren with $100 and save for their future education expenses.
#3. Holding back information when building their roadmap
Our customized financial roadmaps and advice are only going to be as accurate as the inputs we get from people. The more forthcoming people are with where they are at, the more accurate the plan and the more useful our advice can be. I promise we aren’t scary!
Honestly, my favorite part is getting people involved in the process of building their roadmaps. This can sometimes feel like a daunting task. But half of the battle is getting to know where you stand, even if it isn’t where you want to be. Ignoring money problems will never solve them. Working on your roadmaps together is a way for us to dive in and start that process.
I have more meaningful conversations with people doing these than any of the conversations we have around actual investment choice and portfolio construction. Ultimately, the investment selection is not the important part for people. They prioritize their dreams and goals and what I can do to help clients reach them.
Not only do we enjoy our time face-to-face with clients, but we also prioritize the behind-the-scenes work. We build portfolios for our clients by doing all of our own research and utilizing different investment research and planning software programs. Our models have been approved by Cetera, our broker-dealer, and other advisors who are even using them with their clients! This final personal touch ensures each client receives a customized retirement roadmap created to meet their unique needs.
If you are ready to start planning your financial future, schedule a meeting at zephyrusfs.com. Stay connected to us and the latest financial news by following us on Facebook and LinkedIn.
Ask the Advisor:
Favorite quote and why?
“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
― Maya Angelou
I think the world needs more kindness in it. We should concentrate more on being kind and helpful and less on being right.
What do you do when you’re not working?
Hanging out with friends and family, playing cards and board games. I love reading and usually have at least two books going at once. In the winter, I like doing puzzles. Summertime is for being outside as much as I can. One new year’s resolution is to garden a little more. Otherwise, evening walks, going to my nieces’ sporting events, bonfires and grilling out with friends.
Favorite musical artist, band, or song?
My music taste is very eclectic. I love everything from Queen and Led Zeppelin to Sara Bareilles to Luke Combs and Eric Church. My Spotify wrapped is an adventure every year!
Describe yourself in 3 words.
Funny (at least I think I am!), persistent and sensitive. A true Capricorn!
What are some interesting facts about yourself?
+ I traveled to Ireland for a month in college, and it was the best trip I’ve ever been on.
+ There was a fire in the apartment complex I used to live in, and I had to be rescued by firefighters with a ladder – it made the paper and everything!
+I have a tattoo.