What has been your most satisfying moment as a financial advisor so far?
By Ric Edelman
Many people think financial planning is about money, but it’s really about helping people. Every day the advisors of Edelman Financial meet with clients to, sure, talk about money. But more important, they work with clients to help them to achieve their dreams and goals. Here, our advisors share some of their most rewarding moments.
Erich Hoffman — Edelman Financial’s Fairfax, Va., office
A client who had been nervous about retirement gave me a big hug and told me she felt like a huge weight had been lifted off her shoulders. She said she no longer worries about retirement or what would happen to her financially if her husband died.
A year earlier, the couple had come to my office concerned about retirement. The husband had waived the survivor benefit to his military pension 20 years earlier, which was the biggest part of their retirement assets, and was about to retire from his second career as a government contractor. They were worried about having enough money to enjoy retirement. We realigned their investment portfolio to meet their goals, refinanced their mortgage to lower their monthly expenses, and took out an insurance policy on the husband to protect the wife in case he died and his military pension disappeared. The wife used to feel nervous thinking about retirement; now she’s enjoying it.
Ann Crehan — Edelman Financial’s Towson, Md., office
I still have an email from a client who told me that I helped her understand her own finances for the first time in her life — at age 58. She was happy to finally understand where her finances stood in relationship to her goals and what she needed to do so she could retire when she wanted to and with the income she needed.
It was a huge contrast to her last “advisor,” a broker who claimed to do financial planning but really just bought and sold stocks. I’m always amazed at how just doing my job can make such a big difference in somebody’s life.
Caitlin Chen — Edelman Financial’s Manhattan, NY office
I once convinced a woman to move her retirement savings — $2 million in company stock — to a diversified portfolio, and she was very hesitant at the time. Years later, though, she thanked me with tears in her eyes for convincing her to make the move.
She was offered early retirement and was reluctant to liquidate the $2 million she held in company stock — her entire life savings. She loved the company and felt comfortable owning a familiar stock. I was persistent and spent several meetings explaining the importance of diversification. In the end I won her over, and we’re both happy that I did. According to the client, she would have lost more than 75% of the total value of her retirement account had she kept that stock and not followed my advice to diversify.