Retirement Planning Strategies - December 2019

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Reflections on 20 Years in Financial Services AND LOOKING TO THE NEXT 20

Now’s the time of year when publications of all types begin publishing their “Best of 2019” lists. Whether you’re interested in music or TV, video games or political scandals, you can definitely find a “best of” dedicated to the topic. This year, the standard end-of-year roundups are joined by “Best of the Decade” recaps. While these features are popular for a number of reasons, including our collective fascination with list-making, the most obvious one is that the end of a year, decade, or century provides us with a natural opportunity for reflection. For me, the end of a decade is doubly significant because it mirrors my time working in financial services. I started in this industry in 2000. At the time, I was selling long-term care insurance for General Electric. I remember a training session we had very early in my career. The speaker told us words to the effect of, “Only one in ten of you will be in this business next year, and only one in a hundred of you will be in this business in ten years.” It would be impossible to crunch the numbers on the people sitting in that room many years ago, but I’m willing to bet he was pretty close to correct. I’m very fortunate to say I’m that lucky one.

I never would’ve guessed back then that I’d end up starting my own firm in 2002 and dedicating my life to helping federal employees, but I’m sure glad I did. Running Retirement Planning Strategies has become much more than a job. It’s a labor of love, a way to meet our incredible public servants, and a chance to truly help people. Everyone, from the person living paycheck to paycheck to even Jeff Bezos, stresses about money. To be able to lessen that stress for people is something I never take for granted.

policy, and other factors have all changed the way we think about and execute retirement planning. Unfortunately, though, amid all this change, one thing has stayed pretty much the same. When I started, about 15% of financial advisors were female. In 2019, I think it’s ticked up maybe 1% or 2%. That’s just not good enough, and it’s something I am working to change over the coming decades. In his 1996 book “The Road Ahead,” Bill Gates wrote, “We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next ten. Don’t let yourself be lulled into inaction.” As we approach the 2020s, let’s all take a moment to take stock of where we’re at and make a plan for where we’re going. Recaps are fun, but we can’t forget to also be in the business of moving forward. I look forward to seeing where the next decade and beyond takes Retirement Planning Strategies. I promise that no matter where we go, it will always be our goal to provide you with the best services possible.

A lot has changed in the intervening two decades. Today, traditional long-term care insurance is rarely the way our clients fund their long-term care. It may be the product that I learned first, but things have changed. Technology, political

–Ann Vanderslice | 1

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