LESSONS FROM MY FATHER Why I’m a Passionate Financial Architect
I have always been fascinated by money. Even as a kid, I enjoyed watching movies about the stock market — the tickers, the fancy suits, the electric energy of it all; it was exciting. I began to learn all I could about finance, and when I got to college, I took every economics class I could. But while this innate curiosity about money matters laid the technical foundation for my career, it was my father who gave me a passion for helping people. While he wasn’t my biological father, he was always my father figure. He had all the values you want in a good role model: He worked hard to provide for his family, he preached the importance of getting an education, and he always reinforced the value of doing the right thing. It’s thanks to him that I have my work ethic, my “When my father finally retired, he’d grown accustomed to a certain lifestyle — one his pension couldn’t support. This put our family in a difficult situation.” degrees, and most importantly, my love of helping others. Without these qualities, I wouldn’t be a Financial Architect. However, my father ended up teaching me one last valuable but hard lesson. My father worked for the big three here in Michigan from the ‘80s to the early 2000s. It was hard work, but it guaranteed a pension and good retirement benefits.
However, these incentives instilled a false sense of security. When my father finally retired, he’d grown accustomed to a certain lifestyle — one his pension couldn’t support. This put our family in a difficult situation. Now, my father had always been great with finances and was used to being the leader and provider for our family. He’d worked hard his whole life, and so naturally it came as a shock that all his efforts still couldn’t support a comfortable retirement. For all his short-term budgeting, my father hadn’t put together a plan for his retirement. He had a lot of challenges during those years and passed away in 2012. While my father may be gone, our family felt the effects of his unplanned retirement long after he passed. It hit my mom particularly hard. Thankfully, because of my work and education I was able to help her navigate the financial challenges she faced, and today she’s living with me and enjoying her retirement. We got a happy ending, but that experience taught me that even the best, most well-intentioned people can create problems for themselves and their loved ones without proper planning. Knowing what I know now, I wish I could go back 15 years and give my father the guidance he needed to retire while maintaining as much of his lifestyle as
possible. But while I can’t turn the clock back, I can work to protect other families moving forward. That’s why I feel so strongly about what I do here at FAI. I’ve seen the difference proper strategic planning can make in a family’s future. During these uncertain economic times, I hold all the lessons from my father close. I’m going to use my knowledge and experience to do right by people and help them reach the retirement they’ve worked so hard for.
Here’s to the future,
888-466-5453 – Chavez Vincent, MBA, RICP ®
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