Why Our Last 2 Clients Came to Us

Why Our Last 2 Clients Came to Us by Astra Financial

In my latest episode, I’m sharing why our last 2 clients came to Astra Financial and the importance of these 3 things in an financial advising relationship: 

➡️ Personalized Financial Planning: The critical need for detailed and personalized financial planning as clients approach retirement

➡️ Recognizing and Acting on Red Flags: The importance of recognizing red flags in financial advisory relationships. Whether it’s a lack of detailed financial planning, insufficient explanations about fees, or a general feeling of uncertainty after advisory meetings

➡️ Client Empowerment Through Education: The benefits of working with certified financial planners who are committed to the client’s best interests

Show Notes:

Welcome back to another episode. This week, I’ll dive into the real-life scenarios that brought several recent clients to our firm. These stories may resonate with you as they highlight various financial challenges people face and why they trust us to navigate their financial journey.

Everyone loves a real-life story, so let’s start with a client we’ll call Jennifer. Jennifer is a hardworking professional in her late fifties who diligently saved for retirement throughout her career. Like many approaching retirement, she wanted to ensure she could maintain her comfortable lifestyle and afford to travel and enjoy her interests. Despite her successful savings, she was frustrated by the impersonal service and advice from her bank.

Jennifer had never worked with an independent financial planner before. For years, she entrusted her savings to her bank, maximizing her RSPs and following standard financial advice. She had a pension from work and believed the bank had her best interests at heart. However, as she began planning for retirement, she realized she was receiving generic, cookie-cutter solutions.

For years, when interest rates were lower, her investments were limited to GICs, likely because they were the easiest option for the bank’s staff, who didn’t need special qualifications to manage these. Recently, as rates improved, Jennifer recognized that these choices were not in her best interest.

Feeling lost and uncertain about the future, Jennifer was disappointed by the lack of retirement planning services at her bank. She often found herself redirected to other employees, undermining the potential for a meaningful advisory relationship. Additionally, the bank attempted to sell her unnecessary products like lines of credit and credit cards. Jennifer also faced significant delays in communications, waiting weeks for a callback or a month for an email response—despite having substantial savings.

Realizing the need for more tailored advice, Jennifer sought an independent financial planner. In our first meeting, we focused on listening to her needs and provided clear, actionable advice. For example, we discussed why it would be more tax-efficient for her to invest in a tax-free savings account rather than non-registered GICs, given her income level.

We also equipped her with a list of questions to interview other certified financial planners, explaining how advisors are compensated and what to look for in their fees. Empowered with this information, Jennifer felt confident in her ability to make informed decisions about her financial future. After interviewing other advisors, she decided to work with us.

This story underscores a common concern among clients: the lack of personalized advice and timely responses from financial institutions. It highlights why an independent advisor can make a significant difference in managing one’s financial journey.

In these important years, when you’ve accumulated a lifetime of savings, tax planning and determining which financial reserves to draw from become crucial. One of our clients faced this exact challenge.

Another story that may resonate with you involves a couple, Mark and Lisa, in their mid to late fifties. They worked hard for decades and were excellent savers, positioning themselves to possibly retire before sixty. As their potential retirement approached, they sought more frequent consultations with their financial advisor to prepare confidently for this next chapter. However, they increasingly felt frustrated and unprepared after these meetings, noticing a lack of substantive discussion about both the financial and emotional aspects of retirement.

For years, they were content with their advisor during the accumulation phase. However, as retirement neared, they realized the advisor’s approach lacked the depth and expertise they needed. Despite several discussions about their goals, they were not provided with a detailed financial or retirement income plan. The advisor’s reassurances lacked quantification and qualification, which did not instill the confidence they needed to transition into retirement.

They began to research and discovered their advisor was not a certified financial planner, which might explain the lack of detailed planning. As they delved deeper, concerns about fees and costly financial products surfaced. Their advisor’s explanations were vague and unsatisfactory. This led them to seek a second opinion, and they eventually reached out to our firm.

During our first conversation, it was evident that they lacked confidence in their financial future. We met and discussed their situation, but I encouraged them to interview other financial planners as well to ensure they found the best fit for their needs. This approach allowed them to address their concerns thoroughly and choose a planner who truly matched their expectations.

This story, like Jennifer’s, illustrates common reasons why individuals seek new financial advisors. It underscores the importance of feeling empowered and confident in your financial planning. Trusting your intuition and doing thorough research are crucial steps if you ever feel uncertain about your financial guidance.

These examples are shared to remind you of the importance of working with a qualified, trustworthy certified financial planner who prioritizes your best interests. Listen to your gut, do your homework, and ensure your financial advisor is the right fit for you. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out.

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