Looking Forward To The Future
This year, Dad and I will celebrate milestones in our careers as your advisors. My father joined Don Fleming 35 years ago in 1986. I joined Dad ten years later. Our office manager, Susan (who is also my wife), has been working with us for 26 years.
Like everyone, we are not getting any younger. Clients often ask Dad when he plans to retire. He has no plans to stop working any time soon. He has been blessed with excellent physical health, and remains sharp and focused. But, eventually he will step away from the daily operations.
Susan will retire at the end of this year. Her contributions to our success often go unnoticed on the outside. She is the one who makes sure everything gets done. She handles the paperwork, deals with TD Ameritrade, processes your distribution requests, and so much more. We would not be where we are without her. The person who steps into her role will have big shoes to fill.
This year, I will reach the big “Five-0”. I still have many good years in front of me to help guide you through your journey. The next several years will look much different than the last 25.
In 1996, Dad was only a few years older than I am right now. Don had retired two years earlier. Clients began asking what our plan was if something happened to him. That is how I got here. Fast-forwarding to 2021, we face the same challenge. Clients now ask what plans we have if something happens to me.
The next generation of our family has pursued different career paths. My daughter is a teacher and married to an airman. Currently they are living in the Florida Panhandle. My son graduates from college in a few weeks, and he will pursue a career as an electrical engineer. My two step-daughters have careers in other industries. One lives in Durham, North Carolina and the other in Orlando, Florida. Keeping this a family business does not appear to be realistic.
We view our relationship as a long-term commitment to you. Helping you achieve your most cherished, life-long goals is our highest priority. This makes addressing the continuity of our firm extremely important.
Over the past two years, we have been taking steps to address this issue. It comes with many challenges. Values and principles need to align. Personalities must mix well. Philosophies and beliefs about how to help our clients must match.
Despite those challenges, we are making progress. Later this year we expect to have a plan in place to resolve this concern. In addition, we also believe our plan will allow us to deepen our relationships with you, broaden our capabilities, and improve how we run our business. Rest assured, one thing will not change. Our commitment to putting our clients first remains the highest priority.
About the Author
Neal Watson is a Certified Financial Planner™ Professional and a Financial Advisor with Fleming Watson Financial Advisors. He specializes in helping hard working, middle class families plan for retirement.