We hold our clients accountable, and we hold ourselves accountable. I hold my clients accountable to the goals that they set out, and we truly, truly track them and hold them accountable to them. If they tell me they want to retire by the age of 62, we’re going to make sure they retire by 62. If it’s changed, you’ve got to let us know because we’re going to hold you accountable to it.
In every meeting we set out, everything is based upon goals of what they want. And sometimes I have to remind them and say, “We’re just holding you accountable to what you want to do, not what I want to do. It’s not about me retiring. I can retire if I want. But you’re telling us you want to retire, and that’s what you hire us to do.”
So that part of it is often clients forget this is what they’ve told you they wanted to do. And we’re holding them accountable to it. When they get to that point, “I never thought I’d get there.” We held them accountable to what they wanted to do.
When you can retire financially, a lot of them don’t want to. But it’s to have the choice to be able to do that. So they’re grateful that we held them accountable. “Danielle, thanks for your help retiring.” I say, “I didn’t do the work; I just held you accountable. You’re the one who saved the money. What I thank you for is that you trust me, you trusted us in your process that we made you save the money.” They’re the ones that did the work, but they think you did it.
We have a list of five or 10 years before retirement. So if we know it’s 10 years before retirement, we send them that list of what they need to do. Five years before retirement, what they need to do. And we don’t give that out in the meeting — we mail out to them. Little things like that also help set up their goals.
Danielle J. Genier, CFP, CLU, is a 21-year MDRT member from Timmins, Ontario, Canada.