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New Year’s Resolutions and Thinking about Retirement

Junesoo Chang, CFPBy Junesoo Chang, CFP 

2012 is the 6th year since I began financial planning as my second career. Compared to most of my former bank colleagues who completely retired, I work actively enjoying my new career. I am proud of myself, as I have survived in the field for the last five years and I’m confident for the future. The New Year is meaningful to me in the sense that I turn 60 and I’m entitled to a national pension plan. In Korea, people who actively work at my age are an exception rather than a norm. Several months ago my story was covered by the media as an example that one of the best ways to prepare for retirement is to not retire.

New Years Goals

In the New Year, I’d like to keep in mind three goals in my financial planning business. My first goal is to spend more time developing my niche market. Five years of experience has helped me realize that my expertise goes best with small business CEOs. My former career of banking for 27 years has given me a variety of experiences including money and capital market, funding, and treasury. Thus, I can provide them with services in both personal and corporate sides of financial planning. The CEOs, compared to people in other sectors, are quicker in understanding the value of financial planning and my services.

My second goal is to spend more time on customer education. I often see many customers have shortcomings and biases. Sometimes, they are prone to make haste and emotionally-driven decisions. Even though it is not easy to persuade them, I will be patient to help them understand what the optimal decisions are. I think it will bring deeper trust in my customers’ minds in the longer term, even if it may sometimes cause disagreement between us in the short term. I have realized that the psychological side of customers must be developed in order for them to make sound financial decisions. To understand my customers deeper I am going to read more books on investor psychology.

My third goal is to network with other competent financial planners. In Korea, the value of financial planning is not yet widely understood by the general public. Combined efforts by front-running financial planners can create a win-win situation for all financial planners. We may share our expertise with one another, thus providing respective customers with more valuable planning. The higher the value of financial planning provided, the more people will recognize the profession. Word-of-mouth from our current clients can be the best advertisement. As a result, more people will look for financial planning services and financial planning business markets will grow.

Personal Goals

I’d like to keep in mind one more thing; a personal goal. Financial planners are commonly hard working people. I think I am one of them and sometimes work up to seven days a week.  Now I am turning sixty in the New Year and want to be sure that I don’t spend my sixties as a workaholic. With a good time management system and by rearranging my working process I will make more time to spend with my family and friends.

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