"If it's worth doing, it's worth doing well"
"You come much closer to meeting your goals when you set the goals in the first place"
"Pay yourself first, and save more than your highest bill per month."
Growing up in a conservative, middle-class family, I heard many of these quotes from my parents during conversations at Sunday dinner. I didn't realize (at the time) that these were great concepts to live by. I wish I could say I realized right away what some of these quotes actually meant, but it wasn't until I had a family of my own that I understood. One day, as I repositioned money in my savings account to cover my automatic investment plans, it suddenly occurred to me that I was paying myself first-and saving more than I paid out in my highest bills! So guess what I find myself telling my kids? That's right, I may have turned into my parents.
Not only have I instilled a goal-setting tradition on my family of four, I have also brought this to our firm. Your goals, and planning to achieve them, form the basis for our work with our clients. Now, numbers have always come easily to me, and that is probably why I got my college degree in Mathematics. But I understand that many people find numbers confusing, or intimidating. One of the things that I love about my work is explaining financial concepts simply, in a consultative way, so that the numbers have meaning to our clients… (Did I mention that I also taught math to high school students?)
Our process empowers our clients to feel comfortable with both the numbers and the decisions they face. The meeting is relaxed and the financial planning concepts are discussed before implementing strategies. It is also highly likely that the topic of food will come up. Being a "foodie", I do enjoy talking about food as much as consuming it. Almost! I've aptly augmented a childhood quote from, "If it is worth doing, it is worth doing well." to, "If it is worth doing, it is worth doing it with food." So don't be surprised if our meeting entails tuna steak or scallops.
Food is often followed up with family, or is it the other way around? I enjoy spending time with my wife of 25 years, Maria, and our children, Kimberly and Joey. We are very familiar with the college planning process, as Kim has recently graduated from college and Joey is starting his junior year. It seemed a lot to save at the time, but I am glad I planned for college when the kids were young. Those monthly 529 plan deposits didn't cover all of their schooling but eased the burden significantly. Ask me any questions about the FAFSA forms and I could probably answer from first-hand experience.
From banking to financial planning, I have been in the financial service business for over 30 years. In addition to my Mathematics degree from Westfield State University, I am an investment Advisor Representative with Commonwealth Financial Network, an independent broker/dealer. Along with holding securities registration Series 7 and 65, I am also licensed in life and long-term care. I gained this additional expertise because planning concerns surrounding health and longevity of life are paramount to a sound financial plan and legacy. Just look around at how long people are living nowadays, and you'll understand why we seek to provide additional peace of mind and protection when implementing your plan.
While I once thought I would be teaching Math as a profession, I have far more enjoyment and satisfaction helping people understand the numbers behind their financial independence. I invite you to call us, and share your story-and perhaps see how easily we can make your numbers work for you.
Money was tight when Jean Kelley was growing up, and she learned early on the importance of financial education and planning. When she was young, Jean's family found ways to have fun that didn't involve money, and Jean has fond memories of weekly picnics and camping trips with her parents and four siblings. But, as she grew older, Jean began to understand her family's financial limitations, and realized that if she wanted anything, she would need to earn the money herself. As a result, Jean started working young, first babysitting, then delivering newspapers, then working at a local McDonald's while in high school.
Jean's parents married young, and had 5 children to care for. Her father worked hard to provide for the family, and Jean (as the oldest) had a lot of responsibility as the big sister. Jean remembers that as each child graduated high school, they were required to pay a nominal amount of rent, to teach the kids a lesson in financial responsibility. Later, when each child married, their parents returned the saved money to them as a gift. Jean's father was able to retire at age 55, and Jean learned (somewhat to her surprise) that her father had understood the importance of regular savings, building a nest egg a little bit at a time.
Married for almost 40 years to her husband, Robert, the Kelley's live in Westfield. Robert is the Contract Coordinator for the Big E in West Springfield, his employer for over 45 years. Their daughter, Katelyn, is a licensed realtor in Boulder, CO, a place Jean enjoys visiting. Like her mother, Kate learned financial responsibility early on; she worked while going to school, was disciplined, paid her bills on time and built her savings. The result was that at the age of 25, Kate purchased her own condo, and as a self-employed individual, Kate takes advantage of available tax opportunities.
When not at work, Jean enjoys spending time at her home near the shore in Rhode Island, as well as their new home in Southwest Florida. She likes to play golf, even if she's not very good at it. Traveling with friends ranks high on her list of activities. Jean and Bob frequently dine out and enjoy trying new places; if you have any suggestions, she'd love to hear them. Jean has been an active volunteer at the Springfield Rescue Mission, having worked in their clothing shelter, cooking and serving in the kitchen, packaging meals for delivery to homebound and serving meals to the homeless around the holidays. She has worked for the Make-A-Wish Foundation as a Wish Maker, helping children's wishes come true. In addition, Jean has participated in Commonwealth's Cares Programs.
In 2001, Jean earned her CFM (Certified Financial Manager) certification from Merrill Lynch. She has been recognized for outstanding services to investors in Hampshire County and for her financial expertise and dedication to principles of sound investing. She holds all required securities licenses as an Investment Advisor Representative of Commonwealth Financial Network. In addition, she holds her life and health insurance licenses. Jean has also been recognized as a Winner's Circle advisor in 2013 and 2014 - a distinction based on annual production attained by just 26 percent of advisors affiliated with Commonwealth Financial Network.
Caring about people makes servicing her clients easy. Jean wants her clients to be comfortable working with her and with the decisions they need to make. Jean stresses to her clients, "Wealth isn't defined by portfolio performance alone; wealth is defined by what's important to you." Knowing what's important to her clients is what helps Jean craft individual solutions, and it's probably why so many clients refer her to their family and friends.