Naples, Italy was my home for 18 years until I moved to the United States for college. Italians are one of a kind: simple, persevering, welcoming, animated, and consistently finding humor in any obstacle thrown their way.
Growing up, I saw this humor shine through, particularly when it came to finances. A common joke I’d hear was: “Hai fatto il calcolo per la pensione?” “Sì, la prenderò vent’anni dopo la mia morte.” Translation: “Have you calculated what your pension will be?” “Yes, I’ll be able to get it 20 years after I die.” With humor as a shield, and strictly abiding by cultural codes for when and with whom financial conversations can be had, you can imagine the tension that happens when money talk comes up.
When I was 10, my parents and I took a week-long family vacation to the Dolomiti Mountains for outdoorsy natural exposure and fun. We had such an incredible time exploring the nearby mountain towns decorated in Christmas lights, skiing down the vast slopes for hours, and ending our days at unique restaurants nearby.
We traveled home and settled back into our routine when a looming tension began visiting our house. After dinner, my dad would seclude himself in his office every night with an unspoken “do not disturb.” From across the hall, I could hear frenzied typing on his computer and his frequent defeated sighs.
I knew what was stressing him and badly wanted to help in any way I could, but my mom insisted we leave him alone since he did not want to talk. Like many, my dad likes doing things on his own and is not inclined to ask for help. Soon after our trip, the 2008 financial crisis arrived at the financial world’s door. My father’s late night office visits became longer and more frequent than ever.
Retirement weighed deeply on my father’s heart. It is hard enough being open about finances, but the vulnerability that talking about retirement evokes is an entirely different beast. I truly struggled with the pain of not being able to help my dad with his worries about his future.
So I grew up and took it upon myself to learn about finance, markets, and economics, eventually leading me to a career in financial planning. I pursued additional education in Financial Therapy, a type of counseling focused on helping people improve their financial behaviors by understanding the underlying causes and motivations behind them. To say feelings out loud means we can ultimately do something about them.
My goal has always been to make “money talk” as normal as possible. I like to keep things simple, and I love including as many family members as necessary to make sure everyone involved feels empowered. Whether it’s teaching kids about the basics of saving, newlyweds about budgeting and the best path towards financial freedom, or elders about the importance of an estate plan, I truly love what I do.
How I’m expanding what’s possible with money
Personally, one of my greatest achievements was guiding my father through the process of retirement. Whether with clients, friends, or family, my goal is to simplify the intricacies of financial planning and normalize conversations around money. There is so much to balance in life and I deeply enjoy helping others gain confidence in their money lives.
Outside of work, my passions include
In the winter, you’ll often find me in Naples, Italy visiting my grandparents and parents, stuffing myself with pizza and great wine. In the summer, I spend as much time at the beach as possible. Year round? I love concerts, snowboarding, hiking, playing beach volleyball, traveling, and taking a variety of dance classes.