Growing up, I thought I was pretty lucky. My self-employed parents worked from home as a technical writer and graphic artist so they were there for me every day after school. It wasn’t until I was 12 I realized our family didn’t have much money. I saw my friends Melissa and Monica had back-to-school budgets for clothes and accessories; I had trash bags from the church filled with hand-me-downs. My parents couldn’t afford to buy a home, so we lived in subsidized housing until I was 18. It was only after I moved out that my parents could buy their first house. That’s when I decided I wanted to help people reach their goals, just as my parents were finally able to reach theirs.
I entered the industry in 2001, working for eight years at a financial planning and investment management firm. Unfortunately, I found our “comprehensive financial planning” wasn’t truly comprehensive or proactive at all. I knew deep down I wanted to provide planning in a more detailed and holistic way, and I wanted to be there for my own family and two young kids. In 2009, I decided to start my own firm.
Over the next four years, I changed the lives of hundreds of families through customized, comprehensive, and authentic financial plans. And those hundreds of families changed my life, too. But as my firm grew, I knew if I wanted to touch more people and provide more value to clients, I needed to be part of something bigger – something with the vision to reach thousands of lives. In 2013, I merged my practice with Abacus Wealth Partners.
Around this time, I was experiencing another major life transition: my marriage was falling apart. The divorce was not only emotionally difficult, but the financial issues that cropped up in the splitting of our lives were just as devastating. From then on, I knew I would focus my planning work on financially educating women going through these same trials. I have since obtained my Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA) designation, and holding my client’s hands as they walk through one of the most difficult life transitions continues to be some of the most rewarding work I do.
How I’m expanding what’s possible with money
I give free financial literacy talks to college students and communities who haven’t traditionally had access to financial planning. I believe early financial planning education will help the next generation of adults make better financial choices. I teach my kids about conservation, social justice, and charitable giving, hoping to build a new generation of conscious individuals. Abacus also has a great telecommuting program, which cuts down on travel and my own environmental impact.
Outside of work, my passions include
My four kids and all their activities (baseball, softball, parkour, and theater) keep my new husband and I busy most weekends. Whenever possible I stay active outdoors through hiking and camping, slow pitch co-ed softball (I’ve played for 20+ years!), and CrossFit. After too many years of not being able to read enough to enrich my mind and soul, I finally have a dedicated budget for regular book purchases and my personal reading pleasure.