Planners' Perspective: From PR to Finance

 Part 4 of a series that will shed some light on who we are and why we love financial planning. Sandy Adams never set out to be a financial planner, but that’s right where she landed and today she’s our resource on Elder Care issues.

I like to think that the Center and I found each other at just the right time.  It was 1996 and I had spent nearly four years searching for the right fit.  I graduated in 1992 from Eastern Michigan University with a bachelor’s degree in Public Relations and Business Management.  My goal had been to use my public relations degree in the non-profit sector; in 1996, I found myself working in the communications department at Hospice of Michigan, with my job on the line due to funding issues.  Just at that time, I received a call from my friend Eric Wade (Estelle Wade’s son who was also the guy who hired me for my first job out of college) to see if I might be looking for a job.  I set up an interview with Dan Boyce, and Marilyn Gunther and that’s where my journey in financial planning began.

I had little experience or knowledge of the industry, but immediately recognized that this was an area where my strengths in organization, problem solving, and helping people could be put to use.  I had learned strong money and savings skills from my parents, but began to learn about financial planning in detail on the job.  Dan, Marilyn and Estelle were all wonderful mentors, willing to share their knowledge and experience with me…and I was more than willing to take it all in.  When I made the decision to pursue my Certified Financial Planner™ designation, the Center was more than supportive in helping me make it happen.  Not only have I learned valuable technical knowledge and strategies, but even more important, I have learned how important trust, relationships, and the desire to help clients is to being a good financial planner.

My desire to help others has led me even further to focus on Elder Care financial planning, which keeps me challenged every day.  I feel that this knowledge helps me to assist not only the Center team, but Center clients and others who are facing challenges as they, or their parents, age.  As the population shift continues, I hope to be a leader in the field when it comes to educating the financial planning professionals and the public in general on aging-related financial issues.  My best advice…plan ahead for EVERY stage of life.