Center Team Unplugged

Center Stories: Bob Ingram, Financial Planner

Contributed by: Robert Ingram Robert Ingram

Money and finances can be very emotional topics and they can certainly seem confusing in today’s busy and complex world.  We all may have different emotions when it comes to money, emotions that shape how we manage our finances.  To me, financial planning is not just numbers on a spreadsheet or a group of investments in an account.  It is your own evolving roadmap to help guide you in making confident decisions in the face of uncertainties, concerns, or even exuberance.  A strong financial planning relationship is about helping you develop your life goals, truly understanding your personal situation and priorities, and taking steps to make the most of your resources to help achieve your goals.

I hope the video helps you get to know a little more about me and how I work with clients here at The Center.  If I can be a resource for you, please don’t hesitate to contact me!

Robert Ingram is a Financial Planner at Center for Financial Planning, Inc.®

Center Stories: Kali Hassinger, CFP®

Contributed by: Kali Hassinger, CFP® Kali Hassinger

Regardless of your circumstances or stage in life, there can be a general sense of anxiety surrounding money.  Our society tells us it's uncouth to discuss our personal finances with others, and in many cases fundamental financial concepts aren't taught in schools. This environment can make taking control of your financial life seem extremely difficult and overwhelming.

When I decided to become a financial planner, I knew that I wanted to help others to establish, maintain and ultimately reach their goals.

Money and finances are an integral part of our personal wellbeing, and the most effective way to feel empowered is through education.  I take the time to make sure you understand the financial planning process and that you feel confident in our decisions.  Whether you're starting from scratch or reevaluating your current plan, we can walk through each step together and without judgment. The relationship between you and your financial planner is profoundly personal and built on trust, and here at The Center there is nothing we take more seriously.

If you want to know a little more about my background, please check out my bio video above.

Kali Hassinger, CFP® is an Associate Financial Planner at Center for Financial Planning, Inc.®

Center Stories: Angela Palacios, CFP®

Contributed by: Angela Palacios, CFP® Angela Palacios

Getting to focus on what I love has made The Center a natural fit for me. While I spend much of my time “behind the scenes” here, you may not know exactly what it is that I do. 

Research and investments is what initially drew me to a career in the investment world. I came to the realization after working for a few years that investing and financial planning go hand-in-hand. Without financial planning, investing alone doesn’t always produce satisfactory results. That is why I got my CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification early in my career. Eventually these two passions landed me at The Center. Learn more about our investment department, its role within our firm and me here!

Angela Palacios, CFP® is the Director of Investments at Center for Financial Planning, Inc.® Angela specializes in Investment and Macro economic research. She is a frequent contributor The Center blog.

The Team behind the Team

Contributed by: Clare Lilek Clare Lilek

Have you ever wondered how our website always looks so organized or how our graphics are so cohesive? What about how we have so many professional videos with succinct content and consistent messaging? How about how creative our digital and social media is? All the while providing top financial service to our many clients! Well that doesn’t happen by accident; it occurs due to hard work, planning, and an array of talented professionals. We have a Creative Team that supports our Center Team every step of the way: Laura Garfield and Sharon Golutta of Idea Decanter, and Kimberly Wyman, our brand agent + graphic designer.

Idea Decanter provides a sounding board for new and intriguing ways to get pressing financial information, upcoming deadlines, and the daily activities of The Center out to our clients. The Center is a family and we want our clients to stay informed so they feel a part of the family, too. Creating fun videos, sharing pictures, and starting social media campaigns helps us do just that. In addition to Idea Decanter’s role, Kimberly Wyman coordinates and curates our brand aesthetics, website and all the fun graphics you see throughout social media, our monthly newsletter, CenterView, and reminders via social media. Together they help us cultivate and maintain our brand, communication tactics, and creative sanity!

Why utilize a Creative Team? Like all good plans, The Center must have its own personal strategy for our growing business, communicating with clients, and providing an overall engaging experience for our current and potential clients. Having a Creative Team whose time is dedicated to crafting our particular Center brand, breathes new life into our business and our company culture. We believe in the importance of digital communication and the transformative power of creativity. If we can get our message across in a manner that not only enlightens but engages our clients, then we have done our job. The Center staff focuses on making sure our clients can live their plan, and our Creative Team helps make sure The Center stays on mark with their own plan, while staying current with the changing times. 

Just like we are your supporting team, accomplishing financial tasks to make your life easier, our Creative Teams keeps The Center on track with branding and digital communication. This allows The Center Team to better focus on our clients financially, all while providing an engaging and cohesive experience for them digitally. We thank our Creative Team that allows us to better showcase the work we do and get helpful information to keep our clients informed and entertained.  

Clare Lilek is a Challenge Detroit Fellow / Client Service Associate at Center for Financial Planning, Inc.

Raymond James is not affiliated with and does not endorse the opinions or services of Laura Garfield, Sharon Gottula, Idea Decanter or Kimberly Wyman. Links are being provided for information purposes only. Raymond James is not affiliated with and does not endorse, authorize or sponsor any of the listed websites or their respective sponsors. Raymond James is not responsible for the content of any website or the collection or use of information regarding any website's users and/or members.

Technology Supports an Aging Population

Contributed by: Sandra Adams, CFP® Sandy Adams

I was recently given the opportunity to visit one of the nation’s top research university’s that has a research institute dedicated to  aging – quite a treat for a geek like me interested in the study of gerontology!  The trip attracted my attention to current studies that focus on topics such as how technology can impact the lives of older adults, and how different generations interpret and understand financial concepts and financial advice – both interesting concepts to our work with clients here at the The Center.

My favorite take-a-way from my trip was a new awareness of the new technology service resources that are now available. So many of my conversations with clients center around the independence and the desire to remain in their family owned homes for as long as possible.  What I learned on my recent trip was how new technology and sharing economic services can make it possible for older adults to fulfill their wants and needs, and potentially make it possible for them to remain active and independent for far longer than they ever thought possible. 

How can you or an older adult in your life make this work in your favor?

  • Start by becoming aware of new technology and the sharing service economy.  What am I talking about here?  Services like Uber for transportation, Pillboxie for medication reminders, Heartwise and Care Beacon for health monitoring and assistance, Washio for laundry services, Blue Apron for easy meal preparation, Task Rabbit for locating help with tasks around the house, and so many more.
  • Begin to think about your long life planning and what options and preferences you have in mind for your housing, care, etc.
  • Work with your financial planner and other professionals to put real plans in place to make sure your preferences can come true, and to make sure that you have access to all of the best and, if it makes sense, most technologically advanced, resources available to assist you.

Technology isn’t just for your kids and grandkids!  The tools and services now available can be used to make the aging process a more convenient, active and independent one for the ages – if we allow ourselves to explore it!

Sandra Adams, CFP® is a Partner and Financial Planner at Center for Financial Planning, Inc. Sandy specializes in Elder Care Financial Planning and is a frequent speaker on related topics. In addition to her frequent contributions to Money Centered, she is regularly quoted in national media publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Research Magazine and Journal of Financial Planning.

The information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee that the foregoing material is accurate or complete. Any opinions are those of Sandy Adams and not necessarily those of Raymond James. Raymond James is not affiliated with and does not endorse the services of the above mentioned companies in this material.

The Center Gives Back to our Community

Contributed by: Clare Lilek Clare Lilek

The end of the year is a busy time as we prepare for holidays, family time, and New Year resolutions. Here at The Center, we decided not to get caught up in the rush of the end of the year and instead carve out time to give back to the community around us and those less fortunate. One of the ways we’re doing this is through our charitable giving. Each month during the fourth quarter our team members have chosen a different cause to support monetarily. In October we donated to the Susan G. Komen Foundation, for November we supported Prostate Cancer Research, and for the month of December, we are donating money to Toys for Tots.

Not only do our team members give their money, but they give their time as well. On November 23rd we volunteered at Focus: Hope, packaging food in their warehouse that was delivered to homebound seniors. And on December 2nd we are volunteering at an organization in Detroit called Arts & Scraps. (UPDATE: The Center Team volunteered December 2nd as planned. Arts & Scraps measures success through smiles. We helped foster 3,000-4,000 future smiles! THAT’S A LOT OF CHILD HAPPINESS!)  The organization’s goal is to take recycled industrial materials and create art packages to give to students and communities to encourage learning through art. 


Though our individual team members have a range of diverse interests, we unite in our desire to give back to the community around us. During these group volunteer days, we have the chance to learn about different organizations around the Detroit area while participating in a Center value of philanthropy.

At The Center, we also like to donate specific items to charities. Most recently staff members donated hundreds of books to RX For Reading Detroit to help combat the "book desert" in the city. John Mio brought the book drive and organization to our attention and in conjunction with our donations collected over 700 books for the organization!

This power of collective has been seen daily in the office since we partnered with Toys for Tots. Our clients, team members, friends, and family have donated toys to our ever-growing collection. We have already filled one box to the brim and are looking to fill another with new, unused, and unwrapped toys. If you would like to donate toys, feel free to either stop by or send them directly to our office in Southfield by December 16th!

This time of year is filled with love and joy spread by family time in conjunction with so many beloved holidays. The Center is thankful for our good fortune and for the hard work of our dedicated team. We are even more grateful that these kindhearted people contribute to the community in positive and meaningful ways, both individually and collectively. The Center is happy to be part of this communal giving and we’re dedicated to continuing this good will and spirit into the New Year.

Clare Lilek is a Challenge Detroit Fellow / Client Service Associate at Center for Financial Planning, Inc.

Raymond James is not affiliated with any of the charities mentioned. Links are being provided for information purposes only. Raymond James is not affiliated with and does not endorse, authorize or sponsor any of the listed websites or their respective sponsors. Raymond James is not responsible for the content of any website or the collection or use of information regarding any website's users and/or members.

The Ladder to Adulthood—What Millennials Need to Know

Contributed by: Clare Lilek Clare Lilek

I graduated from college in 2014, and this year started the first salaried job of my professional career. These are big steps in what I call my “ladder to adulthood.” What is this ladder, you may ask? Well twenty-somethings (and thirty-somethings too) each have their own ladder to adulthood: the stepping blocks we accomplish little by little to become full adults. These steps can include becoming participating civil citizens, being financially independent, and having a sense of life and economic stability. Yeah, it’s a pretty important ladder.

When you turn eighteen, your ladder begins as you choose your next steps after graduating high school. Depending on how knowledgeable you are about the adult decisions that lie ahead and how ready you are to make said decisions, you could have a step ladder, or something reminiscent of a skyscraper.

Personally, I didn’t realize exactly how long my own ladder to adulthood was until I arrived at The Center. This is my first time working in the financial industry and my previous exposure to these topics were hushed whispers of the mysterious 401ks and the disappearance of pensions—what did that even mean?! After working here for a couple of months, not only did I figure out what a 401k is, but in general, my knowledge about financial topics has grown exponentially. But that got me thinking, if I didn’t work at The Center, when would I have learned all this? Would it have been too late? Well, not to worry, I have compiled a very basic list of what millennials entering the workforce fulltime should be (but aren’t necessarily) doing:

  1. Think about your future. 401ks and IRAs are fancy terms for savings – savings that are dedicated to your retirement. The earlier you open one of these accounts, the more money you can accumulate and the more stable you’ll be when your retirement comes.
  2. Understand the importance of the market. Investments are the way of the world and just saving money in a bank account is not going to accrue as much interest as investing does. 401ks and IRAs take your savings and invests it in the market which, in theory, will allow you to have more money than just by keeping your money in the bank.
  3. Know the lingo. Stocks vs bonds, and the pros and cons of each. Understand diversified portfolios and what that means for stability.
  4. Save, save, and save some more! Have a budget that includes savings, and stick to it. Don’t live beyond your means, an important life lesson! And when budgeting, save a portion of each monthly salary.
  5. Have a plan. If investments and 401ks are mysteries to you, there is no shame in having a Certified Financial Planner™ help create a plan with you—actually, it’s a very “adult” thing to do. They can set up accounts, plan for your future, and make sure you’re in the know.

Hey Millennial, if you were to win the lottery today, would your first thought be, “I should probably invest that money and save for my future?” What about your second or third thought? I’m going to take a guess that, no, that’s probably not in your initial thought process. But shouldn’t it be? That’s my point. We’re not talking about these topics and no one is talking to us about them, yet they are crucial in securing our future.

We learn as preschoolers that the early bird gets the worm, and in this case, the early bird gets a more comfortable retirement and financial life. Just by learning about financial planning, investments and the like, you are stepping up that ladder to adulthood and ensuring that when you step off that ladder, you’re stepping onto a stable platform.

Clare Lilek is a Challenge Detroit Fellow / Client Service Associate at Center for Financial Planning, Inc.

Any information is not a complete summary or statement of all available data necessary for making an investment decision and does not constitute a recommendation. Any opinions are those of Clare Lilek and not necessarily those of Raymond James. 401(k) plans are long-term retirement savings vehicles. Withdrawal of pre-tax contributions and/or earnings will be subject to ordinary income tax and, if taken prior to age 59 1/2, may be subject to a 10% federal tax penalty. Prior to making an investment decision, please consult with your financial advisor about your individual situation.

Veterans Day Tribute to Those Who Served

Contributed by: Center for Financial Planning, Inc. The Center

The Veterans Day holiday offers us all an opportunity to say “thank you” to those who served our country. This year, we wanted to include a personal tribute to some special veterans who are close to our hearts. From WWII through Korea and Vietnam, relatives of our Center team have bravely answered the call of duty. For this, we are grateful, today and always.

The Value of Knowing Where You’re Going

Contributed by: Timothy Wyman, CFP®, JD Tim Wyman

Recently one of the most quotable fellas of our time, Yogi Berra, passed away. It is impressive how much meaning can be captured in a short sentence like, “You can observe a lot by just watching” or “It ain’t over till it’s over.” One of my favorite quotes is from Roy E. Disney, brother of Walt Disney who is credited as saying, “When your values are clear to you, making decisions becomes easier.” If you have been to our web site and visited my profile, you have seen a play on the quote that I use:

"When your vision is clear, your decisions are easy."

 I know, you’re thinking: Sir, I knew Roy E. Disney and you are no Roy E. Disney.  However, whenever faced with a challenging issue, whether it is personal or business related, I find it helpful and even therapeutic to go back to vision or values as Roy suggests.

The Center developed a set of values years ago to help us make decisions and we not only talk about them but strive to live them each day. Recently during an All Staff meeting we reviewed and discussed our values, what they meant to us, and how we could embrace them even more.

Our values are more than words; they serve to guide us in our everyday actions. Everything that we do is about our clients and our team with values leading the way. Our Center values include:

  • Congruence between Words & Deeds
  • Compassionate and Effective Leadership
  • Passion for Excellence
  • Strong Work Ethic
  • Professionalism & Competence
  • Balanced Life
  • Commitment to the Financial Planning Process
  • Continuous Learning and Personal Growth

At our meeting recently we dug into the meaning behind a few of these values:

Compassionate & Effective Leadership

We are compassionate leaders to our clients, to our communities, and to our families.  Leadership isn’t bestowed by position or title – one can exhibit compassionate and effective leadership regardless of role or “boss” title.

Passion for Excellence

One team member shared, “It is all encompassing.”  A passion for excellence means you act with integrity, continuously learn, have strong work ethic, etc.

We also talked about giving future space to consider other values such as Service to Others/Servant Leadership and Intellectual Curiosity.

Without a strong set of values and vision of what’s important in your life – you might just live out one of Yogi’s classic observations:

“If you don't know where you are going, you'll end up someplace else.”

Timothy Wyman, CFP®, JD is the Managing Partner and Financial Planner at Center for Financial Planning, Inc. and is a contributor to national media and publications such as Forbes and The Wall Street Journal and has appeared on Good Morning America Weekend Edition and WDIV Channel 4. A leader in his profession, Tim served on the National Board of Directors for the 28,000 member Financial Planning Association™ (FPA®), mentored many CFP® practitioners and is a frequent speaker to organizations and businesses on various financial planning topics.

Live Your Plan: Estelle Wade

Contributed by: Center for Financial Planning, Inc. The Center

We think it’s as important to Live YOUR Plan as it is to make your plan. Every day we work with clients to build visions of retirement and we love seeing those visions become reality. About 30 years ago, Estelle Wade helped start Center for Financial Planning. From those early days until her retirement in 2002, she helped build hundreds of retirement plans. And as she worked for her clients, Estelle also took time to put her own plan in place. Today, she’s living it out with her husband Gene in Arizona. We caught up with her to find out how she had put her projections into practice.