Easing Financial Stress to Age Gracefully
Aug 27, 2017 06:39PM
● By Sheila Julson
The adage “money isn’t everything” may have some truth, but the reality for most people is that it can either add to or reduce stressors of daily living, particularly as people enter their Golden Years. Andrew Wallover, a Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) with Northwestern Mutual, strives to put clients at ease by helping them assess their financial goals and ambitions, while providing a warm, welcoming ambiance at Northwestern Mutual’s historic Lancaster office.
Wallover, the Managing Director of Northwestern Mutual - Lancaster, pursued a career in the financial profession after his grandfather told him to not become an architect. “My father and grandfather are both architects. They said I should choose a profession in finance, where I can help people, and that sparked my interest,” he reflects. “I studied finance in college, and I loved it.”
As a financial planner with Northwestern Mutual since 2005, Wallover finds the Milwaukee-based insurance company, founded in 1857, a perfect match with his professional and personal beliefs. He, along with a team of four employees, works with individuals, families and small business owners whose companies consist of fewer than 100 employees.
“We help clients design a comprehensive financial plan that encompasses three areas: The first is risk management, which is cash saving, debt reduction, life, health and disability income insurance—the foundational defensive strategy to financial planning,” Wallover explains. “The second is wealth accumulation. We help clients identify goals such as education and retirement planning, or buying or selling a business, and help them understand the financial resources available. The third is wealth preservation and distribution.”
Building a lifelong relationship with a financial planner can lead to a comfortable aging process. “We say ‘life by design, versus by default,’” Wallover says. “We work with clients to identify goals and create a game plan to help them achieve those goals. We set expectations around the market fairly low, so they can save toward a plan and not have to stress about day-to-day movement in the market.”
Financial goals can be as different as fingerprints, so Wallover and his team design financial strategies around what each client hopes to accomplish as they near retirement. “We make sure we rebalance our clients on a fairly regular basis. Depending on their goals and time horizons, that can mean quarterly, semi-annually or annually,” he says. “Everybody is different; your financial plan should not be generalized, but instead meet you where you’re at, and at a level where you’re comfortable, which will definitely help reduce stress.”
Some financial firms specifically target certain clientele, such as high net worth individuals, but Wallover jokes that he likes to work with “nice people” that match the firm’s values and mission statement: Enriching lives, impacting communities and building legacies, and the ‘four C’s’: caring, communication, collective responsibility and courage.
Wallover’s clients have also become his friends. He often gets invited to family milestone events happening in client’s lives. Most of the advisors on Wallover’s team are under age 40, allowing them to establish relationships with first and second generations of the families he serves.
A common financial mistake Wallover sees are people comparing their own financial status to that of others. “People need to step back and evaluate their own financial goals,” he says. “There’s no cookie-cutter approach, or one right way to do this.” But he also observes a “less-is-more” European attitude taking hold in America, where people are not focusing on “keeping up with the Joneses,” and instead living in modest homes and not building debt by accumulating vast material possessions, which can also lead to unnecessary stress.
Wallover’s firm, like the entire Northwestern Mutual organization, is active in supporting many charities such as Alex’s Lemonade Stand, pediatric cancer awareness and donating funds to Millersville University’s student athletic fund.
Northwestern Mutual is located at 280 Granite Run Dr., Ste. 100, and 448 Murry Hill Cir., both in Lancaster. For more information, call 717-205-4040 or visit AndrewWallover.NM.com.