With planning comes choices. My goal is to empower my clients so that they can choose when to retire, as well as how they want to live in retirement. I also want to help families so aging parents aren’t a financial burden on their adult children.
I am an only child, and both of my parents suffered long illnesses before they passed away, five weeks apart, in 2010. I saw how beneficial it was for my dad to have long term care insurance, as he was in a nursing home with end stage dementia for three years. I also saw how hard it was to find competent home care for my mother, who was homebound for nearly eight years. I want to help families to understand the importance of planning for the very-likely possibility of a long-term care event for themselves or their parents. And it’s important to me that my clients are adequately insured to help prevent financial hardship on top of a tragedy.
I love helping people – whether it is with a routine transaction or a complicated or delicate matter. As a financial advisor, every day I get to do something to help someone else. I joined The Meakem Group in 2015, after a long career break. Before that, I practiced family law and dealt with divorce, custody, child support, and visitation – all highly personal and sensitive matters.
I have a special interest in helping parents of children with special needs or health challenges. I have seen the costs associated with having a child with special needs – and not just in dollars. The impact is on the entire family, and it can often jeopardize a marriage. I want to help take the financial stress away from these parents, so they can focus on their family.
Outside the office, I teach 6th graders the fundamentals of finance through our local Junior Achievement program. For 5 weeks, I walk them through everything from setting a budget to understanding a credit score. In one exercise, each student was assigned a job with a set salary and they had to figure out how to pay the bills. For the child who drew “doctor”, it wasn’t so hard. The students who ended up in fast food or flower arranging had an eye-opening experience making ends meet. I truly believe that financial education starts at home and I work with clients to foster a dialogue among families about money. I have seen situations where family members refuse to talk about money – to everyone’s detriment. It is akin to the driver who refuses to stop and ask for directions. So many problems could be avoided if families could be open with each other about their financial situations.
When I’m working with you, I want you to feel like you are a part of our family. At The Meakem Group, we truly care about you. That’s because it is vital for us to truly know you and to make sure that we are on the same page about your goals, dreams, and ideals.
On a Personal Note
In my free time, my husband, my 15-year-old son Bennett and I like to pack up and head to Bethany Beach, Delaware. Though I’m not a beach person, I love the slow, quiet down time in a place that’s been a family retreat since my childhood. You might find me there putting together a jigsaw puzzle, listening to an audio book (Brian Grazer’s A Curious Mind is one of my recent favorites) or squeezing in some time on the tennis court. I picked up a love of tennis from my dad, who taught himself how to play at the age of 14. Even though he couldn’t afford lessons, he’d watch other kids on the court who could. Even as Dad’s health declined at the end of his life, he could still swing a racket from his wheelchair, hitting every ball I tossed his way. It’s hard not to think of him when I pick up a racket and I’m grateful that even today, the sport makes me feel connected to his memory.