I think I may have been born a planner. I have early memories of organizing everything. I am told I planned my outfits as a toddler. In my closet of keepsakes I have custom, color coded calendars dating back to second grade. I remember my first passbook savings account where I would stash my babysitting earnings. This was the early 1980s when savings accounts earned double digit interest. I was hooked!
As the oldest child of a single parent, I was keenly aware of the importance of budgeting. I knew first hand the struggle to make ends meet and the fear of not having enough to get through the month. Getting through college on scholarships, financial aid and student loans, I felt the struggle of entering adulthood with the burden of debt. Even with the privilege of choosing to be a stay at home mom, my family had to make financial trade offs in exchange for the joy of being home with children.
As I have witnessed the growing up of my own three children and the very different path each has chosen, I feel even more strongly about the importance of financial education in the very foundation of our communities. I speak to friends and neighbors every day, young, old and in-between and see the need for solid, honest advice on matters of household finance, spending, saving and giving. I find that my many experiences and learning opportunities have given me an ear for people's concerns and an eye for possible solutions to the unique puzzles presented by personal finance.
And so I took the plunge and began formal training to become a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional. I have learned much about investments, insurance, estate planning, college funding, debt, taxes, planning for retirement and more. Beyond all of the tools and math calculations, the thing I find to be the most important aspect to successful financial planning is a positive and trusted relationship between the client and advisor. Listening and taking the time to understand that everyone has a unique set of goals and hopes and dreams. There is no right or wrong answer, only a series of choices. I try to open my heart as well as use my head in helping clients navigate the incredibly varied journey that is their own amazing life. This is my goal every day.
Jennipher Lommen is a Certified Financial Planner TM and Enrolled Agent who offers comprehensive financial planning and tax advice to clients in Santa Cruz, CA and beyond.