Are You Being Heard?

Written by Amanda Howerton, CFP

We live in a time where there is so much noise. Wonderful noises include the sound of our loved ones talking to us, with us and near us, making memories together, whether we realize the significance of those memories or not. Wonderful noises also include music of all varieties that make us happy, lift our spirits and entertain us. Necessary sounds such as the running of the HVAC or the tapping of the keyboard become so commonplace we may barely notice them. Unpleasant noises can be distracting, annoying or downright painful. This list could be equally as long, but for now, we will avoid listing those and acknowledge they exist.

With all the noises that surround us, I think we can all agree that the sound of a human voice, especially of someone for whom we love and care, can be one of the most comforting. One of my top three voices belongs to my sweet two-year-old daughter with the other two belonging to my seven-and-a-half-year-old daughter and my husband of nearly ten years. This sweet two-year-old is continually improving her speech, and her tiny voice is precious, but she has one phrase that cracks me every time; every day I hear her say, “Want money, want money, want money.”

The first time we heard “want money,” my husband and I curiously looked at each other with a bit of panic as the “want money, want money” cries got louder. We let our little one take us by the hand and guide us to a point in which she reached the pantry and pulled out gummies, and we finally understood what she truly wanted. She wasn’t asking for money (not yet at least, those years are coming), but she wanted GUMMIES! There is nothing audible in her request that sounded like gummies, but we heard loud and clear.

I smile to myself thinking about how often this plays out in real life. Oftentimes, we tell our loved ones what we want and need, and we hope they have heard us. Sometimes they have listened to us, and sometimes they have indeed heard us. My husband has heard me say I’m exhausted at the end of the day, and cleaning the kitchen is not high on my priority come late at night. I knew he truly heard me when we started tag-teaming the kitchen duties and asking what else he could assist with to make the evenings as enjoyable as possible.

As a senior advisor, I genuinely want to hear from you and your family. I want to ask questions to which your answers guide me to be able to listen to what you are saying completely. I want every one of my recommendations to take into consideration what I hear you say is most important to you. I want to listen to what you are saying but also understand the meaning behind it.

Some of my clients tell me that leaving a legacy is most important, some clients tell me retiring and being confident in their cash flow is most important and some clients tell me portfolio stability and returns are most important. My goal is to give each client the attention and access they desire so that I do hear what they are saying.

Your goals may sound like “money, money, money” the first time we sit down and talk. My job is to walk with you and ask the right questions so that I hear what you are really saying is, “Freedom, retirement, peace of mind and legacy.”

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