By Alexander Germanis
Adulthood brings with it a large number of responsibilities. With parenthood, that number of responsibilities can seem to increase exponentially. In fact, it is common for parents to say all of one’s priorities change when one has children.
At the top of the list of priorities is the need and desire to financially support your family. For many, it’s a concern and a mission that extends beyond a lifetime.
And for those who want to have a plan in place to provide for their loved ones when they may no longer be with them, McBeath Financial Group helps provide a path.
Five years before becoming an Investment Advisor Representative for the company she founded in 2008, Krista McBeath was an insurance agent specializing in safe money options to protect retirees from market risks. It was a growth in philosophy that sparked the evolution for her company.
“Too many people are caught up in the retirement planning trap,” she states. “They have their greatest asset (their IRA/401K) they have worked all their lives for. Most advisors in my industry only want to show them how to ‘not outlive’ their money! Why should they settle for that? They shouldn’t. We have a comprehensive planning process that shows our clients whether they can live the lifestyle they desire while strategically planning for tax savings opportunities, and the various threats to retirement.
Many laugh about a popular meme, “I want to live life to the fullest until my last check bounces on the day of my funeral!” While an amusing saying, Krista bristles at the thought! Why wouldn’t you plan to live the lifestyle you deserve and leave a legacy behind!?! Aren’t your children or grandchildren or even worthy causes you support deserving? Many of the principles of her book, The Generational Wealth System, revolve around a systematic approach to creating and preserving wealth, which results in an abundance to be shared with future generations. Krista shares with her clients that while the primary objective of planning is to improve the financial situation of her client, often creating additional wealth through strategic tax savings and investments, that there is a residual benefit that is often created for loved ones or charitable causes.
Don’t Plan To Plan
The thought of having a legacy to leave behind might not seem so unpleasant, but the act of establishing and planning to pass on that legacy can be one many people prefer to put off.
“The best way to make the most of retirement funds is to stop procrastinating on the planning,” Krista assures. “A financial planner and wealth manager can literally pay for themselves many times over by helping to avoid mistakes, maximize returns, avoid unnecessary risks, and reduce taxes!”
Procrastination is even more costly an action—or rather inaction—when it comes to professional financial planning or estate planning, Krista warns. For example, just recently a woman came to McBeath Financial Group…a couple months later than she should have. During the initial consultation it was discovered she had made a 401k withdrawal error that cost her tens of thousands of dollars in taxes. With the proper guidance from a competent financial advisor, this calamity could have been avoided.
“When it comes to estate planning, we’ve had people wait too long,” Krista shares. “It becomes more difficult if a spouse dies and it can be even more problematic if the client suffers from cognitive decline.”
When all your hard work is at stake, simply planning to plan is not only not good enough, but it can also undo so much of what you’ve built up over the years.
Building Their Own Legacy
Practicing what she preaches, Krista has been actively preparing for her own legacy in a way as well. She and her husband Robert have placed a priority on the future and continuity of the company, investing massive resources into a foundation for generational growth. Infrastructure upgrades such as IT, security, documented procedures and systems, and strict compliance adherence have been addressed.
But the true longevity of the company will come from the development of the next generation of leaders. Julie Karstens and Lauren Dennewitz are among the first.
Julie is a Financial Planner and Investment Advisor Representative who joined the company in 2021. She previously worked at a local bank in the financial planning and trust division for over eight years and brings with her a degree in finance from Illinois State, the designation of Certified Trust and Fiduciary Advisor, and is an honor graduate from Cannon Financial Institute. She is also working on her CFP® designation.
Financial Services Assistant Lauren has been with the company since 2019 and had previously worked in another financial services office. In 2020 Lauren earned her Illinois insurance license and also assists in the servicing of insurance policies.
Julie and Lauren will not be alone, of course. Krista insists on attracting and retaining the best talent for the next generation of McBeath Financial. But talent alone is not enough. It is vitally important that McBeath Financial continues to be made up of a team that embraces and exhibits the heart and soul of what the company is. Krista points out, “The most important thing to us is to find people that fit our culture. What makes Julie and Lauren special isn’t just their intelligence and competence or what great communicators they are. They are both truly selfless individuals that show up day in and day out with a great attitude and looking to serve our clients the best way possible. This empathy, ethics, and ability to connect to people is something that cannot be trained. Yes, they have the necessary skills, but they are so much more.”
Within the next year, she plans to add two more advisors and more support staff.
This newly expanded financial team as well as future hirees will necessitate additional office accommodations. Plans are well underway to renovate and connect the office next door, doubling the office footprint and increasing the capacity for advisors and clients alike.
Linked for Generations
The growth and evolution of McBeath Financial Group is part of a long-term plan for clients to always have access to a well-rounded team to rely upon for advice. Robert emphasizes that “We are establishing a firm that our clients know will be available to help them—and their children—regardless of what happens to Krista. Even as the company grows, existing clients can still expect a concierge level service and the personalized attention they’ve come to expect.”
“Unlike many ‘advisor’ businesses, each new client means a commitment to continuing relationship of service,” Krista explains. “And our unique processes and the scope of our planning has been very successful in attracting new client relationships. Currently, we are beyond capacity and unfortunately forced to keep new clients waiting longer than we’d like before we can accept them.”
Being stretched in that way has ultimately led to the very growth they have recently been experiencing. With new advisors joining the firm, new clients can be added without those individuals missing out on the proper level of service for which Krista has been known. Furthermore, should the time finally come when Krista sees fit to step away from an active role in the firm, the qualified team she’s left in her stead will be able to carry out her vision.
The goal of the firm’s longevity is of added value to the clients in the long run. If something were to happen to me,” Krista posits, “the team will still be there and will continue to grow. They will strive to continue to be an asset for clients through future generations. “As a planner, it’s in my nature to have answers for all of the ‘what-ifs’ so regardless of unexpected events, plans are in place to ensure an ongoing and seamless experience for clients.”
McBeath Financial Group’s focus is on the success of their clients and, as a result, they are blessed to be able to share in that growth.
As McBeath Financial Group prepares for their own next generation, they will continue to improve things for their existing and future clients. One of those improvements is a shift in the philosophy of how they help new and existing clients with the services they offer. McBeath Financial Group has been recognized area wide as a leader in Financial Planning, being voted the #1 Best Financial Planning Office by Pantagraph Reader’s for the last six consecutive years. What may have been overlooked is the fact that McBeath Financial Group has also been voted the area’s #1 Investment Firm for the past five years.
Krista explains, “For years we’ve been known for our retirement planning and a very detailed approach to financial planning. As a result of the plans we’ve provided, most clients, but not all, have chosen to work with us on a continuing basis to help manage their assets. After all, who better to implement the plan we created to continually monitor and update the progress.”
Krista and her team thrive on such enduring connections and with the details involved in their planning, that ongoing relationship is the optimal way to unlock all of their value in the advanced tax planning, estate planning, and growth that occurs throughout a lifetime and beyond.
“It only makes sense that we transition to a wealth management firm that reserves our financial planning process and updates for clients we are serving year after year in an investment advisory role.” Such a change ensures that the focus is always relationship based for long-term results.
To better define this philosophy of how and who they will be serving, they are in the midst of a complete website overhaul that will bring even more value to visitors, as well as bring valuable financial insights to their target market.. They will also be releasing a webinar/workshop that will explain the principles espoused in The Generational Wealth System to help families implement systems for generational financial security.
“Not everyone reads books, we realize,” Krista admits. “But if someone can hop into a webinar or a workshop and, in less than an hour, walk away with key concepts that can change their financial future then it’s a huge win. We know we can’t individually help everyone we’d like, but this is an easy way to help more people.”
“It’s improving the health of our business,” she concludes, “to protect the health of our clients’ financial security from generation to generation.”
McBeath Financial Group is located in Normal, Illinois. To learn more about preserving your wealth and legacy, call (309) 808-2224. Or visit www.mcbeathfinancial.com.