Episode 1 – Introduction to Danielle Howard

[00:00:02] Welcome to the Wealth Done Differently Retirement Podcast. Danielle Howard a certified financial planner shares insight into the financial tools techniques and temperaments needed to make the most of your retirement dollars and relationships. Danielle bridges the gap between Wall Street and Main Street bringing complex financial topics down to earth. Danielle will educate and inspire you as you define and refine your version of prosperity. Hello and welcome to the inaugural podcast. Today we’re going to get to know Danielle Howard even better. This is a really fun podcast format for us because we’re going to ask old 20 questions. And this is going to give you the listener an opportunity to truly find out what makes her unique and different but not just that what truly makes her tick. Daniel welcome to the show. Thank you for having me. All right we’re going to go historical on you here so why don’t you decide or tell everybody why you decided to work in the financial services industry. It’s a culmination of a couple different events. One was the fact that I was already working and my husband’s business. He was an insurance sales arena. So I come to the table with a marketing background and thought I would just walk alongside him up. I also had the idea that I wanted to do it from a Christian worldview and help people understand yeah just basic money yeah good habits.

[00:01:38] So I started working with him on that line of things and about four years into my working alongside him in the in the sales arena and from just doing some small group studies and helping people understand budgets and you know just really basic stuff. My ex husband passed away unexpectedly and I thought you know I kind of know what I do and I’m in the financial services business and found out in reality I didn’t I didn’t have a clue. We made some mistakes and in how we dealt with that and we did seek out some professional advice as far as attorneys. And it was a very painful experience and some money that should have been there for my daughter. So the fact that I was working in the in the business I kind of had some background and knew it was something I enjoyed alongside the fact of learning from some painful experiences led me to go with you now. It’s so much more than a product. It’s a it’s a process and it’s about having somebody walk alongside you that can educate. And so I started delving into the financial life planning got my certification found that career path that would allow me to help others and move away from that product and of it. And it’s you know it’s a journey for everyone. I’m still on my journey so it has a lot of my my life experiences. I feel like I have to live it. Before you can give it and you know just want to continue to walk alongside people with their journey of learning what financial health is really about and different tools that they have that techniques and mindsets and you know after getting my Certified Financial Planner designation kind of elevated at all to another level.

[00:03:39] Now you’ve already given us a preview of the next probably two or three questions but when you say you have a specialty you are who you work with who is your ideal client. I wanted it to serve everybody for a long time and teach us that you can’t do that. And what I’ve found in because my own life journey my husband is a couple years older than I and so we’ve been on a journey of moving him through retirement. We call it requirement and because we’ve been on that journey ourselves and what what’s his experiencing and many of the people that have been through my office in the last eight years that that has really become my focus because it’s what people you know that’s the questions they were asking it’s where they were at. So I like to call it my rewire met crowd. There are people who are transitioning into the fall season of life. They may still be working. They may be looking at what’s going to change down the road from a lifestyle or liquidity. How long am I going to live. What kind of legacies do we want to leave and putting all those financial puzzle pieces together and knowing that it’s just you know constant strategic changes along the way but that that’s kind of the age group that 55 and older crowd that’s really getting ready to transition towards that next season of life. When you say you walk alongside your clients what what would a client expect. What is that experience like. They’re going to be heard. You know we do a lot of listening so many times people are they just go to the Financial Advisers office.

[00:05:23] They get told what they should do or what they have done and what they need to do and they have a fairly unpleasant experience. So we’re really wide we are rewriting king what a true financial adviser experience would be. And that is going to be us digging into what’s really important to you. What are your what are your dreams. What are your concerns what are your aspirations and then maybe challenging you on some of your ideas that may have come just from either your family history or what society says you know or you’re supposed to draw a line in the sand at 65 and step over into a life of luxury. And what we’re finding is that there’s a lot of unhappiness if you’re not following your true know your true nature your your values what’s really important to you. So as a financial adviser you know you want to know that you want to hear that from people. And when you do that thing you can put the financial tools whether it is a cash value life insurance or home equity or social security or retirement plans or continued work from the get out the gig economy. Nowadays we could put all those financial pieces together to create a strategic strategy and look at tax implications and all the quantitative parts you know to put it all together. But we want to make sure that people have peace of mind and clarity about what’s important to them and we want to make sure we hear them. If your ideal client was listening right now and you were to define them or describe them how would you do that.

[00:07:17] We love working with positive people that have not really a good attitude on life and we realize that life happens and there’s tough stuff that comes along the way but it’s what you do with that. So you know in looking at why would somebody want to work with us. I want to have people that want to look at opportunity and want to look at the private sector. I tell people we want to look at everyday finding something to be grateful about so it’s that positive attitude about life. It is I like working with people we’re in the heart of Colorado so we’re very outdoorsy. We’re very focused on health in all areas of our life physical health relational health spiritual health financial health. And that it is all a you know ongoing learning process but that we have to be willing to say what what’s a 1 percent change I can make in this. Yes I’m talking to people about wow you you have a great attitude and based on what you’re saying is important to you some of your life goals may revolve around your physical health. So what are the financial implications of that. So my ideal client is going to be somebody that is is going to seek and respect professional advice and that they want a team whether it is you might be a life coach or it might be a CPA and a state planner a health coach and that we’re all working together to look out for what’s in your best interest in order that you the client are free to pursue what really brings meaning and purpose to your day. How do you acquire clients like that. I’m very discerning about who we want to work with. Again it’s it’s conversations get.

[00:09:17] We get referrals from our current clients do a lot of of writing in a local newspaper and I’m doing some blogs and we’re doing podcasting now. We have workshops that we do. And just to help people see what I do differently and how this is a different type of conversation that goes above and beyond. I you know just meeting your benchmark returns in the market. Yes that’s important but so I’m very discerning as somebody walks into the office and says you know well did you beat the S&P 500 last year. If that’s the first question out of their mouth. But a couple red flags for me yes the money management is very important but we have to come up with the whys so when people we ask everybody a question What is your idea of financial health. What is your version of financial health. And I take that into consideration when I decide to work or take on a new client. So you’re doing the podcast. You also do blogs and workshops. What else do you do for client education. Do a variety of continuous you know education whether it is with current clients were always sending out you know whether it’s on tax reform or Social Security we actually just brought on some new software that really drills down into Social Security. You know over 500 different ways to take it based on your situation past marital issue and how past marital status. What is the best way for you to take distributions and that changes if you’re not taking Social Security yet. And what goes on with it either on our government or in your life.

[00:11:19] We need to constantly monitor that and refine it moving forward. So work we’re always reaching out to our current clients to make sure they understand how to best use the tools they they have or that they may want to access down the road. We will do workshops where we’ll invite our current clients and open it up to the public and that may be on things such as elder abuse. You know how to protect yourself or you know tax reform. We kind of try to combine that that qualitative side with the quantitative number crunching knowing that you need both. And my main goal is to educate our clients have them feel empowered and to open up the conversations around money. And I think that’s really important that we all start making it okay to talk about money and become a little vulnerable about how we do that. So I would say if my client education comes from yes we want you to understand who you are around your money and what your money is doing for you and how do we combine those to get the biggest Frear bang for your buck. Gotcha. Now this this practice isn’t just you. There are other people who help clients and who help you would you mind educating our son who’s on your team and what they do. Well you guys are now in my team so I appreciate having you all with us. I have Molly here in my office and I call her she’s my chief climatologist. You go to a bar you have a mixologists that are creating something unique for you and she’s she’s about creating a unique experience for our clients here.

[00:13:10] She’s also you know make ourselves available to clients to walk alongside them in a variety of ways. I have brought on Sci. is my third party manager money manager right now. I’m constantly doing my due diligence and my research to make sure I’ve got Asset Management an asset management team that allows that gives me the space to get real creative with my clients whether it’s around asset allocation whether it’s around tax diversification and how we’re taking money whether it’s around charitable giving with donor advised funds and charitable remainder trust. So I’ve got a real robust asset management team who can bring a variety of tools to the table for my clients. I’ve got my broker dealer right now which is Cambridge Investment Research. They’re providing some of the the league legal the 30000 foot view of making sure my clients are protected with the compliance issues as well as security with all of the computer integrations and all of those moving parts. And then we have a lot of a lot of folks that we work with just again to put the financial planning pieces with the education that we’re trying to do to get people the kind of information that is going to be beneficial but not overwhelm them where you live as you said is very focused on just overall wellness. What sort of stuff do you do in the community besides hanging out outside it. Do I need to do more. Personally I don’t. So in point Mbusa where you lived for what I think everybody you’d like to know what you do in the community to zoom. OK. I’m involved with a program called Youth entity.

[00:15:09] They’ve got a fantastic educational process for our youth here in the valley. It’s called I Am financial knowledge so we go into the screw schools in the 5th grade and the eighth grade level. We go in and teach financial literacy. And I’ve worked with Junior Achievement in the past. They do great economics you know how to become an entrepreneur what entity does this a little bit more expansive than that and looking at personal finance it really helps people that these kids get some foundational content around again that meaning of money. What does money mean for you. What are your messages around money. And then what’s the difference between a credit and a debit card. So they been a lot of fun to to work with us. We’ve put together their programs and gotten that out and that that is a growing there. They’re speaking to a growing group of schools here in the valley and expanding that I am very involved in the churches here in the valley. I do a lot of financial stewardship education and I’m a resource for many of the churches here in the valley to come and put on educational events around donor how to how to understand who you are as a giver and maybe what tools you would want to use in order to leverage your giving. I work with other nonprofits again primarily to educate their donor base on those philanthropic opportunities not only from the context of what tools to use but who they are. Who are they as as givers and understanding what they speak to their hearts and get them on board with right connections there. You talked about the CFP.

[00:17:00] What other sorts of advance designations in education do you have. You told something else. I didn’t write it down. What was the other thing that you said that you had the training and the other one is the designation. It’s called a qualified Kingdom adviser and this is a Christian organization that is focused on the local based financial stewardship. And it is a designation that took quite a bit of studying. You know I need to keep up continuing education to be a part of that adds tremendous resource. Again additional wisdom it’s not that I talk differently it’s just that it’s foundational. Good advice and it gives me a perspective on life that may resonate with with people on a bit of a different way. Also been trained through many quotient which is a nonprofit up in Portland that works with financial life planners again with process and to help their clients all understand what is financial life planning that it is dickered digging deeper into that values into qualifying what’s important in people’s lives and helping them understand maybe their financial personalities are some opportunities and challenges inherent in you know how we do our money. Finally on the first part because next we’re going to really get into really what makes you tick. Outside of work. But before we do that. What is your financial philosophy. Good question. I think that money should support a person’s life experience and not dictate it. And I believe that the media turns that around that our culture tells us that the more money you know you are more valued the more money you have.

[00:19:05] And I don’t believe that I believe that every person has a unique experience to contribute to the world and we need to look at how to best use their financial resources to allow them to live at that and to blossom in that. And I truly believe it is my calling and my responsibility to walk alongside people and understanding you know all aspects of their financial life you know whether it’s from how they’re bringing it in are giving it or nurturing and growing and protecting it or how they are spending it intentionally and what things bring joy to their lives. Now we’re going to switch gears and find a little bit more about what makes you tick outside of work so tell us what you do for fun when you’re not working. I’m sitting here looking at the Roaring Fork River going by my office. Looking forward to summer boating season. I’m a ducky kayaker which is an inflatable inflatable kayak. We’ve got a duck that we get out on and loved to go boating and rafting and do three to five day trips in the summer where we can get away from the cell phones and the computers and life in general and just take in everything that Colorado or Utah has to has to for love to road bike kind of given up on my mountain biking at this point in my life the downhill falls are getting too painful. Winter love to ski. I’m more of a cross-country skier. Whether that’s traditional or skate skiing that I am a downhill are at this point. But I enjoy the enjoy the social aspects of being outside in a variety of different elements. Who your hero.

[00:21:06] I would say my primary hero is my Auntie K she passed away about three years ago. In late May. And she’s like a second mom to me. But she lived her life in full integrity. She worked her butt off. She was a farm girl you know raised on a North Dakota farm and she knew what it was to work hard. So I grew up seeing that work ethic and I also saw that call to service that she was a scrub nurse for one of the leading heart surgeons in the Denver area and she was just she had a servant’s heart. So I was able to walk alongside and glean a lot of insight and wisdom from that and she inspired me and how she dealt with some of the tough stuff in her life. You know really really spoke to what I want to play forward. If you had all of the money in the world you ever needed what would you do. I would probably continue to do what I’m doing now and build on it probably hire more people to get them trained in my vision of what I think helps truly helps people to break out of the bonds of consumerism and understand what a healthy economy really looks like and how that be part of that. And I build on that and I would visit my kids who are now I’m expecting my first grandchild in August so I will definitely maybe have a second the office over in Hawaii which is where they are at. That would be. That would be fun. That would be awesome. Yeah. Who is your favorite person in history and why.

[00:23:02] Well I always have to you know Jesus Christ comes to the forefront of my head. There’s also you know he just lived life in a way that was loving and kind and spoke the truth in love and had that ultimate servant’s heart. Then I really appreciate our founding fathers Thomas Jefferson his creative spirit his tenacity the wisdom that came out of that group of of men. And as I read more about our Women in History which are finally many of those women are finally coming to the surface. It’s fascinating to see how women were usually many times that behind the scenes that they were very much there. So I look forward to finding some new folks in the history that I admire. When you think of success what does that word mean to you. I love that word because I like to walk alongside people and help them define their version of I call it true prosperity or true success. It is not about money. It is about. To me it’s about you know laying down at night getting my pillow and putting my head on the pillow and even I know I didn’t get everything on the checklist done that I’ve been able to help some people and that I’ve given it my best and that I’m still still learning and continuing to grow. What is one thing you recommend most to clients family or friends is going can be a book can be a song you can be whatever. I said it to clients today she walked in the WHO is talking to her on the phone and she’s just like take a breath take a deep breath.

[00:25:05] Sometimes we get our days are so full and we’re so frantic and when it comes to money sometimes we feel like oh my gosh I got to deal with this right now. And I think I gave a recommendation to people on the on a moment’s notice. I would stay just stop look around. Take a deep breath find something to appreciate about the moment you are in and that will give you clarity about whatever’s whatever’s next then we’ll deal with it. When you said that I found myself realizing I was taking very shallow breaths and needed to take a nice deep breath and hoping other people experience that too that your power of suggestion there worked very very well. The one thing that most people don’t know about you. Well I jumped out of an airplane with my 80 year old Auntie K when for her 80th birthday she’d decided that was something she’d always wanted to do and once we all got over the shock of it and tried to talk her out of it it was like OK it’s so. So I jumped out of a perfectly good airplane and found the ground right alongside my 80 year old aunt. What is your mantra motto or something you saved yourself to keep yourself focused and on track you and do. Do the best you can with what you have. For right now while that shorts we do the point yeah you know I think I think we can get consumed in. You know I didn’t do enough or I’m not enough and I battled that. I think we all do and we want to do it better and we want to do it more efficiently.

[00:26:50] And those are all good things. But at any given moment if you’re giving the best you can be and being very present with whoever you are with that’s as good as it gets. What is your proudest achievement. I’m a mom. I have two beautiful daughters. Mind Body Spirit. They’re smart they’re funny. They’re awesome. I have a. And we have two bonus kids when bonus starter when bonus son and I love love being a mom. It has challenged me in ways that is helped me to grow in ways I never thought possible and definitely my my pride and joy. Last question you have the attention of many many people who should listen to your podcast and what is the best way for people to reach out to hear from you. Well you can reach out to us at W WW. Well by design. Number four dot com. Got that wrong. Let me start again. You should listen to my podcast. If you are within five years of retirement or transitioning into trades that fall season of your life. I think what we’re going to be talking about on this podcast is going to be a benefit T.O whether it’s around the financial tools that you have the economic environment your your life season your financial season. We’re going to be unpacking a lot of a lot of good good stuff along the way. And for people to reach out to us you can work with us you know face to face on a journey of financial health and you can learn more about that at www.wealtbydesign4U.com.

[00:28:42] And to find out about I’ve got an online retirement course that is going to go live hopefully sometime in June. And you can keep an eye out for that and sign up for webinars and workshops and newsletters etc. at Danielle Howard DANIELLE Howard HOWARD.Number four letter U. Dot com. Fantastic. Well Danielle thank you very much for giving our audience the opportunity to get to know you better. Thank you for the opportunity. And if you have not subscribed yet to the podcast make sure you click that subscribe now button below so that every time Danielle comes out the new podcast it will show up directly on your listening device. For Danielle Howard this is Matt Halloran and we’ll see on the other side of the mic very soon. Thank you for listening to the Wealth Done Differently Retirement Podcast click the subscribe button below to be notified when new episodes become available. The information covered and posted represents the views and opinions of the guest and does not necessarily represent the views or opinions of Wealth By Design LLC. The content has been made available for informational and educational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional investing advice always seek the advice of your financial adviser or other qualified service provider with any questions you may have regarding your investment planning. Danielle Howard certified financial planner is an investment adviser representative of Cambridge Investment Research advisors a registered investment adviser. Securities offered through Cambridge investment research inc. A broker dealer member FINRA SIPC Cambridge and Wealth By Design LLC are not affiliated.

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