I like to joke that Chastain’s benefits package came with an advisor who gives me advice about how to grow and protect my money. Not too shabby.
When I took the operations director role at Chastain Wealth Management, I knew that I would learn about financial services and help others, but what I had not considered was that I was going to be one of the people who also benefitted from the information.
“You can be wealthy Cory,” my mentor and Chastain’s CEO Larren Odom said to me after a candid discussion about my finances.
I was in disbelief as my eyes glazed over his spreadsheet full of formulas and dollar signs. We were sitting in his office and he had just drafted a scenario in which my husband and I were utilizing our savings potential based on realistic incomes.
“Time is on your side,” he expressed.
I couldn’t believe what I saw. It was my retirement number. And, it looked a lot like wealth. Real, attainable wealth.
I mean this in the sense that it meant that my husband and I could afford a worry-free life full of options, security, generosity and, well, fun.
At this point, I had learned a considerable amount of information from our dedicated service team at Fidelity Investments as well as my colleagues, but I had never given the possibilities of my own retirement a number.
I had awoken to the power of compound interest and a realization that there was no way I’d ever reach my savings potential unless I was taking advantage of the investment world and all that its ups and downs had to offer.
Time was on our side, but it wouldn’t be the longer we waited to set aside enough to reach our number.
This was now an emergency!
I read books like: “Simple Wealth Inevitable Wealth,” by Nick Murray and “Money, Master the Game,” by Tony Robbins. I sat in on client meetings so I could listen to others share their stories and hear the advice from our firm. I took classes paid for by my firm at Emory and had mentor sessions about various financial topics.
At first, my husband was surprised by my new lexicon and interest in our finances, but he was also a bit relieved that I had awoken to the big picture because now he could finally talk to me about our 401k at Cox Communications, which was one of the first things my firm looked at. We realized that we were setup in funds that were too risky for us. Yes, the market was doing great, but what if it wasn’t!
As I watched clients go through The Chastain Process, I too, was taking my husband through it at home. We were having discussions about our life together and what we wanted. Turns out, buying a house was not a priority like we had talked about in the past. Rather than looking at it like an investment, it became a burden when combined with everything else that needed our dollars.
And while all of this talk about our money was good for us, it didn’t mean a whole lot if we didn’t hold ourselves accountable like we do for our clients. Our plan was to make our dollars go further. We swore off credit cards, consolidated our debt and began taking full advantage of our 401k and increasing my retirement plan at Chastain.
While it’s less fun putting your money towards things like retirement, it’s been good for my husband and I to exercise discipline, patience and team work. We’ve learned to listen to each other more and share the responsibilities and goals of our vision. It’s a conversation that, frankly, at times, isn’t the easiest, but it’s necessary and we both know that.
I never imagined I’d end up here in financial services, but I also hadn’t ever thought wealth was possible. It’s been an eye-opening and valuable experience that I’m grateful to bring home every day.
Contributor: Cory M. Norpel has been the Operations Director at Chastain Wealth Management for two years. Professionally, she enjoys helping our clients and learning all about the world of financial planning. Outside of work, she loves to hike, read and crochet!