How do you cut out the intimidation factor around wealth management? Hemming& Wealth Management advisors share what it means to fully embrace financial planning.

Financial planning can be overwhelming and a little scary. Life gets busy, years go by and planning for a financial future gets put on the back burner. Or avoided altogether.

Women-owned Northern Michigan wealth management company Hemming& asks clients to slow down, take a beat and let the experts help formulate a doable plan. They’re behind the scenes, putting that much needed soft touch on the traditionally sticky topic.

To demystify the process, Hemming& helps clients push past fears and personal blocks using a three-prong proprietary method: Embrace, educate, empower. They create a warm, welcoming space so clients are comfortable sharing what’s important to them.

“A good financial advisor is an intentional listener. And a nurturer,” says Autumn Soltysiak, Hemming& financial advisor and partner. “They’re your advocate and they hear you. To do this, we have to ask the questions that uncover what’s important to you.”

The Big Embrace

Soltysiak and Hemming& founder and partner Dawn Hemming are life-integrated financial planning pros, meaning they look at your entire financial picture and help you fit the pieces together.

First and foremost is the embrace step. This is the deep dive. Data is gathered, a meeting is set and the hard questions surface:

  • What does your ideal life look like?
  • Do you know where your money goes each month?
  • Are you confident that you and your assets are adequately and properly insured?
  • Will you be able to retire with the lifestyle you want?
  • Who is deciding what happens to everything you’ve accumulated when you die?
  • Are you funding your child’s education at the expense of your future?

“This is the step where we really get to know somebody and what’s important to them,” says Soltysiak. “This happens in the beginning and it’s the most important step.”

For Hemming& clients Tom and Sharon, it took a health scare to inspire financial focus. Tom worked long hours and traveled a lot. When forced to hone in on his priorities, the first thing Tom said was, “I love my wife and I just want to spend time with her.” Financial advisors were able to help the couple make adjustments to their investments and realize retirement sooner than expected. Five years later, they’re snowbirds playing bluegrass and roaming in their RV.

“Every plan begins with the discovery of what has brought you here and where you want to go,” says Hemming. “We take the time to evaluate your financial picture and understand your values. Most importantly, we will begin to guide and empower, helping to offer clarity and financial confidence.”

Embracing—both physically and figuratively—is all about starting wherever a client is financially. It’s an in-depth research approach and it takes time. Hemming& does it with dedication and passion, proving that no two portfolios are alike.

Child walking on the shore of a lake.

Photo by Hemming& Wealth Management

Common Financial Roadblocks

So why don’t clients embrace their financial futures on their own? “There is often a reluctance to do the important things, like going to the doctor or the gym,” says Hemming. “But when you’re done, you’re always glad you did it.”

The most common wealth management barriers include:

  • Intimidation
  • Fear of or not sure how to get started
  • Embarrassment about not being further along or being unorganized
  • Being too focused on what you do well and not making the time to delegate

Sometimes it’s lack of know-how. A recently divorced Hemming& client just needed a confidence boost and a little education. Her ex-husband had controlled all big-picture financial decisions and was skeptical of investing. Advisors spent time identifying what was important to the client (security and improved lifestyle) and showed her she could spend significantly more than the budget she had been living on. Her confidence grew, empowering her to make important financial decisions on her own.

The Three-Prong Approach

Hemming&’s three-step method — embrace, educate, empower — is unique in the wealth management world. Taking that time to deep dive into client’s desires and history and truly understanding what makes them tick and then building out a plan to achieve those goals is a successful recipe.

The key to getting started? Embrace what’s important to you. Once you’re intentional with financial planning — even the things that may give you anxiety or make you uncomfortable — you can set realistic expectations. Be curious, ask questions, seek mentors and read. Next up, Hemming& experts pull in the right amount of education and empowerment. This is where that well-defined roadmap falls into place and you get to celebrate victories, track progress, and then adjust when life happens.

“We make a massive difference in people’s lives,” Soltysiak says. “Often they’re better off than they fear and, with adjustments, can still achieve what’s important to them.”

Whether the goal is saving for retirement, sending a child to college or traveling the world, the proven three-step approach helps clients feel safe and heard, which results in meeting some legit lifetime goals. Hemming& brings more than 50 years of combined experience to the table, working with clients in and out of state to cultivate lasting relationships.

Like an old friend checking in, Hemming and Soltysiak meet with clients annually at minimum to maintain and update goals. The resounding piece of client feedback: I only wish I’d done this sooner.

Photo(s) by Hemming& Wealth Management