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Family, Friends, and Finances
5 Minutes with Jen Becker, Financial Professional
July 27, 2020
Sharing, Saving & Spending: A Framework from a Thrivent Financial Professional
Q: You had a unique path to becoming a Thrivent financial professional. Tell us about that?
A: In 2007, after working for an insurance company, I had been interviewing with a financial services firm, and accepted its offer to be a financial advisor. And right around that I met with my parents' longtime Thrivent financial professional to discuss my life insurance policy. When I told him about the job I was about to take, he said "I've never done this before, but I know your work, and I know your family's work ethic, so I'd like to offer you a partnership at my practice."
Q: Who were your financial role models?
A: My parents, absolutely. Growing up, I saw how they managed their money. The first check they wrote each month was to their church, regardless of their income. In our household today, I'm teaching my children similar values. My older girls clean at my husband's retail business and my office, and they get paychecks. Then we discuss their sharing, saving and spending habits.
Q: That's a great framework – sharing, saving and spending. Do you do teach them to do these things in that exact order?
A: Yes! Sharing is first, then savings, then they need to plan for what they'd like to do with their spending money, We have rules about that: They're only allowed to buy things in cash, so they can see and feel the money – that means more to them. We also don’t let them borrow from us. If they don't already have the money, they have to delay buying whatever it is they wanted.
Q: Your children have a great role model for their work ethic, since Thrivent has recognized you many times for your achievements. What do these mean to you – and perhaps to them?
A: I love that my kids see that I have earned recognition because I have a successful business. It gives them a really positive message.
Q: Have you helped your clients with educating their kids on sound financial values like share-save-spend – as you've done so well yourself?
A: It's definitely a regular conversation that I have with clients that have children – and grandparents, too.
Q: When you're doing retirement planning, what's the most persistent misconception among your clients?
A: One is that when you get closer to retirement you need to move ALL of your investments to more conservative assets. However, the risk of doing this is that you may not keep up with future inflationary increases and therefore lose value of your money.
Q: What's your favorite client success story … a case of helping a client plan and achieve their goals?
A: There's not just one. During these volatile times, it's been incredibly rewarding to see my clients staying on track with their retirement plans because we've planned in advance for a correction and allocated their portfolios accordingly.
Q: Your Thrivent team is active in the Faribault community. Do you have a favorite project or events?
A: Absolutely. My favorite one is our Veterans Packing event every December. We have anywhere from 60 to 75 clients come to help us make care packages – about 250 in all – for our local retired veterans. One year, I had a nephew deployed on the U.S.S. Reagan. So in that year, we sent 100 packages for him and his crewmates. Last year, we learned of huge issues with homeless teens in our area, so we decided to focus on that. It was so well received. We had so many package donations for the homeless shelters.
Q: What's the vision behind these events?
A: It's needs based for sure. At Christmas, you're thinking about all the blessings you have, and you feel fortunate, to be able to take some time to think about people who have those things. To create an event that clients can come to, and do good, is great. Nobody feels better than when they've done something good for someone else.
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