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Celebrating 50 Episodes of the Retire Right Podcast

Can you believe we’re already at episode 50 of the Retire Right Podcast? I can’t! It still seems like we kicked off the podcast just a couple of weeks ago. To celebrate, I thought the 50th episode would be a great time to take a step back and reflect not only on the episodes we’ve created so far and some of the amazing content and guests we’ve had, but also on my own journey, as well as Heller Wealth Management’s journey over the years.



My Favorite Retire Right Episodes


It’s hard for me to choose just one episode as my favorite, especially since we’ve had such a great mix of topics and guests over the past 50 episodes. I love technical episodes like the Social Security series or the episode on How and When To Use a Roth. We’ve also had some really fun episodes along the way, like my conversation with Mike Kmeth on his model train hobby, or the episode with Bob Glauber, the author of Guts and Genius, a book on three Hall of Fame football coaches. I also really enjoyed exploring the non-financial side of retirement with Susan Williams of Booming Encore.

One of the episodes I learned the most from was the one with Karen Tenenbaum on a topic I didn’t know much about — moving to Florida and all the considerations to keep in mind when it comes to residency. 

I’m curious — which episodes did you enjoy the most, and learn the most from?


Retirement-Focused Episodes


As you can probably guess from the name of the podcast, we also have several episodes that are focused on retirement. Some of my personal favorites include:

I think these are episodes and topics listeners can really learn a lot from when it comes to retirement planning. We’ll also cover more about retirement as we continue on with the podcast in the future — I’m looking forward to it!


My Own Journey Into The Finance World


Reflecting on how far we’ve come with the Retire Right Podcast also got me thinking about how far I too have come not only in my career, but also with Heller Wealth Management as a whole.

I first became interested in the financial world when I was 19 and my father passed away. I was a sophomore in college at the time, and I quickly realized that my mom needed a lot of help figuring things out. So, I helped her update all her legal documents and we came up with a cash flow analysis and did everything to figure out if we could stay in the house, if I could continue with college, if my sister could go to college, if my mom could stop working or if she had to go back full time, and where she should be investing her money.

A little later down the line, I became a CPA. I worked at a Big Eight accounting firm (there’s now only the Big Four), and worked on the audit side in accounting. In this job, I was always looking at things after the fact. This inspired me to do more planning upfront where I could help clients do the same type of planning I helped my mother do back when I was 19.

After four years of public accounting, I decided to leave and work for Sherson Lehman Brothers (which eventually became Lehman Brothers) but quickly realized that it wasn’t for me. It was more about the big financial institutions, not clients. So I went to work for an independent insurance advisory firm that was doing financial planning. After being there a while, I decided to open up my own firm because I wasn’t insurance-oriented and really wanted to do financial planning. I was doing that for about a year or two when I met a sports agent and we decided to partner up and work with athletes. For the next ten years, I worked with professional athletes (mostly football players, but also a couple of baseball players). It was fun, I got to travel a lot, and I got to go to a lot of Super Bowls and meet a lot of athletes. 

But after I had a family, it became more difficult to maintain that kind of work. I wanted to figure out how I could be close to home, so I ended up opening an office in Long Island and instead started focusing on pre-retirees, retirees, business owners, and women in transition. I’ve now been doing that for almost 20 years and I’m very happy with Heller Wealth Management as it continues to grow.


What I Enjoy Most About This Business


There is so much I enjoy about this business  — especially helping people. Helping clients reach their dreams and their goals is the thing that gets me up every day. I know a lot of people have the Sunday night blues in anticipation of going back to work the next day, but honestly, I never get them. I love what I do, I love the people we’re working for, and I love the people I work with. I love being able to help clients solve their problems by determining what’s important to them and how we can create a financial roadmap to get them from where they are now, to where they want to be. 

My favorite client story is from one of my early clients, who were two teachers who lived in a modest apartment and came to us with their dreams of owning a house near their family out in Suffolk County but were convinced that there was no way they would be able to do it. And lo and behold, after I ran all the numbers, especially because they were going to retire soon with their pensions, we were able to figure out how they could do it. They actually bought a house close to the office and invited me over. Their faces and expressions after being able to do this was so rewarding. It’s truly a story I’ll never forget.


Heller Wealth Management


One of the things that I’m proud of with Heller Wealth Management is that we really listen to client goals and we get all the information before we build financial road maps and financial plans. We’re an independent registered investment advisor, so we don’t work for any firm, we work for our clients. We always do what’s best for them in a fiduciary manner, and our overall goal is to provide clients with peace of mind so they can do the things they want. 

The core foundation of our business is really listening and creating the financial strategies and roadmap to get clients where they want to be — and, just like with my father, sometimes the unexpected does happen. But the important thing is preparing for these types of situations beforehand and having steps in place so there aren’t any surprises. And that’s what we’re really strong at.


Continuing On


As we continue on our journey here at Heller Wealth Management, I’m looking forward to continuing to help clients through their journeys and to help others through the Retire Right Podcast. We’ve already started to put together some ideas of what’s up next with the podcast, including some more technical episodes while also mixing in some great guest speakers. I’m looking forward to the next 50 episodes to come and hope you’ll continue to join me along the way!

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