If you’re making six-figures with your peak earning years ahead of you, and you think you'll start saving for your future "soon", it’s likely you’re a H.E.N.R.Y. (High Earner, Not Rich Yet)
If you don't have a Financial Life Plan, our experience tells us that you’re likely going to stay "not rich yet" forever.
You've likely found yourself here because you’re feeling excited. Motivated. And committed to building the future that you imagine. But you’re also not quite sure how you’re going to get there.
Maybe you have student loans bulldozing half of your paycheck. Perhaps that first home you were aiming to buy by age thirty-five seems like it’s only getting further away when it should be in your line of sight. Maybe you’re pregnant and wondering how you and your partner are going to be able to afford college for your children in eighteen years.
Perhaps that six-figure salary you were so excited to earn after so much hard work barely seems like enough to make a crack in your savings.
In other words you could be suffering from H.E.N.R.Y. Syndrome®. My entire motivation to create the H.E.N.R.Y. Syndrome® suite of services and build my business around the idea, can be traced back to the third day of my career and an innocuous comment by a new client named Steve.
During my first week at my family’s wealth management firm, I was sitting in on a meeting with my dad, Lance, our firm’s president and CEO; Kitty Richie, our Director of Wealth management; and two new clients, Steve and Jodi, who were in our office for the third time. As you can imagine, three days into “the business,” I wasn’t there so much for my wit and wisdom, but to learn our process (and to take notes, as my dad would want you to know). Steve and Jodi were a nice couple in their early sixties and only a few years away from retirement. They had done well for themselves, each earning a healthy six-figure income throughout their prime earning years. They’d sent all three of their children to college and lived an affluent but not ostentatious lifestyle, spending money without too much thought or stress over the years. That said, they were in our office for a plan delivery meeting (a financial checkup), because they didn’t have any idea when they could comfortably retire, and what that retirement would look like when they ultimately chose to step off the wheel.
My dad reviewed their cash flow, budget, and variable expenses, as well as their existing investments. He then analyzed their sources of income in retirement, and walked them through their written Financial Life Plan.
What is a written Financial Life Plan? A plan broken out into a number of different timelines that were dependent on their choices and the resultant realities that could play out in the coming twenty-five to thirty years.
As the meeting concluded, Steve and Jodi breathed a deep sigh of relief; they were going to be fine. Yes, they had to cut back their spending over the next five or so years, and, yes, realistically, they each had to work an extra two years to afford the retirement lifestyle they truly wanted, but all in all, they were on the right track. It was an intense, emotional, but ultimately cathartic two hours for our new clients to understand what the next phase of their lives would entail. As Steve walked out, he mentioned that he was relieved to have a better sense of their financial situation, and while he was aware that there was work ahead of them, he and Jodi felt ready to get it done. Then, off the cuff, he chuckled the words that would come to epitomize my greatest motivation for the future:
“If only I had met you and thought more about my financial goals thirty years ago—woo! Imagine where we would be!”
I spent the next six months sitting in on practically all of my dad’s meetings as a way of learning our business, and I heard this exact lament dozens of times. Sometimes, it was casual and uttered with a reflective chuckle by someone who was ultimately going to be fine, like Steve, but a lot of times it was said with devastating realism, as these new clients were left pondering past choices and contemplating how vastly different their family’s financial picture could have been. “If only I had met you back then.”
This became my rallying cry. I thought about my sister, my friends, my fraternity brothers, the guys I’d served with in my Israeli Paratroopers unit, and my extended universe of young professionals, and felt, Not them. I will do everything I can to make sure that none of them ever has that doubt, pain, or guilt about starting too late. They will be prepared.
And then I thought beyond my little universe.
What if we could change that cycle of financial procrastination for the masses?
What if Steve and Jodi didn’t just find out if they were on the right track at sixty-three, but rather at thirty (and every year thereafter as their lives evolved)?
What if we could have reached Steve and Jodi when they were at the bottom of their mountain, looking up at their vast journey ahead?
This is why I’m here and solely focused on helping HENRYs take control over their financial future.