Gratitude is defined as the quality of being thankful, or readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. In 2020, being thankful can be challenging as we are faced with the continued stress of living during a pandemic, political uncertainty, and the change of seasons and upcoming holidays. On the other hand, it may be that lifestyle changes made because of the pandemic have forced us to be more grateful for the most basic of things.
More than anything, we are wishing you peace and simplicity during this season of thanksgiving. The financial professionals at Heritage Advisory Group have been working with families for years to make long terms plans for financial security. By sharing your goals and dreams, we can create plans to help you to achieve those dreams and feel a sense of comfort. We invite you to contact us to start that work today.
Now onto our Q & A with Matthew Dansker, Financial Advisor at Heritage Advisory Group...
So Matt, what was it that ultimately brought you to being a financial advisor?
Wow, so many things probably, from collecting lots of silver coins a kid, to cashing in my old Savings Bonds for way more than I thought I would ever receive, to a fascination with global currencies and what makes them so different. But the kicker for me was when I had gotten into a small Telcom company many years ago and ended up sharing some of the wealth with nearly everyone I knew at the time. When we all made handsome returns, everyone came to me for more advice. Where is the next home run? I determined right there that speculating was not a long-term goal. I joined with a 120-year old national firm in the late 1990’s and learned that steadfast discipline is the way to success, and that disciplined approach is what I share today with Heritage Advisory Group.
For People just starting to save now, what is the simplest advice for them?
My most basic advice is start with the end in mind. End goals for some might be losing exactly 20 pounds safely or buying a first house before 30 or traveling all over Europe. All require self-discipline, having a plan and working it consistently with that motivation being the driving force. Determine what one can rationally afford to save by means of a crystalized budget first and foremost, then get going and stay going.
What do you see as the primary roadblock for people and families as it pertains to financial goals?
I never had to look very far to understand why many people fail to achieve financial independence and a dignified retirement. Under my very own roof, my father made all the textbook financial mistakes I educate so fervently against clients making today. My dad preferred short term speculating with assets instead of tried and true long-term steady accumulation. My dad chose Blue Cross health coverage for himself but not for my mother who ultimately suffered a lengthy illness. Dad chose to not plan for his own Long-Term Care needs, nor Life Insurance he could have used as leverage to offset the burden on others. I realize my answer may sound a bit tough on my pop but couldn’t be more on the mark. Roadblocks are just obstacles to remind us that we can always go around them.
In all your years of planning, is there a success story that continues to motivate you as an Advisor?
Of course, I once startled a long-retired business owner client with a simple out-of-the-blue question; “Are you satisfied with your Estate Plan?” He hesitated and answered he has a Will from 30 years ago, why do you ask? I mentioned that a lot has changed in 30 years relating to state and federal laws and taxes. Long story short, two large Estate Law firms reviewed the prior Estate Plan and proposed amending the planning approach completely. Ultimately, a few years later the Estate saved at least $1,000,000 in taxes, the savings of which was shared by the children and grandchildren.
I call this simple question “My Million Dollar Question” and ask it to everyone I meet with, without fail.
Has the client experience changed in your eyes in the last couple of decades?
Yes, very much actually and significantly for the better. The nature of the client relationship from years past has changed from one that was more transaction based, to one that is more of a success minded orientation. With modern computing power, ongoing monitoring founded on two-way advisory relationships allows for never before, up to the minute goal setting and success modeling. Today’s forward-looking planning allows clients to view the future possibilities much more clearly helping to mold more long term vs. short term thinking and actions.
Once travel becomes more feasible, where do you see yourself headed?
My bucket list has always had a goal of visiting and experiencing the South Pacific Islands. Aside from the unique cultures and mystique, I probably have been yearning to go there because it‘s the farthest point on the planet from New Jersey!! I want to visit with the wild orangutans in Borneo, and snorkel with the giant manta rays off the coast of Yap.