The Great Recession of the late 2000s caused a shift in CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional Radon Stancil’s approach to helping people prepare for retirement.
Though many of Radon’s clients did not lose anything in the downturn of 2008, they did experience anxiety and confusion. This influenced Radon to shift his role from a financial planner to that of a financial coach, frequently adjusting his clients’ financial strategies to adapt to the changes in their lives.
Radon received his financial planning certification from Boston University. Though he founded his company more than a decade ago, Radon has been a businessman since he was 12 years old.
His father owned a heating and air ventilation business. Each summer, he would hire Radon and his siblings. They would receive the same wage as adults and would do most of the same work. The catch was, they were responsible for managing all of the money they earned since it was the only money they would have all year.
“I could buy whatever I wanted, as long as I understood I also had to buy what I needed: school clothes, shoes, etc. That kind of training was very unique, and it was very pivotal. It’s what made me who I am today,” he said.
At age 12, he started off holding a flashlight, but by the time Radon was in his teens, he and his brother were completing entire jobs by themselves, crawling under houses and installing and fixing air conditioners.
“We did everything. Obviously, I couldn’t do it unsupervised, but back then there were no rules saying we couldn’t do it,” he said.
Radon ran the family-owned business before receiving his financial planning certification. He looks back on that time as one of the best and most unique learning opportunities — and where he truly learned the complete inner workings of a business.
“It’s helped me work with clients who run a business or are senior business executives,” he said. “It also taught me a lot about running my own company; how to work with employees, how to operate independently and how other people who do that think.”
Radon’s father significantly impacted the way he viewed business and also offered him the chance to see someone he knew personally transition into retirement, which motivated Radon to focus his financial planning expertise in that direction.
“By the time I was out of school, my dad was 70 years old. The idea of seeing someone go through retirement and the emotional side of that part of life, to me it’s the biggest, most difficult transition. If people don’t know how to deal with it, it can be a very stressful time.”
Today, Radon helps his clients work through a variety of life-changing scenarios as they transition into their retirement years. That’s where Radon’s coaching nature and his ability to build close-knit relationships with each of his clients makes him unique.
Though he established himself successfully in the financial industry, Radon believes there’s always room for improvement and is constantly motivated to be better. Numbers and strategy are the main reason Radon entered the financial services industry, but it’s the emotional side of it that he enjoys the most.
“Whether it’s health problems, the loss of a spouse or maybe your kids came back home, what we planned for last year doesn’t always apply to this year,” he said. “Most clients for the longest part of their life have been saving and working, and they don’t know how they are going to transition to retirement and make it last. It’s a major shift. They wonder what else they are going to do in life, and they have a lot of anxiety.”
While Radon incorporates sound investment strategies and products into each client’s plan, he prefers to focus on the process of developing that plan through building a one-on-one relationship with each client. Despite being a top financial planner, he says that most of the conversations in his meetings with clients aren’t about money.
“My clients and I have a very close relationship, and I’m in the middle of a lot of things. If they get cancer, I know about it. If they have a grandchild, I know about it. I’m a part of major events in their lives,” he said. “I’ve gotten to meet very interesting people, and I get to know about what they’ve lived through, and I’ve learned a lot from them.”
Just like his dad, Radon doesn’t plan to ever completely retire.
“I think constantly about how I can have a bigger impact,” he said. “I’m not in business to be mediocre. I’m in business to make a difference in my clients’ lives.”
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