"I can remember coming to New York to make it or break it in jazz and saying to myself 'Now how should I attack this practical problem of becoming a jazz musician and making a living and soon?' And ultimately, I came to the conclusion that all I must do is take care of the music except do it in a closet. And if I really do that, somebody's going to come and open the door of the closet and say, 'Hey we're looking for you." - Bill Evans (great jazz pianist)
One of the central, most influential forces in my life has been my parents, for whom I am extremely grateful. They had 11 children and gave us everything, all without expecting anything. They are my heroes!
We were a competitive set of siblings though, growing up in a twin home outside the suburbs of Philadelphia. I slept in an attic that I shared with four brothers. My six sisters occupied two bedrooms on the second floor. Mom and Dad had the remaining bedroom. There was only one bathroom for all 13 of us. Thus, a competitive spirit was bred early on.
In the Welde family, education was a big deal. Mom made certain our homework was done, and Dad signed all of the report cards. Good grades, participation in sports, a potential scholarship – that was the formula. I ended up paying my way through Villanova University working on the back of a trash truck (it paid very well!). Each of my siblings earned their college degree. Mom and Dad, job well done!
My lifelong path of growth and development has not been completely linear. Like plenty of others, I’ve had my share of ups and downs. I’m grateful for my wife, Peg, who never stopped believing in me even when I stopped believing in myself. I’m blessed with three beautiful daughters, commonly referred to as “Charlie’s Angels.” One daughter works with me in our financial services business. My other daughters are learning and growing in their respective careers. Two identical twin granddaughters and a grandson complete the Welde Clan. Peg and I are on cloud nine and loving every minute of it.
I began my career in public accounting in the early ‘80’s. As a CPA, I felt something was missing after 15 years of working 50 hour weeks. I was introduced to financial planning in the mid ‘90’s and fell in love with this new profession. My transition into it felt entirely organic. I was solid with numbers and great with people.
Unlike accounting (cleaning up the past), financial planning gave me the opportunity to help people create a future. I was so energized by this that I considered selling my tax practice and going full time into financial planning. However, my Dad (bless his soul), instructed me to not leave my day job and he was right. Our tax practice drives our financial planning business and vice versa. Retirement income planning and tax planning are very much interrelated!
One of the great gifts delivered by the profession I’ve chosen is the capacity it gives me for lifelong learning. Learning is cumulative and what accumulates is wisdom. As a result of this drive and inclination, in 2012, I became a member of an exclusive Mastermind Group, composed of 300 competitive, like-minded professionals who share ideas and empower each other to be “the best of the best” in the financial planning world. Our mission is to simplify financial planning for American families. I also take pride in being an Ed Slott Master Elite IRA Advisor and a Lifetime Member of the Million Dollar Round Table.
It’s interesting to note that 40 million Americans find themselves between their 50th birthdays and their retirement dates. Nearly every one of them has investments, but few have a written holistic plan. I recommend that people in this age range segregate their money into six specific categories: now, soon, later, taxable, tax deferred and tax free. This makes it much easier to relate to your finances.
I recently sat down with a 62-year-old woman to discuss her retirement goals. We created a customized plan that will completely eliminate her income tax bill within eight years. She said, “Wow! Why isn’t everyone doing this?”
In a world that is market focused and performance driven, our holistic planning process will focus your attention on your date- and dollar-specific goals. Five years from today, you’ll be five years older, five years closer to retirement or five years into retirement.
Dad passed away in 2004 and Mom in 2011. Both died peacefully in their sleep. Shortly before her passing, my brother John asked Mom to share some insight, just something she would like to pass on to her children and grandchildren. She looked at John with a smile and said, “Johnny, it’s later than you think!”
Wisdom for the ages!!
Charles Welde, CPA, CFP®
Holistic Financial Planner
The CP Welde Group
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