Mother’s Day interview with Leigh Johnston – How being a Mum helps to be an excellent Financial Planner
Mother’s Day is here once again, and Vision Property & Finance wanted to share our very own Leigh Johnston’s experience of being a mum and how it has helped her become a better financial planner. With three children of her own, as well as running a busy household, Leigh has some insights into not only the balancing act mothers and couples go through while trying to raise a family, but also the vitally important task of keeping the family finances on track.
Life Experience Helps Financial Planners Understand Their Clients Better
Leigh believes anyone with the right focus, life experiences, and dedication can be a great financial planner. However, in looking back over her career, Leigh can see how becoming a mum changed her perspective and helped her to see the bigger picture that Financial Planning is all about.
“As you get older there is a different level of maturity that you bring to meetings with clients, and I’d like to think some of the life experience that I’ve had can add value to the advice that I am able to give. I guess, with time, you are able to bring a different perspective.”
“Having been a financial planner before I was a mother, I can see how having my three children has definitely given me some insights. This perspective has helped, in particular, when it comes to advising clients around highly emotive topics like estate planning. These are areas where you might be talking about how to prepare in the event someone is injured or dies. Extra care and sensitivity is needed and I would like to think that, as a mother, this is something I can bring to my dealings with clients.”
Leigh says that being a mum has given her a capacity to deal with people on a different level, especially in the way she is able to relate to people and understand their concerns about planning their financial lives.
“I think being a mother has certainly made me more nurturing, which helps in understanding people’s concerns, aspirations, and desires in a lot of the different areas a financial planner can help clients in. Empathy and understanding are so important as you get to know your clients and begin to understand their unique circumstances and life situation.”
A Mother’s Perspective on Life Changes
Having children changed Leigh’s outlook on life, which is something she says is common to see with many of the clients she deals with who are having children. Like herself, she can see the transformations taking shape in their lives. This helps her to advise clients according to their needs and circumstances, making the client outcomes she sees from her Financial Planning advice even more rewarding.
“I see the natural instincts of parents wanting to protect and provide for their children, and this comes through in the Financial Planning advice. Having been there myself I can recognise what they are going through and often what they are wanting out of their Financial Plans.”
“It would be a rare parent who didn’t want to provide for their children and make sure they have a great life. At the very least they want to give their children the same opportunities they had, if not more, particularly when it comes to funding the costs of education which are higher now. Being a mother, I know that parents want to provide as many possibilities for their children that they can.”
Leigh says parents shouldn’t underestimate the value of Financial Planning to them, even from a very young age. She says it is never too soon to start making Financial Plans, especially if you are planning a family or already have one.
“Even though we all have a good standard of living now, we understand that the next generation may have more difficulties; especially when it comes to trying to get into their own home. We are dealing with clients now who want to help their children into their first home and are setting up Financial Plans so they are in a position to help their children with a deposit for a home, or in meeting the rising cost of a university education.”
For a lot of mothers, another desire is to not have to work full time in their 50’s when often the grandchildren start to arrive. Being ready to give some time to their children by looking after their grandchildren is a goal that resonates with a lot of our clients.
Financial Planning is a lot easier for clients to start today than it has ever been before. Leigh says, with the range of tools now available, the process is a lot more client-friendly. She says a free chat with a Vision Financial Planner is usually the easiest way to make a start. Even after this first meeting, Leigh says, clients often feel a lot better about their financial future and where they are heading.
If you are interested in learning more about Financial Planning and how it can help you, contact us here or give Vision Property & Finance a call on 1800 004 663 to speak to one of our expert Financial Planners.
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*Leigh Johnston is a representative of FNP Solutions Pty Ltd (ABN 87 156 409 531) Trading as Vision Property & Finance Newcastle a Corporate Authorised Representative of PATRON Financial Services Pty Ltd ABN 12 122 381 908 AFSL 307379.