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NAIFA Trustee, Connie Golleher, CLTC, takes great pride in helping her clients achieve a high degree of financial wellness. In this interview, Golleher, who is CEO of The Golleher Group, LLC, explains why financial wellness is so critical and what she does to enhance the level of financial wellness for her clients.

NAIFA:  How do you define financial wellness, and why is it becoming so important?

Connie Golleher: My firm defines financial wellness as Financial Literacy.  Americans who are financially literate typically have a plan in place to save money, manage credit card and other debt, and can leverage certain insurance products in the event of a major life event.

NAIFA: Should all Americans make financial wellness a top priority?

Golleher: Absolutely. Every American should make financial wellness a top priority.  Finances are a major stressor for families.  Planning and money are a critical part of our lives.  Whether you are planning to buy a home, start a family, start your own business, pay for college or fund a retirement plan, not having a plan or the discipline to save will at some point have a negative impact on your life.

NAIFA: Retirement readiness, debt management, responsible use of credit, saving early, need for emergency savings and budgeting—these are some of the areas that are of great concern to many consumers. Do you discuss any of these topics with your clients, and if you do, how do you go about doing so?

Golleher: Yes. We discuss all of the above topics with clients.  We have an intake sheet that walks clients down a path of questions that focus on their current financial situation, their concerns, their financial goals, and their dreams.  This process helps us determine their level of financial literacy, and together, we build a financial-wellness plan.

NAIFA: What other steps have you taken to help enhance your clients’ financial wellness?

Golleher: Our approach is holistic in that we include other industry experts, such as asset managers, accountants and estate-planning attorneys, as we work with our clients to help keep them on track for success.

NAIFA: Have these steps been well-received by your clients and how have they benefited you and your clients?

Golleher: YES! They have been well-received.  Our approach is to educate and empower clients to feel secure in their financial future going forward.  Having their buy-in from the beginning is imperative for the plan to be successful.

NAIFA: Is there anything else you would like to add?

Golleher: Helping clients achieve financial freedom and the power to choose how they live their lives is rewarding!