Skip West has been working in finance for over 20 years. He started the West Financial Group in Wildwood, FL, and is now its main financial advisor.
Role and responsibilities now:
West Financial Group's president, CEO, and top financial advisor is Skip West. West Financial Group was started in 2003. It is a small, independent financial planning firm that helps retirees and people getting close to retirement plan for their long-term finances. The company helps people plan for their retirement income and taxes, buy life insurance and annuities, and plan for their legacy and estate. The Villages Retirement Community in Sumter County is where West Financial Group is based.
Career and School Background:
West got his Bachelor of Science in engineering from the University of Arkansas in 1972. He has always had his own company. He found that financial planning is what he loves to do and has been a financial advisor for many years. Recently, he has become an expert at helping retired people live the life of their dreams. He also writes books.
Skills and Experience in the Workplace:
West is good at a wide range of financial planning and advisory services, such as planning for retirement, budgeting, taxes, leaving a legacy, and planning for your estate. He also helps clients figure out what kind of insurance they need, such as life, disability, and long-term care insurance.
Personal service is a very important part of his business plan. He works with clients to create personalized plans based on how they want to live in retirement. For instance, they can decide if they want to travel, help others, work a "retirement job," or just relax. He also helps retired people or people who are about to retire reduce their tax bills during retirement and in what they leave to their heirs.
He works with clients one-on-one and also gives seminars and teleconferences often. Some topics are:
avoiding the risks of the stock market
keeping taxes from going up on retirement savings
how to make sure you have a steady income for life and get over your fear of the unknown.
how to spend less time chasing the ball and more time on the green.
is debt free retirement possible?
retirement strategies for women
how to not run out of money.
Often, the seminars are free.
Even though West lives in a retirement community, he still keeps up with current events and goes to events to learn more. During the pandemic, for example, he looked into the CARES Act and its updates and annuities and gave people information about them.
Growing up and Morals:
West was born in Greenville, South Carolina, but moved to Arkansas later on. He went to high school at Monticello. His father taught him a phrase that has helped him do well all through his life. The mantra is "No matter what, always do more for others than they do for you." At West Financial, he puts this mantra into practice by being kind to clients and helping them in person. For example, he knows how hard it is emotionally to figure out what will happen to your estate after you die. Through planning, he helps his clients get through this hard time.
West also thinks that a healthy body and mind are gifts that come with responsibilities. As part of taking care of these responsibilities, he works hard to keep his mind and body fit and sharp through faith and discipline.
Philanthropy and Giving to Charity:
He thinks it's very important to give back to the community. He really wants to help people in his community learn more about money. He also thinks that everyone should have a plan for how they will get money in retirement and tries to help them make one. He gives a lot of free seminars. He and West Financial Group also provide free retirement planning resources and free consultations. On the West Financial Group website and on his personal Twitter and Facebook pages, you can find free resources.
Successes and Achieved Goals:
West and West Financial has won a number of awards. One client says he is "personable" and "really knows his clients"... "He makes me feel special, takes care of my business, and gives me great advice."
Another couple likes the events he plans so they can meet other clients who like the same things they do. They also like how friendly he is and how well he takes care of them. "You don't feel like a number at all when you're with Skip. He is friendly and makes you feel comfortable.
He is the best "financial guy" for another client.
Still, another customer says that he really listens to what they want and need. "We thought he was honest and knew what he was doing with each account."
Likes and dislikes:
West lives the way he tells his clients to live when they retire. He loves to run and play golf. He's been married for a long time and has kids and grandkids. His grandchildren also live in Florida, in Pt. St. Lucie. One of his granddaughters is an avid golfer. Skip and his wife live in The Villages for the time being. West likes The Villages a lot, and he talks about it on his social media.