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Wealth & Well-Being

Better Advice, Better Outcomes: The Role of a Certified Financial Transitionist® (CeFT®)

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Transitions are important life pivot points that thrust individuals and families from stability into a position that is new and in flux. Each person will likely experience a handful of transitions over the course of his or her lifetime, and may even experience periods where they go through more than one transition at a time. Common transitions include:

  • Divorce
  • Widowhood
  • Inheritance
  • Sale of a Business
  • Loss of a parent
  • Retirement
  • Insurance settlement

Research indicates that transitions are often characterized as beginning with an end—the end of a career, the end of a relationship, or loss—and tend to last longer than most individuals expect. Some transitions are anticipated, such as retirement or an inheritance, while others can be sudden and unexpected. Regardless of how one comes face to face with a transition, they are without a doubt a confusing time from both the financial and personal sides. 

See Northstar Related Article: 5 Life Transitions and Times When a Financial Advisor is Needed

Embracing Change

For many individuals, change is an unwelcome guest in the flow of their day-to-day lives. The longer we live, the more life-changing events we are likely to encounter. While these changes may temporarily disrupt our flow and force us to navigate and forge a “new normal,” they can also be times of significant growth and opportunity. Even changes that are unbearably painful can be the precursor to a positive outcome. When we embrace change, transformative things can happen in our lives. 

The Two Sides of Money: Technical and Personal

Of course, the problem is that traditional schooling doesn’t teach us how to adapt to change or endure the times of uncertainty that we will encounter in our lives. Not only are we charged with navigating how best to financially handle these pivotal events, but we must also try and manage our own emotional, cognitive, and personal responses to them, as well. 

Overall, traditional financial planning does an excellent job of providing processes for the technical side of money management, but those processes weren’t designed to navigate the personal side of financial change. As research has shown, it is the personal side of change that drives decision-making.

See Northstar Related Article: Take Control of Your Financial Future: A Financial Well-Being Checklist for Women 

The CeFT® ’s Integrated Approach

A Certified Financial Transitionist® (CeFT®) is a professional with an established career in the financial services industry who recognizes the importance and power of the personal side of money and the unique challenges transitions can present on this front.  The CeFT® is uniquely trained to assist clients-in-transition to identify and work through the behavioral and cognitive struggles that accompany life change.

These struggles can cause problems that range from mildly inconvenient to disastrous. Choices can be overwhelming; a change in marital status can cause an identity crisis, and a large windfall can cause a complete breakdown in core values. As CeFT®s, we know how to keep clients safe and support them during these struggles.

Our goal is to help our clients-in-transition increase their well-being, facilitate better decision-making, and restore flow to their everyday lives. Psychology confirms that we are happiest when we are in a flow state—that is, when we feel that our lives are progressing smoothly and intentionally. People who experience flow during times of transition think more clearly, see stress as a temporary challenge rather than a debilitating condition, and make the best decisions for themselves and their future. Rather than adopting a mindset that their changing circumstances are destructive, these individuals see these times as opportunities for personal growth and enhancement. 

The Training Process

The CeFT® is a level-up designation. This means that to sit for the extensive six-hour exam, advisors must have a CFP®, CFA®, CIMA®, or CPA/PFS,  a minimum of five years of face-to-face client advising, and complete the Financial Transitionist year-long training program. 

Northstar’s Transition Planning Services

For decades, professionals in the financial services industry have been taught how to advise on the technical side of money, but often struggle with helping their clients through the personal side. We knew that receiving the CeFT® training and designation would allow us to help our clients on another level—one that aligned with our firm’s mission. 

At Northstar, we believe that clients deserve a deeper approach to wealth management, especially during times of transition when uncertainty can threaten one’s personal and financial well-being.  For us, the potential to better support our clients through these times was well worth the time and commitment.

Whether you are anticipating a major life change, or have found yourself struggling with an unforeseen transition, the Certified Financial Transitionist® professionals at Northstar Financial Planning can help. Once we learn a little about your situation, we can pair you with the advisor who specializes in the type of transition you are experiencing. Schedule your complimentary Get Acquainted meeting today to see how our transition services could benefit you. 

Written by Robin Young in collaboration with Lexicon Content Development

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