Scott Lebin is not a fan of the word "retirement." To the 71-year-old president of Lebin Financial Planning, in Geneva, Ill., the term too often suggests "that we stop doing, we stop living and just kick up our feet. I think that's a faulty premise."
Lebin has been an advisor for nearly 30 years. He taught high school for 21 years before that. And although some in his position would be eyeing the door at this point, he has no plans to slow down. "I love what I’m doing," he says. "I've loved the practice of financial planning for the last 28 years and I don't see it as work. I plan on doing this for the next 10 years, because I'm fortunate enough to enjoy what I’m doing. "
He cautions against arrogance and recommends that advisors remain "very humble about the privilege we have of working with people." The fact that they are willing to share their assets and let advisors help manage their money is "a tremendous responsibility that they're giving us," Lebin says. "Unfortunately, some people in our profession have not taken that very seriously, but I would say that the majority of us do."
A big part of that responsibility lies in helping clients understand that everything can change in a moment, Lebin says. "You can walk into a doctor's appointment and your whole world is upside down by the time you leave. You can go out in your car and 10 minutes later, someone hits you and nothing's ever the same. But we look at it very positively. We try to create peace of mind by going through all those things that might happen so we're prepared for them."
Advisors who work with older clients must slow down and take the time to listen, according to Lebin. "You've got to remember that their families are busy. They don't sit there and spend a lot of time listening to them. I think when they come in to us, it's an opportunity for us to give them a chance to voice their concerns, to know they're being listened to and that we understand."