Retirement Planning for Happiness
As the Director of Financial Planning, I work with clients to define their goals and concerns and then create a plan that presents solutions to help them achieve those goals. I know money and finances stress out a lot of people, and it can seem overwhelming to get organized and take control of your financial situation. I talk to clients not about how much they are spending, but about how they are spending money – does it align with their values and goals, does it make them happy?
My goal is to help people understand their situation and evaluate their options so they can make decisions that move them toward their goals. The hardest part about financial planning is finding a balance between enjoying your life now and making sure your money will last, especially with our increasing longevity. The aspects of my job that I enjoy most are seeing when a client truly believes that they will be ok for retirement and developing creative solutions to client issues – it’s like finding where all the pieces in the puzzle go.
The Path to Financial Planning
My career path seems off the beaten track, but when I look back, I see how everything I have done has brought me to my dream job as a financial planner. My undergraduate degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia taught me to distill information to the most relevant points and to communicate it clearly so people can understand.
Law school gave me the ability to spot issues and find solutions, and the confidence that even if I didn’t know the answer, I had the resources to figure it out. I practiced law for a few years and then left the workforce to stay home with my kids (one of the best decisions of my life).
I’ve always loved personal finance and tax, and I wanted to help people, so it was a natural fit to find a position as a financial planner when I re-entered the workforce in 2007. I began at a small wealth management firm founded by a woman, then a few years later moved to a large investment management firm that was looking for someone to launch a financial planning department.
To better serve my clients, I did additional coursework through the San Diego State University Executive Financial Planner program and the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and earned the Certified Financial Planner® and Certified Private Wealth Advisor® credentials. I joined Platt Wealth Management in January 2019 so that I could provide highly individualized client service through financial planning and investment management through close relationships with our clients.
The Women’s Initiative
To advance the profession, I am an active member of the San Diego Financial Planning Association. I serve on the Board of Directors and am Co-Director of the Women’s Initiative, whose mission is to encourage and support women in financial services through programs and networking events.
I also participate in their Mentorship Program, where I work with the next generation of female financial planners.
A Financial Education Legacy
I have always been interested in personal finance as a result of my family being open about their finances. My grandfather arrived in this country in the 1920s with nothing, started a bakery, and saved so he and my grandmother could invest in dividend-paying stocks. I remember going to the bank with my grandmother so she could deposit her dividend checks every month (this was back in the olden days when shareholders got a physical check). I was fascinated by the idea that you could get money for doing nothing.
I have a great appreciation for the sacrifices that my grandparents and parents made to provide a better life through education and good stewardship of resources. My dad has been a considerable influence in my frugal nature, with his warnings about credit card debt and lectures on how we’ve become a nation of consumers instead of producers. Living below your means and paying yourself first through savings is giving yourself the gift of freedom and peace of mind about your financial security, not a punishment.
Passionate About Women’s Issues
As the mother of two daughters, I have always been passionate about women’s issues, especially mentoring young women. As a Girl Scout leader, I took two troops through high school and still remain a lifetime member. Now that my daughters are grown, I have continued to work with young women through mentoring opportunities.
Just in Time
I serve on the Board of Directors for Just In Time For Foster Youth, a local organization whose mission is to provide a caring community to help transition-age foster youth achieve self-sufficiency and well-being. As a coach/mentor for their Career Horizons program, it has been incredibly rewarding to see the young women in the program grow personally and professionally as they define and achieve their educational, financial, and career advancement goals.
I also volunteer with Athena, an organization dedicated to empowering and advancing women in STEM. As the Co-chair of the Signature Series committee, we develop and present quarterly programs on personal and professional development for our members and the community. My experiences align with Athena’s mission, since women in science and technology face many of the same challenges as women in finance.
Live Your Best Life
At Platt Wealth Management, I have the opportunity to work closely with clients and build a trusting relationship that allows me to dig deep into their financial lives. I help people live their best lives and achieve their dreams, whether that’s travel, providing an education for their kids, or slowing down to enjoy the journey.
It’s wonderful to work at a firm that supports me living my best life too. I love to spend my free time traveling with my husband and our daughters and enjoying outdoor sports like skiing, hiking, and rafting. PWM lives their unofficial mission statement of family and friends, fun, flexibility, and food (although we had to make Jeff stop bringing scones into the office).
We are committed to finding the right solutions for our clients and expanding our
understanding of best practices for wealth management.
Founder and CEO
Jeffrey Platt, JD, CFA, CFP® is the founding principal and CEO of Platt Wealth Management. He graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science.
Director of OPERATIONS
Angela Melfi is the Director of Operations for Platt Wealth Management, where she oversees marketing, compliance, technology, human resources and business operations.