Financial Planning Starts with Setting Goals
By EMILY RAMSEY
PREPARING FOR THE FUTURE: Gene Bishop, president of Northpoint Wealth Management, stands in the GTR offices after discussing his business and common financial questions that he is often asked.
EMILY RAMSEY for GTR Newspapers
After reevaluating his life goals, Gene Bishop, president of Northpoint Wealth Management, recognized what he most wanted out of life and the type of employment he most enjoyed.
Bishop spent 25 years working in public and private enterprises as a chief financial officer and controller, including 15 years in the healthcare industry at St. Francis and Hillcrest, among other institutions, before beginning with Northpoint. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from the University of Tulsa and a master’s of business administration from Oklahoma City University. He is licensed in Life, Accident, Health and Variable Annuities.
Greater Tulsa Reporter: How would you define what is offered at Northpoint Wealth Management?
Gene Bishop: We offer a better understanding of the financial concepts behind insurance, investments, retirement, estate planning and wealth preservation. But, most importantly, we focus on life planning. Once life goals are established, financial goals can then be determined.
Most needs of individuals change during life’s transitions, as we age and enter different stages. Our services range from providing access to education accounts, Individual Retirement Accounts, and company 401(k) accounts to assisting with mergers and acquisitions, succession planning, estate planning, and more.
: What caused you to make a career change?
GB: During many of my years before Northpoint, I had to work seven days a week, more that 15 hours a day. My wife, daughter and I drove past my office one day; my daughter saw my office and said, “Daddy’s home. We eat, we drink,” because my wife and daughter would often have dinner with me at my office so that I could see them.
A statement like that causes you to rethink your life, and what’s important. My generation often defined their life by their occupation and job position. I want to challenge that thinking by encouraging clients to evaluate what makes them happy in their life.
: What are some of the most common financial problems that clients come to you with?
GB: Most financial problems focus on retirement funds. The most common thread that affects the accumulation of funds before retirement or taking income during retirement is the realization of how many years one may live during retirement. I do a lot of education with clients focusing on the three phases of retirement and how they affect the quality of life of people, the three phases being, first, individuals are very active, perhaps traveling a lot; after a while, they become more sedentary; and thirdly, as they age, they need an increasing amount of care.
When individuals reach that point, most older ones want to age at home instead of in a nursing home. But the individuals and their families must be understanding and be prepared for the costs.
That led to my establishing the Northpoint Parent Care Institute to provide information and processes to achieve an enriched retirement so that all individuals involved can make the appropriate choice for the aging person.
Collaboration with The Center for Innovative Care in Aging at the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing and with Family Wealth Consortium help to facilitate these discussions.
: What other issues do your clients often wish to address?
GB: Many of my clients are owners of small businesses. While they are often focused on dealing with the day-to-day operations of owning a business, I try to get them to look at the bigger picture, such as dealing with risk management and proper insurance coverage. For example, in the case of a natural disaster, do they have Business Interruption Insurance? Or knowing when is the right time to sell the business.
: What do you enjoy most about your job?
GB: I so much enjoy when I see clients are successful in meeting their goals. Whether it is seeing a couple that is able to spend six months a year on the beach or helping a client retire and transition into a new career.