For years, Court Creeden worked as a financial analyst for the United States embassies in Western Europe, Africa and South America. It wasn’t until two of his friends passed away unexpectedly, leaving behind young families, that he had an epiphany.
“I realized that they didn’t have a financial plan in place, and I started to talk to more and more of my friends,” he said. “Even my sister at the time had just had her first son. I said, ‘What if that happened to you (and you lost your husband unexpectedly), what would that look like for you?’ She said, ‘Court, honestly, I have no idea.’”
Those revelations led Creeden in 2011 to establish Parent Financial, a firm of certified financial planners and advisers who specialize in helping young parents safeguard their finances.
“I realized that most financial professionals tend to specialize or work with people who I’d say are in their 50s or 60s and already have wealth,” he said. “Very few individuals or even companies will work with people that are really trying to get organized and build wealth. Not only that, people trying to protect their family and plan for their children’s’ future.”
Parent Financial is based in Charlotte, North Carolina, but recently expanded to include offices in Greenville and Charleston.
“We want to be that resource,” he said. “We want parents to know, hey, we can go get an education, get a really clear picture of where we are, but more importantly, we can get a sense of what we need to do to balance all of the expenses of taking care of little kids with how do we put ourselves on track to retire and maybe help pay for our kids’ college?”
Unlike many financial planners who only accept clients who have assets valued in the hundreds of thousands of dollars or more, Parent Financial works with people of all financial situations. Creeden said most young parents have minimal savings, if any at all.
It was important to Creeden that he be able to reach as many in need as possible, regardless of their assets. Because of that, every client who starts with Parent Financial gets a complimentary course in foundational planning, which is a three-meeting process designed to establish needs and provide resources. Topics include wills, emergency funds, monthly budgeting, and insurance review.
If those clients wish to proceed, they’re then enrolled in a monthly comprehensive family-planning program that is fee-based. Creeden said the fee varies by client. Those clients receive help with college savings, investment management, retirement planning and advanced estate planning.
“A lot of couples assume financial planning is only for people with wealth,” he said. “We’re here to help anyone who wants to get clarity on their finances. We’re here to help young parents, couples who are expecting, empty nesters or anyone who needs guidance on organizing their finances.”
Although he isn’t yet a father himself, Creeden said his goal is to help families avoid financial hardship, both now and in the future.
“I feel like I have thousands of kids because of all of the families I’ve already helped through Parent Financial,” he said. “I joke and say I want to be the guy who is at a child’s graduation ceremony, and the child looks over and says, ‘Who’s the guy Dad keeps hugging?’ For us, that’s really what the relationship is all about.”
Find out more
To schedule a consultation with the Greenville office of Parent Financial, call 864-787-8092, or visit parent-financial.com. The Greenville office is located at 2507 Wade Hampton Blvd., Suite 210.
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