Retirement planning can feel like another job. But it doesn’t have to be.
LaBarge Financial is combining resources so it can become a one-stop shop for all retirement needs: wealth management, tax planning, estate planning, and insurance.
“Retirees of yesteryear had an insurance guy, a travel agent, a lawyer,” said Jason LaBarge, president of the firm. “LaBarge Financial wants to bring that under one roof for modern retirees. The real value is all of us working together for overall planning and strategy.”
LaBarge got into the financial services industry more than 10 years ago, motivated by the story of his grandmother, Marcella, who found herself unprepared to handle her finances when LaBarge’s grandfather died unexpectedly.
Every time LaBarge helps a client or friend, he feels like he is helping his grandmother.
With his ongoing expansion, he is equipped to help people more than ever.
He has partnered with Muñoz & MacKenzie, which provides estate planning; a few certified public accountants, or CPAs; and a specialist who is knowledgeable about Medicare Advantage plans.
His own team includes five other members whose main job is to provide world-class customer service, whether that means helping clients claim Social Security benefits, initiating employer plan rollovers or being available for any other client needs that arise.
“We offer Four Seasons service with FedEx efficiency,” LaBarge said.
That’s not just talk. LaBarge Financial is always looking for ways to build relationships with clients, through informative but fun events, with referral incentives, and even by sending mug cakes for birthdays.
“It’s just personal touches that may seem small, but it’s a big deal to us,” said Jessie Ringle, chief operations officer at LaBarge Financial.
“I don’t know many financial offices that are relationship-based; they are transactional,” Ringle said. “Jason has always been about relationships before transactions, and the trust he builds with clients. He doesn’t want to be the money guy. He wants all the areas taken into consideration.”
Two of those clients are Barbara and George Goodale.
“My portfolio has blossomed,” said Barbara, who first consulted LaBarge about two years ago, right after she retired.
“With some investors, you’re just a name on a page,” she added. “I know Jason. I know his family and his kids. It means a lot that he is involved in the community.”
George is impressed by LaBarge’s knowledge.
“He exudes confidence, and you can’t help but have faith in him,” he said.
That knowledge has been put to the test over the last few years. The stock market rose rapidly following the downturn of the COVID-19 pandemic and then entered a bear market in June 2022 before experiencing a steady rebound so far in 2023.
“The volatility is here to stay,” LaBarge said. “A small group of companies dictate where the market goes.”
Lately, those companies are Apple, Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Tesla, Nvidia and Meta, which was previously called Facebook.
Adding to those concerns, the development of artificial intelligence poses a threat to some occupations. And in the short-term, the Federal Reserve raised interest rates in July for the 11th time in 17 months. With that decision, the borrowing rate reached 5.4% — the highest rate in 22 years.
“Managing volatility and inflation, and managing taxes, are our top priorities,” LaBarge said.
LaBarge promotes a “red money, green money” philosophy. Green money comes from savings accounts, certificates of deposit (CDs), fixed annuities and money market accounts. Red money, which comes from mutual funds and variable annuities, for example, carries some risk but has potential to grow.
“Green money has a guaranteed rate of return,” LaBarge said. “With red money, we are trying to combat inflation.”
LaBarge believes that philosophy, combined with his comprehensive, multifaceted approach to retirement planning, makes the process rewarding for both his team and for clients.
Retirement planning should be exciting, not overwhelming.
“I’m genuinely invested and driven to see my clients retire, succeed and achieve their dreams,” LaBarge said. “I have been able to tell a client who did not think they were going to retire at a certain age that I’m confident they can retire in three years instead of five. It’s the best part of what I do.”
To start planning a retirement centered around your hopes and dreams, contact LaBarge Financial for a no-obligation, complimentary consultation. Call 443-647-4321 or visit www.labargefinancial.com. LaBarge Financial is located at 7 Riggs Avenue in Severna Park.
The views stated are not necessarily the opinion of Cetera and should not be construed directly or indirectly as an offer to buy or sell any securities mentioned herein. Due to volatility within the markets mentioned, opinions are subject to change without notice. Information is based on sources believed to be reliable; however, their accuracy or completeness cannot be guaranteed. Past performance does not guarantee future results.
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