Older Americans Month with Dean Barber

May 19, 2023

Older Americans Month with Dean Barber

START PLANNING Subscribe on YouTube

Share this Episode

Older Americans Month with Dean Barber Show Notes

The month of May is a time for many exciting things: graduations, family vacations right after school is out, the beginning of pool season—the list goes on. May also marks Older Americans Month. Older Americans Month allows Modern Wealth Management Managing Director Dean Barber to reflect upon his career in the financial services industry and what it’s meant to him.

On this episode of The Guided Retirement Show, Dean is going to share a story about how his grandfather taught him so many important things in life, including how to find success in his career. Dean has continued to learn from hundreds of other older Americans throughout his career as he’s helped guide them to and through retirement. Let’s hear more from Dean about what Older Americans Month means to him.

In this podcast interview, you’ll learn:

  • What Dean has learned from older Americans, including his grandfather and hundreds of clients
  • How Dean is carrying on his mission of helping others from Barber Financial Group to Modern Wealth Management
  • The importance from learning about work ethic, honesty, and integrity from older Americans
  • The difference between an investment portfolio and comprehensive financial plan

Like Grandfather, Like Grandson

My grandfather was perhaps the biggest influences in my life. I spent weekends with my grandfather. He taught me to golf, hunt, and fish. I took all the things that my grandfather taught me, including work ethic, honesty, and integrity, and spent as much time with him as I could until he passed away in my early 30s.

The amount of time I got to spend with him and the wisdom that he imparted on me did a great deal in shaping my life. As I reflect on Older Americans Month, the youth in our country today dismiss the value and experience that older Americans. At 57, I’m getting into that group now. A lot of people would say that I’m a part of the older Americans group. I’ve been getting my AARP mailings, which doesn’t seem real.

Spending time with people who are in their 70s, 80s, and 90s and learning their life experiences can really help shape the way that someone grows up and treats others. I want to relate that back to a financial perspective.

Looking Back at the Start of My Career

My first day in the financial services industry as a financial advisor was Black Monday, which was October 19, 1987. It’s hard to think of a worse time to join the industry. I was 21, so I got my start at a very young age. I learned to be tenacious from my grandfather and had a good work ethic. If I worked hard, was honest, and did the right thing, I knew that I could be successful.

About two years into my career, I got to meet someone who was close to the age I am now. I’ll never forget my conversation with him. I sat down in his office and he told me that it was the greatest industry in the world because people can make so much money so quickly. That comment bothered me. It bothered me so much that I went back into his office a couple of days later and told him that. It bothered me because he thought it was all about him. I don’t think what we do as financial advisors should be all about us.

I told him that I believe that if I do the right thing all the time and truly seek to help people to better understand their finances and create a clearer financial future, I may not make a lot of money at first, but I can build something that will live beyond me.

Wanting to Help as Many People as Possible

My first nine years in the industry were with a large national company that had its own products. At that point, I had three kids and another on the way. I told my wife, Kim, that it was time for me to start my own business. It was frustrating that I couldn’t help people the way that I wanted to while being tied to a single company with their products. She looked at me and thought I was crazy, but I was serious. I wanted to start my own company that would live beyond me.

Building Something Special at Barber Financial Group

For 27 years, I worked to build an organization (Barber Financial Group) where the entire focus was helping people gain confidence in their financial life. I wanted to allow people to live with freedom from financial stress and grant them the time doing the things they wanted to do with the people they loved.

It was my objective to not start my company with a bunch of people that had already been in the industry a long time and developed bad habits. I didn’t want to hire a bunch of people who did things that I didn’t agree with. I wanted to build the company with a group of young advisors who I could train from the very beginning. It was my goal to get them out of the mentality of being a salesperson and into the mentality of helping people.

To do that, I had to sacrifice money. I had to pay people a salary to come here and teach them how to become CFP® Professionals. I didn’t want them to worry about selling a product to get a commission. As they matured in the business, I told them their income would increase. I wanted them to treat it as a career, as a profession, rather than as a financial salesperson, which is was the industry was so fraught with at the time. And unfortunately, that’s still the case.

There’s A Lot to Learn from Older Americans

A lot of what I learned with how to create a financial plan and our Guided Retirement System stemmed from more than the time with my grandfather. It also came from and still comes from time spent with amazing people that have their own stories and experiences. I’ve learned from the successes and failures of others. I’ve taken everything I’ve learned to help people as they close to retirement. I want them to understand the things that they’re going to be facing as older Americans in retirement. There are obstacles and opportunities in front of them. It’s important to me to help them plan around the obstacles and take advantage of the opportunities. I wanted to create an organization that could run without me there.

My Commitment to Helping Others Continues at Modern Wealth Management

Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that I would build a company that would be as successful as Barber Financial Group. Barber Financial Group is now Modern Wealth Management. My team has teamed up with a group of industry veterans to continue to perfect and improve what we’ve built over the last 27 years. We want to do that in a very meaningful way.

We’re taking all the systems, processes, and philosophies and introducing them to advisors nationwide so they can also change other people’s lives. Financial planning isn’t just about your investments. Your investments are a part of the financial plan. I want people to think of investments as the engine that makes your car move. An engine by itself is meaningless unless you have a car to put that engine in to get the car to go. That’s the way investments are within a financial plan.

What a Comprehensive Financial Plan Can Do for You

So, what do you need? You need a comprehensive financial plan that shows you where you’re going. Let’s build the plan to understand what you want your future to look like. Then, let’s look at what resources you have to get you the confidence, freedom, and time that you want. That’s the plan.

A Team of Professionals That Works for You

Then, we’ll bring in a CPA that sits side by side with the CFP® Professional to look at your plan from a tax perspective. They’ll help you create a distribution strategy that is the most tax-efficient income strategy for you in retirement. CPAs and CFP® Professionals need to meet regularly throughout the year on your behalf to make sure that everything is working as smoothly as it could. There are constant changes in tax law, the economy, and with interest rates that need to be considered.

We also need to think about planning for the next generation. Life is finite. We don’t know how long we’re going to be here, but we know at some point that the wealth you’ll accumulate will go to the next generation. That’s why we have estate planning specialists on our team to sit with the CPA and CFP® Professional to make sure that your wealth goes to the people and charities you love after you pass on in the least taxing way possible.

Then, you need to bring in risk management specialists. They’ll be helping you with your decisions about Medicare supplements, health insurance, long-term care, life insurance, property and casualty insurance.

All these professionals need to work together on your behalf. That is the definition of a real financial plan. Most of the millionaires next door don’t know that that exists. The ultra-high net worth people know that it exists but demand that type of relationship from their financial team.

Celebrating Older Americans Month at Modern Wealth Management

We’re looking forward to bringing this type of experience to people nationwide at Modern Wealth Management by training their advisors. That way we can show people what happens when a team of professionals is covering their investment, tax planning, estate planning, and risk management needs. It will help me realize my goal of helping as many people as I possibly can—not from a personal perspective, but from a mentoring and training perspective. It all goes back to the way my grandfather mentored me by teaching me the values of honesty, integrity, and hard work.

So, as we celebrate Older Americans Month at Modern Wealth Management, we want to say thank you to all older Americans. You have been there and done that. We want to make sure that every older American has the confidence, freedom, and time that they have worked so hard for and deserve in retirement. That all comes from a forward-looking financial plan.

Building a Comprehensive Financial Plan

If you don’t have a financial plan, we have a couple of ways to begin building your plan. First, we encourage you to check out our industry-leading financial planning tool to see how the components of tax planning, risk management, estate planning, and investments can enhance your probability of success in retirement. You can use our tool at no cost or obligation by clicking the “Start Planning” button below.

Older Americans Month


We also welcome the chance to meet with you in person, virtually, or by phone to discuss your retirement goals. Our team of professionals understands that your retirement isn’t just about your financial wealth. As I recently shared on America’s Wealth Management Show, you can’t forget about your health wealth, time wealth, and social wealth. They are all crucial to living the life you want to live in retirement.

To get a better idea of what that looks like for you, you can schedule a 20-minute “ask anything” session or complimentary consultation with one of our CFP® Professionals. It’s truly an eye-opening experience. We hope that you’ll celebrate Older Americans Month with us by building a financial plan that gives you all the confidence, freedom, and time in retirement that you could imagine.

Older Americans Month with Dean Barber | Watch Guide

00:00 – Celebrating Older Americans Month
00:32 – Valuing Our Older Citizens
02:16 – Applying Lessons Learned from Seniors to Financial Planning
07:59 – Modern Wealth Management
12:27 – Thank You to All Older Americans

Resources Mentioned in This Podcast

Investment advisory services offered through Modern Wealth Management, LLC, an SEC Registered Investment Adviser.

The views expressed represent the opinion of Modern Wealth Management, LLC, an SEC Registered Investment Adviser. Information provided is for illustrative purposes only and does not constitute investment, tax, or legal advice. Modern Wealth Management, LLC, does not accept any liability for the use of the information discussed. Consult with a qualified financial, legal, or tax professional prior to taking any action.