The Dialogue with Michael & Lori Bishop
This feature is a question-and-answer session with a new Blount County Chamber member. So here we go with our 30th installment visiting with Michael & Lori Bishop, Owners of Mountain Top Retirement Planning
. Its mission is to give clients the confidence that their entire financial house is in order so they can enjoy a mountain top experience throughout retirement.
What does Mountain Top Retirement Planning specialize in? We are in business for a simple reason, to help people prepare for and experience a happy and fulfilled retirement, according to what "retirement" means to them. We both have career experience in Financial Services and always felt we would make a great team to help people pursue their financial goals. We are a very unique husband and wife team, with different skill sets. As a result, we find we are able to connect with clients on a different level which enhances the Client/Advisor relationship. The deeper relationship we have with a client, the better we can serve them.
What services can you assist with? Our desire is to help people make the smartest financial decisions based on their values and what's important to them. There are many sources of advice, but how does one know which may be best for their specific situation? By using a holistic approach, considering their entire financial position, we are able to guide clients through that process. There are several areas to cover in that process, such as Estate Planning, Cash Flow, Investments, Insurance, and Tax Planning, but the end result is that we help our clients get their entire financial house in order and keep it that way.
How did you both get started? Lori knew when she graduated from Auburn that she wanted to be a financial planner and began pursuing that right away. She has 28 years of experience as a Certified Financial Planner. Mike graduated from Carson-Newman with a degree in Accounting and spent 20 years in the restaurant industry before starting in the financial industry in 2002.
How do the social, economic, environmental, technological, legal and political environments impact your clients? In today's world, you would think those environments would have a great impact on our work environment, but they really don't. Yes, it may affect our clients' investment account values, but that is only a small part of what we do. We help clients develop a long term plan for their finances, so while a swing in the stock market certainly gets our attention, it doesn't impact our work environment. Communication is key and regular communication is one of commitments to clients. Our priority is to have an accurate financial plan that deals with the "what-ifs" and to proactively manage that plan with the client. This enables us to help our clients make their smartest financial decisions based on a well thought out plan and not out of fear.
What do you enjoy about your business? Working together! People always ask what is it like working with your spouse? It's probably not for everyone, but we love it. Much of that comes from our realization and acceptance that we each have a different skill set than the other. Lori is very visual, artistic... very "right-brain". That fits perfectly with her role in the planning services. Mike is the analytical, numbers driven... "left brain", which fits his role of investment management, etc. We think that combination gives our clients the best of both worlds. Our clients even tell us so. The other aspect we love about our business is that we know, and see, what impact we can have on families and generations to come. We take that very personally. It is extremely rewarding when we are invited to a clients' retirement party, knowing we had a small part in their happiness.
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