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Empathy, Entrepreneurship, and Client-Centered Financial Planning with Jenny Hamilton

In this episode, Royal Standley and Bill Tucker are joined by Jenny Hamilton, a financial planner with Oregon Pacific Financial Advisors, in discussing her background and transition into the financial industry. Jenny dives into how she helps clients better understand their financial opportunities and connects with clients on a personal level to help them better.

Episode 86 Transcript

Intro: Royal Standley of Oregon Pacific Financial Advisors, offering securities through United Planners Financial Services, member FINRA SIPC, guides clients with empathy in discovering and reaching their financial goals and creates financial plans for clients so they can live their lives by design. In these episodes, he relates his financial insights and discusses timely topics. 
Royal strives for excellence and has a passion for sharing his knowledge and supporting his community. Now onto the show.  

Royal Standley: Discussions in this show are for educational purposes only. Information presented should not be considered specific investment advice or a recommendation to take any particular course of action. Always consult with a financial professional regarding your personal situation before making any financial decisions. 

The views and opinions expressed are based on current economic and market conditions and are subject to change. All investing involves risk. Including the potential for loss of principle securities offered through United Planners Financial Services member FINRA, S I P C advisory service offered through Oregon Pacific Financial Advisors, Inc. 
Oregon Pacific Financial Advisors and United Planners are independent companies, and neither Oregon Pacific Financial Advisors nor United Planners offers tax or legal advice.

Bill Tucker: Hello. Welcome to the Life by Design podcast with Royal Standley of Oregon Pacific Financial Advisors. 
Royal, it's good to see you. You uh, you're not alone this week.  

Royal: No, we're not. And it's good to see you too, Bill. Uh, we have, uh, Jenny Hamilton, who's our newest addition here to the Oregon Pacific Financial Advisors team. And we're excited to have her here and learn a little bit about her background and what brings her to Oregon Pacific.And what she's looking to, uh, help bring to, uh, uh, a new group of clients here in Southern Oregon.  

Bill: Fantastic. Welcome, Jenny.   

Jenny Hamilton: Welcome. Thanks for having me. 

Royal: So Jenny, you, you just joined us after, uh, a little bit of study time and preparation. Uh, now Jenny, you're, you're a resident of Klamath Falls, Oregon. So a little farther away from, uh, our main office here in Medford, and we've known each other for a couple of years now. But I think it would be great if you could just share a little bit of our, of your background with the folks, uh, as, as a new advisor joining Oregon Pacific.  

Jenny: Sounds good. Well, I was born and raised in Klamath. I'm a Mazama High School graduate because I know that's important to the locals to know that.  

Royal: So you're not KU.  

Jenny: I am not KU. I am not Henley. And I went to OIT for a couple years. And, uh, most of my career has been at Columbia Forest Products and doing HR and accounting and purchasing and supervision. And so that's where I've gotten most of my, my work experience and life experience is, uh, from working there. 

And so I'm really excited for this new path. Um, I really love working with people and spending time with people. And I love numbers. I'm a spreadsheet junkie. So I do it for fun. And if there's not spreadsheets available, I will make them so that way they can be available. And so, um, I'm looking forward to just offering the people that I meet with, just a good person to listen to them, to talk to them and someone who loves doing the research and numbers behind the scenes too, just to make things simpler for them.  

Royal: Oh, that's awesome. And now you also have a little bit of an entrepreneurial bent as well, don't you? 

Jenny: I do. I started a blog about a year, year and a half ago, actually, and I just had so much life experience in my head that I wanted to have a way to get it out. Um, I learned how to create a website and I do a weekly blog on workplace culture, organization, or people skills, uh, just how to better work with your teams and to really understand yourself and your unique strengths and how you can offer that, uh, in your roles where you are. 
And so I really enjoy that. I get to post an article every week and, um, I've gotten to teach community college as well. Um, the community education, I've done anorganization class for them and I'm looking forward to doing. another organization class and a soft skills for managers class, um, this fall. 

Royal: Excellent. Excellent. And so you, you bring something unique here to Oregon Pacific is organization. I would say most of our advisors can be a little scattered. I have to remind some advisors that they do need to clean up their office a little bit every once in a while. 

Jenny, so how long were you at, uh, Columbia forest products and my memory of growing up next to a mill was everybody started pulling green chain. That was the entry level job. Did you ever have to do that or work on the floor?  

Jenny: I did not. So I worked there for 18 years and I did have opportunities to go, you know, on the floor and see what was happening. I for the bulk of my career I was a purchasing manager for the maintenance department so I would have to go on the floor and take pictures of machinery and figure out where the parts belonged and you know get A lot of information back to our vendors to help us out. 
So I spent time with the machine Operators, but not necessarily to do any of that myself. I don't believe that that's a requirement anymore to just start on green chain But I did see it and wow, it's amazing how strong it makes you if you can stick it out.  

Royal: And then for those that didn't grow up around a mill, can you describe what pulling green green chain is? 

Jenny: So, it's a lot of pieces of wet veneer that you have to physically grab and pull off a conveyor chain. And it can get really strenuous really fast. So, they rotate quite a bit, different positions, but it wears on you pretty quick. You're having to go fast and grab these really heavy things and throw them in a bin and then turn around and do it again. 

Royal: That's right. I just remember that, uh, separating the men from the boys, not to be sexist here,. 

Jenny: But I get it. I get it. It's hard. Most people didn't choose it, but the ones that did, they got paid very well.  

Bill: Well, you know, it's weird. We have a, we have a weird point of, uh, of, of intersection here because a lot of my family on my mother's side worked in paper mills. And in fact, my grandfather was a railroad engineer and he moved, he moved load the box cars of, of, of goods around and inside the yard and then carried them out once a week.  

Jenny: Oh, that's neat.  

Bill: So carried them out for 60 mile ride was like a, about a hundred car train. So, uh, we all have a strange intersection here with paper mills today. 

Jenny: Yeah.  

Royal: Excellent. So, we actually got started together as an advisor/client relationship probably about five, six years ago now. And then you had a job transition, uh, from Columbia, I think right around COVID starting, correct?  

Jenny: Well, my job transition happened, um, About the end of 2021 and I did have a position change about a year before that, uh, during COVID to where I was doing more special projects and things, um, but, you know, I've known you for a few years just because we did the Dave Ramsey program and you were listed as a Dave Ramsey rep, and so we called you and set up for the first meeting, um, and so that's how we found you, and stuck with it.  

Royal: Excellent. Excellent. So, um, you know, when you went through that position change, you know, from my perspective, we had had a conversation about, okay, well, what happens and that sort of thing. And I just remember having this conversation with you of, you know, what do you want to do next? And I, you know, just getting a chance to know you over that time, seeing your personality and your intelligence and you know, I could really see some potential here of, you know, Jenny could really make an excellent financial advisor with all of her life experience, education and knowledge here. 
So what drew you into the industry? Or am I just that good of a talker?  

Jenny: You are that good. You were like the first person I talked to when I was starting that journey. And, uh, you put the, kind of bug in my ear and I was like, huh, interesting. And so I did a little bit more research, a little bit more, I don't know, just kind of figuring out what was next for me. And I knew through just, you know, a few months, even before that, and just trying to do some soul searching or whatnot, um,  
I read a really good book called What's Best Next and it really just put me on a path of really paying attention to what's important to me and how to live the rest of my life really pursuing what's important and using my skills and strengths wherever i'm at in the best way possible to actually do what's best with my time and energy and so that started the blog and then it started just a lot of conversations with a lot of different paths and then, you know, about spring of 2022, I called you back and I'm like, so I think I might want to do this. And then you had an opportunity for me. And so then I started hitting the books.

Royal: That's right. That's right. It seems like so much longer than just a year of study. I'm sure it seems like five years to you of just getting through all of the the regulatory exams, but I think you handled that with so much class and hard work of just just trying to learn everything. I don't think I've ever seen anybody study so hard and do such a great job at it.  

Jenny: Thank you.  

Royal: So what do you think you bring down to to clients that you're sitting down with? You know, from the standpoint of, uh, your experience and, uh, knowledge.  

Jenny: Well, you know, I've learned a lot in just the last few years and especially during, you know, my last job transition that, I feel like I've at least got a pretty good handle on finding out what's important to people and finding out what their strengths are and what they really want. 
And uh, sometimes people have a hard time articulating what those things are. But you know one thing that i've learned is just,  I tend to be more empathetic and so it's really enjoyable for me and helpful for people to just be there as a sounding board and just let them speak their ideas and their fears and just be a safe space for them to let, let it be known to whoever that, ‘Hey, I might have this direction, I want to go. I might have this path I want to go on, but I have no idea how to get there.’ 

And I feel like I bring a good just third-party perspective that's understanding and and able to help people kind of sort through what they actually want and then take the steps on how to get there. 

And so i'm excited to do that in the financial services world just because money is very much tied to what's important to people and you know, I want to help people be able to use the money that they have towards the things that are important to them, now during their life as they're saving and investing and then also as they retire and even after retirement to really make sure that they're spending their time and energy and money on the things that are important to them. 

Royal: That's so good. I mean, my the thing I keep coming back to is our most important resources, not money, it's time. And you use money to create more time. And I think that's that's just such a great perspective for folks to think about as they're sitting down with you of, you know, there's things I want to accomplish in my life. How do I do them? And how do I use this tool called money? To leverage that and do that.  

Jenny: Mm-hmm.  

Royal: So, so you, you have a, uh, very fun family. I know Andy, uh, I known Andy through wilderness trails and  

Jenny: Mm-hmm. .

Royal: Uh, can you talk a little bit about your, your family life?  

Jenny: Yeah, so we stay very busy. Um, I've always believed in a well-rounded education, so we're involved in a lot of different things.Um, so. For myself at church, I'm involved on the music team and I love training people and new members and having them join. And my son recently started playing piano and singing with us,so that makes my mommy-heart happy.

But, uh, he, my son, he's 16. He's going to be a senior in high school and he's involved in musical theater at the Ross Ragland. And he also plays in the band at school, trombone and euphonium. And he did play piano there too. He loves to sing and act and be involved in a lot of different things. Uh, my daughter is very artistic. Her drawings are absolutely amazing for how young she is. She's 12 and going into junior high this year. And she's just hilarious. She's very observant and she knows how to just say the right thing to get me to giggle. And it's. I just love being around her.

My husband's very creative too. He's he just does a lot of different things. He switches from hobby to hobby and you know he's really good at 3d printing and painting what he prints and making more or less, movie-style props that you can use for costume and Cosplay type events and you know, he's also very good at just encouraging me to be creative. So he'll be like hey, I think I want this to be made or, or I might try this and I paint and draw too, I just don't have the creative side to like dream of a thing to do and he will usually be the one with the idea and then I'll, I'll take it and run with it. And so we've done a lot of creative projects together too.  

Royal: So he writes the number where he wants the certain paint. You can follow paint by numbers, what you're saying.  

Jenny: No, I can, I can paint by, uh, an idea. So I don't necessarily have to see something to do it. Um, but I do like to have a reference point, like, other paintings or photos or different things, and then I can usually, uh, figure out how to do it and then put my own spin on it. But just the idea in general, I'm not good at coming up with those.  

Royal: Thank you. Perfect. Perfect. And Andy has a, your husband has an interesting job. You want to talk a little bit about that?    

Jenny: Yeah, so he's the executive pastor at our church, and, um, so he manages basically the business side of the church and supports the senior pastor, so he has time and space to do, uh, teaching prep and counseling, and so my husband basically just checks in with all the departments and makes sure that they have what they need, and, um, he used to be a youth pastor before that to where he put on these amazing events for the kids that would be totally themed, cosplay involved. It would be games involved with it too. It would be all-nighters of just a bunch of fun themed Medieval Knights and Star Wars or, you know, just a lot of different, uh, things that he put together with that. So, his job now doesn't have as much creativity to it.  
But, one thing that's been fun is that the last couple of years, we've learned that we both really love administration and organization and productivity. And, for whatever reason, we never really knew that. And so, that's been really fun because we read the same books now and we have the same discussions about things that we've read and things that work and things that don't and so it's it's been really neat  

Royal: Oh, that's wonderful. I, I'm listening to that and I'm thinking he's doing all these things, that sounds like things that Andy wanted to do. I don't know if it was things that the kids wanted to do. 

Jenny: I think there's probably a balance because like during COVID it gave him a full opportunity to be able to try things out. So that's when we bought a 3D printer and that's when we set up an aquaponics tank in the backyard and just did a whole bunch of different creative things.  

Royal: Oh, that's wonderful. That's wonderful. So, um, right now, I think one of the big things that you're, you're working on and looking at is really deciding the, the areas that you want to be of service to your clients. You know, we really here at Oregon Pacific Financial Advisors. have a real bent about financial planning and how important that is. We, you know, the investment side of it is extremely important, but if you don't tie the investments and that money to, to a reason for why you're saving this money, it can be really hard.  
But as you're, you're beginning to work with clients, is there any particular type of clients that you're, you're Looking forward to working with or any, any particular niches that you're focused on. 

Jenny: Yeah, I've been thinking a lot about that. And, you know, just realizing that I have such a long history with, uh, people in manufacturing and the vendors for that, that, I really enjoy those people. You know, they're just hard workers they're kind, they're helpful and, you know, they get to a point where sometimes they're just tired and they want to be able to retire  
But they're just not quite sure when is the right date to set and i've had so many conversations over the years. Just trying to be a sounding board for them and deciding what they want to do and when they can actually do it. And then seeing them after retirement be so happy that they made that choice and always say that they wish they would have done it sooner. 
And so something like that would be really rewarding for me to go and be around the people that I'm used to, I'm comfortable with to go and really help them be confident setting the date for retirement when the time comes.  

Bill: You know, I just have to jump in here really, really quickly and say, listening to you talk, you're the perfect person for that kind of client that you're looking for, because you have the kind of background that doesn't-it's not intimidating. It makes you approachable. It makes you one of them. It makes you one of US. I can come in and talk to you and say, well, I'm a little nervous about this. I'm not quite sure what to do about this. I don't know how to handle this. And you just have that background to be able to identify and, and, and talk to me on my level, at my place and have me understand and feel comfortable with what it is you're telling me and maybe the advice that you might provide for me. 
I just, I, I, I, sorry to jump in on you. I just, I thought I should interject that.  

Jenny: Well, thank you. I really love the people that I have worked with over the years and they've all just been so kind and so helpful to me. And so just to be able to give back in that way would be huge personally for me and I believe helpful for them. 

Royal: So I think that brings up, uh, I think, uh, an interesting segue here is what are those issues that people in manufacturing are dealing with, you know, are there particular areas that you're seeing over and over again, where you can come in and provide advice and counsel there to help kind of move them towards that future that they want? 

Jenny: Well, I know one of the biggest topics that would come up when I was just listening to people is ‘what am I going to do about health insurance? How am I going to afford not to work and pay for health insurance?’ And so, you know, just being in a position to be able to research. Options for them to show them, hey, there are options for you and that, you know, you shouldn't have to continue to work and wear your body out so much if you don't have to, if there's a way out. 
And so I know that that was a huge piece of it, um, is just figuring out, well, how am I going to afford to live after retirement? And, uh, so I would say that's the most common thing that I would love to be able to help with.  

Royal: Excellent. Excellent. And, you know, I know you don't do health insurance directly, but there's so much planning that can be done really, according to how you generate income in those early retirement years before Medicare kicks in that you can really, really structure your life where you can get those, uh, subsidies to bring down the cost of healthcare pretty dramatically. And that's, that's really some of the amazing financial planning that we can do for folks, is really build a financial plan and help to create that income stream. 
The biggest issue there, I see, you know, as, as I do this for folks, is: Do you have enough buckets to pull from? You know, do you have a Roth bucket that can be tax free? Do you have an after-tax bucket to pull from? Or did you just save everything into an IRA or a pension like PERS? So, uh, that's really, I think, a really important reason to start sitting down with someone, you know, like Jenny, early on in your career to start building up those buckets of money. So if you do want to retire early, you have options of where to take that income from.  
Because most retirement accounts, you know, you have that deadline at 59 and a half where you can start accessing the money without penalty. So, uh, that's excellent. I mean, that's really 1 of the biggest reasons why I see people work longer than they should is that health care question.  

Jenny: Mm-hmm. 

Royal: You know, not all of us can marry somebody, you know, 20 years younger, who they can keep working and provide health of care,  

All: [Laughter] 

Royal: You know, um, you know, we do see that scenario every so often as well. So, um, what, what other, what other kinds of things do you think that, uh, that group of clients are looking for there?  

Jenny: Well, I know at least in the environment that I was in, is we were employee owned and so the stock price was always a conversation, you know, especially if the markets went down and the stock price would be affected and everyone's, you know, waiting at their mailbox for that stock statement mid-year and end-of-year and just seeing how they did and how it affected what they hoped they would still have.And, um, so, you know, just to be able to help them have other ways, supplemental ways to save what they need for retirement without having to be so concerned with what the stock price is. Yes, it is a big deal, and it's a big portion of it, but there are other options to help supplement too, and I would like to be able to help with that. 

Royal: Excellent, excellent. So, Jenny, outside of, you know, family and church, which I know takes up a lot of your time, what, what else are you doing in the community there in Klamath Falls?  

Jenny: Well, part of my journey into figuring out what I wanted to do, um, it opened some doors to some volunteer opportunities for me, which I absolutely love. 

So, um, it was about, let's see, July of 2022, I started volunteering for hospice, and I'm a patient family volunteer, and so I get assigned to one family, and I go just sit with them for an hour a week and it's amazing the types of people that I've met and just the value that is in just sitting with people and just being there for them or helping them tidy up their apartment because they you know can't do it themselves. 
It's just really neat to spend time with people in that way.  
And, uh, I also, uh, joined Soroptimist International and love that. It's a amazing group of women that meets once a week and they're all business minded entrepreneurs. And it's just inspiring just to be in the same room as them. And I've learned so much just career advice and life advice and all of that from them. 

And then I also, um, I'm recently on the board with United Way. And so I love that agency. They support so many local agencies in town, um, so many different services that go out. And so I'm really excited to kind of see what my role will be, uh, with that. I've been on a couple committees at this point, but still wanting to learn more about it. 

Royal: Excellent. Excellent. So I have to ask, what has volunteering for hospice taught you?  

Jenny: You know, just the importance of being with people, that it's okay to not have things to say. It's okay to, um, just sit and be there and just let people know they're not alone. And, you know, what's been huge for me is that, uh, just seeing how, how big of a value that is to people.

Um, and also just to be, I'm the type of person that can usually talk about any subject with anyone. And just to let these people know that, hey, it's okay to be a little bit bummed about your situation. And it's okay to feel sad that you can't do the things that you used to be able to do, or that you can't - you see something in your apartment that you want to tidy up, but you can't physically do it. You know, that, that's okay. That's just, they've spent their whole lives serving other people. And right now is their time to just rest and be okay. Just reflecting on their choices of their life and, and the good things that they've done. 
And, and that part's probably just the biggest meaning to me is just to be able to be with people and encourage them.  

Royal: Oh, that's wonderful. That is wonderful So so Jenny as we kind of get to the point of wrapping up. What should people know about you? Um, and how do people get in contact with you if they want to sit down and start working with you? 

Jenny: Yeah, so one thing about me that I feel is uh, just very much a part of me is my ability to just sit with people to be a good sounding board, to ask questions, to just be a safe place to talk about anything and everything.  
And I want to bring that to, uh, the financial world because sometimes it's hard to talk about money and I just want people to know that I'm a safe place to talk about the things that they wonder about, that they maybe have just not had the courage to ask that I want to be that for them. 
Um, And to get a hold of me, um, you can reach me at and I'm available, I have an extremely flexible schedule, so thank you, Royal,and I can accommodate evenings, weekends, whatever you need after working hours just to be able to help you, um, figure out what you need for your just life in general and situations that come up and planning for retirement and afterwards. 

Royal: As well as Zoom.  

Jenny: And Zoom. Yes. . . Yeah. Zoom.  

Royal: Zoom is now, you know, our, our best friend mm-hmm. With all of this too, so.  

Jenny: Yes, absolutely.  

Royal: Well, Jenny, it has been fantastic spending this, uh, half hour with you. So good to, you know, just kind of hear a little bit more from your perspective and introduce you to, uh, our listening audience. 
Uh, so, uh, we'll go ahead and turn this over to Bill if he has any final questions and otherwise we'll, we'll let him take us out.  

Bill: No, Jenny, it was fantastic meeting with you today. And, uh, we've got to give a little credit here to Royal for having the instinct or the insight and to understanding that you probably would be a pretty good hire. 
You are definitely somebody I would feel very comfortable contacting and sitting down to talk about money with, and I wouldn't feel like I'd done something wrong with my life when I sat there and talked to you about it and gotten some advice.  
So thank you very much for, uh, for being on the podcast today. 
Royal good work. Good job.  

Jenny: Well, thank you very much for the opportunity. I really appreciate it. And I'm excited for what's coming. Very good. I think all good things are coming. So thank you very much. 
Bill: If you're a new listener and you like what you've heard, be sure to hit that subscribe button. So the next episode will be automatically delivered to your listening device and you won't miss an episode. 

We also humbly ask that you share and rate the podcast. In doing that, you're going to help others. Find it as well. I'm Bill Tucker and on behalf of Royal Standley and the Life by design podcast. 

Thank you again for listening.  

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Please note that discussions in these shows are for educational purposes only. Information presented should not be considered specific investment advice or a recommendation to take any particular course of action. Always consult with a financial professional regarding your personal situation before making financial decisions. The views and opinions expressed are based on current economic and market conditions and are subject to change. All investing involves risk, including the potential for loss of principal. Securities offered through United Planners Financial Services (UP), Member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory Services offered through Oregon Pacific Financial Advisors, Inc. (OPFA). OPFA & UP are independent companies. Neither OPFA nor UP offer tax or legal advice.