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  • Writer's pictureBetsy at RVPF

Drift Less. Plan More.

Updated: Mar 31, 2023

Hey Decorah area friends. See what I did there? When our local Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau revamped their marketing strategy to focus on the "Drift Less" lingo, I wasn't sold. Now a few years later, I see that their choice has worked pretty well.

I'll be the first to admit that I'm a planner and not the most spontaneous. However, while I'm also far from being too overly cautious, I like to approach risks or changes with intention and discernment. This usually serves me well, but there have been times I've delayed a decision too long while thinking and considering. There is actually a beautiful little piece of property along the Upper Iowa River that slipped through our fingers and serves as an all-too-frequent reminder of such. I'm thankful to my husband and professional peers who regularly challenge me to be more quickly opportunistic.

A Place Called Home

Since leaving military service behind and moving to Decorah in 2019, I've come to love calling this place and it's people my home. My family and I have enjoyed putting down roots and branching out in relationship. However, a fear I have harbored in building those relationships was people feeling like I was going to try to sell to them and putting up barriers after sharing my occupation. As a way of protecting myself, despite knowing that there were no other fee-only fiduciary financial advisors in our region, I chose to stay entirely focused on my specialty area of women in medicine and veterans. This has served me well, but was heavily reliant on Zoom and email-based relationships. Thankfully, there were a few brave local folks who decided to simply ask if I would still help them out with their financial plan. Because I hadn't sought them out, I was eager to say yes and found those engagements to be fulfilling in a different way. Despite that, I stubbornly stuck to my safe space and was reluctant to sway from my planning specialty.

An Unexpected Meeting

In a meeting with a local contractor, our conversation swayed to the unexpected topic of my business. Like many others I have encountered, he was not familiar with fee-only fiduciary financial planning. I even recall a conversation with a local attorney who helped me set-up my LLC who couldn't quite wrap his head around how my fiduciary firm delivers advice that is different than what he may receive at his bank. (Oh, let me count the ways!)

Thanks to this meeting and after much reflection, I came to the conclusion that opening my practice to those who live in the greater Decorah area doesn't mean that I am suddenly going to hustle all my friends and acquaintances for business. It also doesn't mean that I am condemning the work that my fellow CFP® professionals do in our area or that I expect an onslaught of local clients. What it does mean is that my fellow community members:

  • now have open access to a local Certified Financial Planner professional who DOES NOT SELL FINANCIAL PRODUCTS. No insurance. No annuities. No commissioned investment products. No needless advisor-directed education plans. I will advise on investment plans and strategies, but those plans are welcome to be carried out on either a personal level or by RVPF.

  • no longer need to feel like they have to ask for an exception or meet a certain qualification.

  • can get discounted hourly advice from a CFP® who is comfortable and experienced working in areas that are traditionally more financial counseling related such as student loan/debt management or budgeting. No one is in so bad of a position that we can't make draft a plan toward financial stability. Additionally, financial disagreements are a leading cause of divorce and it's a mission close to my heart to help couples talk more productively about their money.

Going Forward

I'm excited about the future for many reasons and RVPF's open-door welcome to the greater Decorah area is one of them. While my website will continue to largely reflect my planning specialty, I'll be working hard to continue to deepen my roots, expand my relationships and invest in the wellness of our area and our people.

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2024 Limits Maximum employee contribution to employer retirement plans (TSP, 401k, 403b): $28,500 Additional catch-up contribution to employer retirement plans for those aged 50 years: $7,500 Maximum


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