A career in retirement planning wasn’t something Ann Vanderslice strived for. She started in the corporate world. Her career in finance sort of just fell into her lap, she says.
After a friend told her she would be great at sales, Vanderslice found herself in a challenging new position: an advisor for federal employees. Countless emails, and hours of studying and learning the challenges of federal employees, led to success for Vanderslice and her practice, Retirement Planning Strategies. Here she discusses the importance of customer service, challenges within the industry and how to maintain a healthy work/life balance while working 60-hour weeks.
On the art of customer service The most important part of my practice is that our clients are well taken care of. In general, I think people don’t know what they have available for retirement and how they’re going to use it.
The federal workforce has a complicated set of benefits that determines their pension. They have to do certain things in order to get a certain amount. There are a lot of moving parts, and they’re moving at different speeds. It’s hard to get that all integrated.
The most important thing to me is that we make our clients’ lives easier. We simplify that process, and if you call here, you’re going to get a response within 24 hours. I don’t go to bed at night without answering my emails, which is a crazy kind-of-a-thing. I just think that we have lost the art of customer service.
On challenges within the industry It’s challenging that the regulations change all the time. You’re out to do the right thing for your client and then there’s one more regulation, one more test or one more anti-money laundering quiz you have to take.