By Marjorie L. Rand, CPA, CFP®, RICP®
My curiosity and love for the financial world started at the ripe old age of 15! That’s when my grandfather approached me, asking me to help take care of my grandmother when he was gone. He had the foresight to plan ahead and chose to prepare me for this task by teaching me and modeling for me a life of responsible financial choices, the importance of avoiding debt, and saving for the future. I didn’t realize at the time that a) this was an immensely valuable gift, and b) he unknowingly set me up for a decades-long career doing the same for others.
I took my grandfather’s example to heart, applied these principles to my own life, and walked with my grandmother through widowhood and all the financial decisions that came along with it, even acting as her executor when she passed away. Not only did I get the honor of fulfilling my grandparents’ wishes, but I also received a solid foundation for what would become my life path. This is how I got my start and how I got to where I am today—helping as many people as I can navigate life with reliable guidance and freedom from financial worry.
That’s the big picture of why and how I decided to make this my life’s work. But I didn’t become a financial advisor right away. Instead, I took a different path, earning my bachelor’s degree in accounting from Rutgers University and a master’s degree in taxation from Fairleigh Dickinson University and becoming a CPA. I spent over 30 years offering tax services and helping my clients reap the benefits of tax planning. But the longer I spent doing this, the more I saw that I could be an even greater support by providing more services. Instead of just telling my clients how much they owed in taxes, I wanted to help them avoid costly mistakes and organize their entire financial picture.
That meant a slight career pivot was in order. Instead of retiring, I decided to become a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® (CFP®), earned the Retirement Income Certified Professional® (RICP®) designation, and founded Rand Financial Planning, all so I could make more of a difference in peoples’ lives.
The Next Chapter
The heart behind what I do is that I believe you should have a financial planner right by your side, guiding you through life’s transitions and decisions. I spend my days creating tax-efficient solutions that protect my clients from hidden costs and avoidable pitfalls, calming their fears about retirement, and identifying unknowns and potential threats, all so that they can approach retirement with confidence instead of stress or overwhelm.
I get the ultimate privilege of making my clients’ lives easier so they can focus their attention on what matters most to them. There’s just nothing like celebrating with a client when they reach a goal or seeing the worry disappear from their faces when we put their plan into action. One of my clients summed it up best when they said, “Before we were flying solo; now we have a pilot.” That’s why I go to work every day motivated to do what I do.
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