Listening to Clients Has Helped Me Forge a New Path on My Career Journey

In 2000, I left a career practicing worker’s compensation law and executive management to embark on a new career as a financial professional. I leaned on transferrable skills such as active listening, risk management, and the ability to ask the right questions to reinvent myself as a provider of comprehensive financial advice.

As an attorney, I learned that one party is typically pleased with an outcome, and one is not. In my work as a financial professional, the desired outcome is that all parties are happy, knowing a plan to secure their future is in place. 

In my meetings with older clients, many have shared their concerns about aging—from continuing to be healthy, active members of their communities to living arrangements and leaving a legacy behind. It became clear to me that there are not enough places for them to turn for guidance.

According to research from the Population Reference Bureau, the senior population in the United States is growing at a rapid rate, with projections showing that by 2060, there will be 95 million people aged 65 and older, or 23% of the total population. This demographic shift requires that we identify the unique needs and challenges of older adults and begin to find ways to address them. It is such a monumental population shift that I was inspired to embark on a new leg of my career journey.

In fall 2020, after seeing a gap in the marketplace, I was inspired to launch The Third Act, Resources for the Next Stage of Life, a group of professionals with experience in estate planning strategies, Medicare, long-term care, aging in place and end of life planning, among other things.  

The Third Act reaches communities where there are larger percentages of folks 60 and over in the metro Wilmington area and holds seminars. Our experts deliver talks to educate and enlighten seniors about the risks of retirement as well as the many beneficial products and services available to them.

Post-seminar surveys show we are providing valuable information, and some participants request to meet one on one. As a financial professional, I know that no matter the income level or stage of life, people want an actionable plan that enables them to feel in control of their future. This demographic is no different.

In just a few years, our group has become a community resource, and I see opportunities to expand into different niche markets. Word-of-mouth advertising is helping us to increase the number of attendees in the communities where we hold repeat seminars. I encourage you—whether new to work or thinking about starting a new leg of a career journey—to identify a need in the marketplace, take a critical look at how you can leverage your skills and interests, and fill the gap.

Diane Brennan is a Prudential Advisors Financial Professional at Port City Financial Services in Wilmington, NC.

Insurance and securities products and services are offered through a registered representative of Pruco, and an agent of issuing insurance companies.

Prudential Advisors is a brand name of The Prudential Insurance Company of America and its subsidiaries.


Originally posted on WIFS website August 3, 2023
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