Jessica Nelson, PhD, LMFT
Financial Planning Associate
Financial Planning Associate
Jennifer Means, MBA, CFP®NEXT
Joan Padar, FPQP™
Build a trusting relationship, gather and assess data, develop a plan, implement the plan, modify as needed – These are the steps to achieving financial goals and not so oddly enough, also the steps to the therapeutic relationship.
The intersection of human behavior, emotion and finance is where I find myself as a Financial Planning Associate. Having spent more than a decade in behavioral health, I utilize my skills as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and former Professor of Counseling to establish long-term client relationships and deliver wealth management solutions. Employing a strengths-based approach, I work to identify and minimize obstacles to success while helping clients reach their financial, and ultimately, personal potential.
I especially enjoy working with clients to navigate life transitions understanding that for many people, transitions, particularly retirement, also come with a shift in identity. Much of my doctoral work focused on the development of professional identity and the use of evidenced-supported strategies for a successful mental and emotional shift from the working world. Essentially, a shift in mindset to who we are, not what we do.
I have served as a consultant to athletes and athletic teams including Division I and II collegiate programs, Triple-A Baseball programs and several chapters of the NFL Retired Player’s Association working to guide athletes through the transition of retirement, co-authoring the book, Beyond the Game: An MBA for Professional Athletes, which empowers athletes and their families to more clearly understand their athletic careers and financial futures.
People are not numbers on a balance sheet. We make decisions largely based in what we know and feel in the present moment, not what sophisticated financial software programs predict we will do. My counseling background allows me the unique ability to understand how past experiences shape current behavior and influence future patterns of decision making. Sharing this awareness with clients can be a powerful tool in planning your financial future, getting on the same page with a partner, estate planning, and beyond.
Originally from California, I’ve crisscrossed the globe having lived in England, Nevada, Connecticut and now Tucson. My husband and I have a young daughter. We love exploring Tucson, traveling and spending time with friends and family.
I keep an extensive and highly aspirational “bucket list” that continues to grow. Some of the activities include, ringing the opening bell at the NYSE, attend Parliament to view a session of the Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQ), be a guest on the Today Show (this used to be a guest on the Oprah Winfrey Show, but since that is no longer possible…the Today Show it is), sit front row at a major show at NYFW, attend the Jefferson Ball, truffle hunt in Italy, etc… It’s a long list.
My favorite family tradition is the celebration of the Polish Christmas Eve dinner, Wigilia. From making pierogi to sharing oplatek for well wishes into the new year, the twelve course, hours long, meal is something I look forward to making every year and ultimately teaching my daughter how to make to keep the tradition going for generations to come. Na Zdrowie!
I am passionate about empowering women to achieve financial independence. Financial freedom is a form of personal empowerment, but a variety of roadblocks often make it difficult for women to navigate and partake equally in the financial world. I find fulfillment in working with women at any point in their financial journey and hope that there are less obstacles to over come for my daughter’s generation and beyond.
Transitioning out of the workforce is a shift in identity that can be difficult. We so often define ourselves by what we do rather than who we are. In addition to financially planning for retirement, be intentional about planning for how you will spend your time and maintain a sense of purpose. Start to find/incorporate hobbies, causes, consulting or mentoring opportunities in your industry, etc…that you are passionate about NOW so that in retirement, you simply devote more time to those roles that already bring fulfillment.
University of Nevada, RenoPhD in Counseling and Educational Psychology
Alliant International UniversityMS in Marriage & Family Therapy
Chapman UniversityBS in Psychology