Financial Professionals & Foster Puppies

Foster Puppies

Yep, today I’m going to talk about financial professionals and foster puppies. But first . . .

Just last week, I got a phone call from a woman who lives in the Atlanta area. Let’s call her Robin.

Robin is 63 and her Mom passed away recently. She apparently found me by doing some online research.

She was looking for some assistance in managing her inheritance, along with her own savings and investments.

She asked some good questions, and I asked her some questions in return.

We talked about her Mom, her life, her goals, and more.

And she said, “Wow! I’m glad I reached out to you. It sounds like you’re a perfect fit for what I need.”

This was after talking with her on the phone for 15 minutes or so and my explaining my work with women (and their families) in their 50s and 60s.

She said she was planning to meet with a couple of other advisors, but would definitely call me back to schedule a meeting to discuss her situation further.

I told her that would be great, and I looked forward to her call.

While I would have needed to meet her before making a decision, she sounded like an ideal client in many ways.

This call was on a Friday.

On Wednesday of the following week, having not heard from her, I called again.

I left a voicemail.

She replied via text that while she appreciated my follow up, she’s already selected another advisor to work with.

I told her that I wished her the best, and hope her advisor took good care of her.

This happens.

Not crying over spilled milk.

However, I find it interesting that she went from our phone conversation and commenting that I sounded like “a perfect fit” only to go with someone else.

I’d like to give her the benefit of the doubt. Hopefully, she met with several advisors and truly did find an even more perfect fit for her needs and situation.

Unfortunately, based on my experience, I’m guessing that’s not how it went down.

Many people go with the first person they talk to.

Whether they’re buying a car, choosing a realtor, or yes, even choosing a financial advisor.

Even if they’ve been referred to someone by a close friend or family member, I still encourage EVERYONE to talk to at least 3 different providers before making a decision.

And ask detailed questions and make sure you’re comfortable with the answers.

Let’s shift gears and talk about puppies.

As you may be aware, my wife Elizabeth and I volunteer with Angels Among Us (AAU) pet rescue.

Sometimes we temporarily foster dogs.

Sometimes we are the “permanent” foster and have the responsibility of getting our foster(s) adopted out to a good home.

And it doesn’t matter if it’s a litter of 8-week old puppies or an 8-year-old adult dog, we still spend a lot of time worrying about making the right decision on who will provide the best home for our foster pups.

Elizabeth does most of the heavy-lifting in this area, but we discuss it and weigh the pros and cons of each application we receive for our fosters.

AAU has some criteria that they provide which can help narrow the field of suitable applicants.

For instance, if the applicant lives in an apartment, does the landlord allow dogs? Is there a breed or weight restriction?

AAU also doesn’t like invisible fences. There’s a whole host of reasons, but I’m not a fan of these either.

Will this be an “inside dog” and part of your family, or will it be relegated to your back yard and a dog house?

There’s a lot more that goes into this important decision-making process, but you probably get the idea.

Oh, and we have to do many of these “home checks” ourselves to actually see the environment our foster would be living in.

Not sure if there’s a better way to get to know someone than to see how they live in their own home.

So, why do we go to all this trouble?

Oh boy, the stories I could tell you . . .

Like how every year around Christmas, people want to adopt cute little 8-week old puppies for their family to surprise their kids on Christmas morning.

But many of these same people return – yes, you read that right – these dogs 3-4 months later because they didn’t realize how much work a puppy can be. Or they’re going out of town for Spring Break and rather than pay for a dog sitter or for boarding, they just return the dog to AAU.

There are also stories of people adopting a dog from AAU only to return it not months later, but years later for a whole host of different reasons and excuses.

Thankfully, none of our adoptive families have returned one of our dogs.

But that’s only because we spend so much time on the front-end to make sure it will be a good long-term match.

We do home visits, have phone interviews, exchange emails, inquire about their history with other pets, and ask questions like:

  • Have you ever returned a pet in the past?
  • What would you do if your pet needed an expensive medical procedure?
  • Where will your pet sleep at night?
  • And other specific, detailed questions

I could go on about animal rescue and the adoption process because it’s so important to me.

But bringing it back to the story of Robin above, I don’t know what process she used to select her new advisor. I just hope she used some kind of process and good judgment.

But all too often I hear about or read about stories of people being unhappy with their advisor. Or worse, being manipulated and/or taken advantage of by an advisor.

And while I empathize with these stories, some of which make your skin crawl, I can’t help but wonder what type of selection process some people go through when choosing their own personal financial advisor.

I know I’m not the right advisor for everyone. In fact, I know I’m not the right advisor for most folks based on age, financial situation, lifestyle philosophy, investment philosophy and more.

But I suspect that Elizabeth spends more time and effort selecting an adoptive family for one of our foster dogs than many people spend on choosing a financial advisor.

What do you think? Agree or disagree?

Send me a quick note and let me know. And if you’re interested, let me know and I’ll share some ideas I have on how to go about selecting the best financial advisor for you and your situation.

P.S. – If you’re interested, here are a couple of our most recent fosters:

  • Rixley & Reilley – we took this brother and sister when they were 6 weeks old. They were part of an 11 puppy litter. We got Rixley (the brown & white boy) adopted to a great family when he was about 8 weeks old. He now has 2 big Akita siblings and is doing great. Reilley, his sister, we adopted out to another great family when she was about 12 weeks old. She now has 2 pitbull mix siblings and is getting spoiled rotten.
  • This is Cianna. In this pic, she’s catching a nap on the floor next to me in my home office. The vet’s best guess is she was about 9 months old when we got her. We were just temp fostering her to help out her permanent foster while they were traveling. And she’s still available for adoption if you know anyone that might be interested.
  • And yes, it’s really tough to let them go, but it helps to know that they’re going to a great home.

Thanks for reading. While you’re here, be sure to sign up for my weekly email newsletter where I share tips, advice, and stories about the intersection of money and our lives. Just click here to join the community.

Russ Thornton
Russ Thornton
Hi there! I'm Russ, and I help women in their 50s and 60s achieve and maintain their desired lifestyle leading up to and throughout their retirement years. Imagine being able to look forward to a comfortable and confident financial future...
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