Our Passion To Serve
Brad is passionate about his work as a financial advisor because he never wants anyone else to go through what his parents experienced.
When Brad was in Junior High, his father Bill was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease and a couple of years later (in 1981) he was forced to retire at the young age of 51. Although Bill was a highly successful investment manager, Brad’s parents didn't have their financial planning done correctly nor did they have their estate planning completed and his mother Jan eventually lost everything properly caring for Bill.
Because Bill was singularly focused on investment management, Brad’s parents did not have their own “contingency planning” completed. Bill did not have the right income replacement (disability) insurance or any life insurance to protect his family. And in the early 80’s, Long-Term-Care insurance had yet to be offered for sale. Their estate attorney didn't insist on anything other than a simple will. And then after Bill was forced into an early retirement, their attorney failed to have Brad’s parents adopt power(s) of attorney even though Bill’s Parkinson’s would eventually lead to cognitive impairment. The combined result of these financial and estate planning mistakes was disastrous when Bill eventually lost his battle with the disease and could no longer care for himself.
Although these all-too-common planning mistakes, oversights and missed opportunities were extremely impactful; with the proper adjustments, Brad’s mother Jan could have preserved the majority of her lifestyle. However, she was understandably preoccupied with properly caring for her husband. And because their CPA failed to pay closer attention to the year-to-year financial trends in Jan's ice cream business, her business slowly imploded over a number of years. Instead of just “doing her taxes”, had their CPA provided her with the “financial guidance” that she desperately needed, Jan could have sold her business and lived off the proceeds while still properly caring for Bill.
This was a very tough life lesson for Brad in that it showed him that seemingly minor issues can compound into larger problems when left unaddressed for too long. Further, he learned that “trusted” advisors can have a significant impact well beyond what they are paid to do if only they took a more personal interest in their client’s lives. When he later became a financial advisor, he was committed to not only focus on the things he was paid to do, but he would also pay attention to his client's entire financial picture such that he could be a “true” comprehensive wealth advisor for those he served.
Having learned from their parent’s experience, Brad’s older brother Mike reviewed his finances so that there would not be another financial tragedy in their family. Among other things, Mike then purchased the proper disability insurance coverage; and eight months later, he suffered a significant back injury and was permanently disabled. Because Mike had the proper contingency planning with a good income replacement policy, he has been receiving a tax-free income from this disability policy since 1995, and he will continue to draw on it until 2030. The result of proper contingency planning was that Mike was able to continue to financially provide for his family despite being disabled and unable to work.
Brad Creger founded Total Financial Resource Group, Inc. (“TFRG”) in 2000 to gain his independence so he could focus on his clients’ total needs and not solely on those activities which led to revenues for the firm he worked for. To this day Brad has maintained his commitment to not only providing comprehensive wealth management and treating clients more like family (rather than just a source of income), but he is also committed to pushing the financial services industry forward. To this end he is currently innovating in the areas of 401(k) retirement plan management as well as being at the forefront of retirement income planning with his innovative Engineered Retirement Income Plan™ or ERIP™ for short.
Please schedule your complimentary Wealth Management SOS™ (“Second Opinion Service”) to learn more about how TFRG may be able to help you and your family reach your financial goals.