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Radon Stancil, CFP ® radonstancil@desllc.org

The Great Recession of the late 2000s caused a shift in Certified Financial Planner™ Radon Stancil’s approach to helping people prepare for retirement.

Though many of Radon’s clients did not lose anything in the downturn of 2008, they did experience anxiety and confusion. This influenced Radon to shift his role from a financial planner to that of a financial coach; frequently adjusting his clients’ financial strategies to adapt to the changes in their lives.

Radon emphasizes that there’s no single strategy or product that’s a catchall for people entering the retirement phase of their lives.

“Some people who play golf focus on the club, but the swing is what’s important,” he says. “Financial products are like clubs; you could have the best clubs but still be unhappy … I focus on the swing. What is it we want to happen? Which way do we want the ball to go?”

Radon received his financial planning certification from Boston University. Though he founded his company more than 11 years ago, Radon has been a businessman since he was 12 years old.

His father owned a heating and air ventilation business and each summer, he would hire Radon and his siblings. They would receive the same wage as adults and would do most of the same work. The catch was, they were responsible for managing all of the money they earned since it was the only money they would have all year.

“I could buy whatever I wanted, as long as I understood I also had to buy what I needed: school clothes, shoes, etc. That kind of training was very unique, and it was very pivotal. It’s what made me who I am today,” he says.

Radon ran the family-owned business before receiving his financial planning certification from Boston University. He looks back on that time as one of the best and most unique learning opportunities, and where he truly learned the complete inner workings of a business.

“It’s helped me work with clients who run a business or are senior business executives. It also taught me a lot about running my own company; how to work with employees, how to operate independently and how other people who do that think,” he says.

Watching his father’s transition into retirement gave him the chance to see someone he knew personally go through the process.

“The idea of seeing someone go through retirement and the emotional side of that part of life, to me, it’s the biggest, most difficult transition. If people don’t know how to deal with it, it can be a very stressful time.”

Today, Radon helps his clients work through a variety of life-changing scenarios as they transition into their retirement years. That’s where Radon’s coaching manner and his ability to build close-knit relationships with each of his clients makes him unique.

Though he established himself successfully in the financial industry, Radon still believes there’s always room for improvement and is constantly motivated to be better.

While numbers and strategy drew Certified Financial Planner™ Radon Stancil to the financial services industry, it’s the emotional side of it that he enjoys the most.

“I talk a lot about peace of mind and what clients have to have in place,” he says. “People were talking confidently in the 90s and 2000s. Everything was wonderful, but by the end of 2008, people had heavy anxiety about their finances, and my role changed. It used to be all about money, and today it’s not. Today it’s also about how to deal with the stress of retiring in what you could call the most financially unstable time in the United States history.”

Many of Radon’s clients who did not lose anything in the downturn of 2008 still experienced anxiety and confusion, which is why he says he shifted his role from financial planner to financial coach.

“It’s not about me telling you the one thing you need today. It’s a month-by- month, year-by-year coaching program because life changes,” Radon says. “Whether it’s health problems, the loss of a spouse or maybe your kids came back home, what we did last year doesn’t always apply to this year. It’s a moving coaching program.”

Radon received his financial planning certification from Boston University. Though he founded his company more than 11 years ago, Radon has been a businessman since he was 12 years old.
His father, a small business owner specializing in heating and air ventilation, was 52 when Radon was born. Having a father older than most of his friends’ was a unique situation, Radon says, but one that offered him life-learning opportunities.

Each summer, his dad would hire Radon and his siblings to work for the family business. They would get paid the same wage as adults and would do most of the same work, too. The catch was that he was responsible for managing all of the money he earned since it was the only money he’d have all year.

“I could buy whatever I wanted, as long as I understood I also had to buy what I needed: school clothes, shoes, etc. That kind of training was very unique, and it was very pivotal. It’s what made me who I am today,” he says.

At age 12, he started off holding a flashlight, but by the time Radon was in his teens, he and his brother were completing entire jobs by themselves, crawling under houses and installing and fixing air conditioners.

“We did everything. Obviously I couldn’t do it unsupervised, but back then there were no rules saying we couldn’t do it,” he laughs.

Radon ran the family-owned business before receiving his financial planning certification from Boston University. He looks back on that time as one of the best and most unique learning opportunities where he truly learned the complete inner workings of a business.

“It’s helped me work with clients who run a business or are senior business executives. It also taught me a lot about running my own company, how to work with employees, how to operate independently and how people who do that think,” he says.

Now 94 years old, his dad still accompanies his brother, who now owns the business, on jobs twice a week.

Radon’s father significantly impacted the way he viewed business and also offered him the chance to see someone he knew personally transition into retirement, which motivated Radon to focus his financial planning expertise in that direction.

“By the time I was out of school, my dad was 70 years old. The idea of seeing someone go through retirement and the emotional side of that part of life, to me it’s the biggest, most difficult transition. If people don’t know how to deal with it, it can be a very stressful time. ”

Today, Radon helps his clients work through a variety of life-changing scenarios as they transition into their retirement years. That’s where Radon’s coaching approach and his ability to build close-knit relationships with each of his clients makes him unique.

“Most clients for the longest part of their life have been saving and working and they don’t know how they are going to transition to retirement and make it last. It’s a major shift. They wonder what else they are going to do in life and they have a lot of anxiety,” he says.

While Radon incorporates sound investment strategies and products into each client’s plan, he prefers to focus on the process of developing that plan through building a one-on-one relationship with each client.

“People can expect a coaching environment rather than a salesman environment. Most people realize once they meet me that we’re going to look at life and look at it with the most peace of mind,” he says.

He emphasizes that there’s no one strategy or product that’s a catchall for people entering the retirement phase and that assuming so is one of the biggest mistakes a person can make.

“Some people who play golf focus on the club, but the swing is what’s important. Financial products are like clubs; you could have the best clubs but still be unhappy. Those clients didn’t understand the process and instead just got a product,” he says. “I focus on the swing. What is it we want to happen? Which way do we want the ball to go?”

Despite being a top financial planner he says that most of the conversations in his meetings with clients aren’t about money.

“My clients and I have a very close relationship, and I’m in the middle of a lot of things. If they get cancer, I know about it. If they have a grandchild, I know about it. I’m a part of major events in their lives,” he says.

Radon’s focus on educating his clients on complex issues in a manner in which they understand is what he says clients appreciate most. These close relationships have also helped him continue his own pursuit of never-ending education.

“I’ve gotten to meet very interesting people, and I get to know about what they’ve lived through, and I’ve learned a lot from them. It’s interesting to hear how they dealt with family, life and kids. Getting to know them is my favorite part of the job,” he says.

Just like his dad, Radon doesn’t plan to ever completely retire.

“It’s the biggest and most rewarding thing for me to work with people,” he says.

Though he established himself successfully in the financial industry, Radon still believes there’s always room for improvement and is constantly on a mission to be better.

“I think constantly about how I can have a bigger impact,” he says. “I’m not in business to be mediocre. I’m in business to make a difference in my clients’ lives.”

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