INTRODUCING LINDA LIPOVETSKY: CLIENT DIRECTOR, LIFE LONG LEARNER, MOM
Linda is a client success leader with over 10 years in the financial services industry. Her mission is to transform and develop effective client engagement strategies, improve client experiences, increase customer retention, and drive revenue opportunities so clients not only achieve but EXCEED their goals and expectations.
Linda’s career experiences have been in both software startups and financial services across 50+ countries. These experiences have provided her the opportunity to bring unique perspectives to clients and drive their success. She describes her ‘secret sauce’ as the ability to anticipate and identify bottlenecks in the system, implement intentional procedures to improve efficiency, clarify expectations, and bridge gaps between internal partners, leadership, and clients.
Team Sammy: Share with us a little about you, your current family, your non-professional life, a favorite hobby, etc., so readers can get a sense of who you are.
Linda Lipovetsky: As a single mom with a single income, I am passionate about educating my clients about their finances, but as a late learner in the financial realm I have become even more passionate about financial literacy for K-12! When I’m not working I enjoy traveling with my son (we aim to travel alphabetically), and reading historical fiction usually about WW1 or WW2.
GROWING UP HONEST AND HUMBLE
Team Sammy: Tell us about what it was like growing up – your family and community?
Linda Lipovetsky: My parents were/are very honest hardworking people – mom was a teacher and dad an engineer. We lived in a Long Island suburb and we lived a humble middle-class lifestyle. I was not privy to their financial struggles only learning later in life how tight things were during the recession in the 80s when dad lost his job and had a tough time finding another. Thank goodness mom had tenure with the city so we knew we’d be okay. Dad was always dedicated to family and again, as I learned later, he passed on higher level roles that would pay more but would also require 50% or more of travel time. He wasn’t willing to sacrifice his family, and my siblings and I have a lifetime of memories to enjoy because of that.
A WAKE UP CALL
Team Sammy: What was your first saving experience or memory?
Linda Lipovetsky: I had a wake up call in my early twenties! I suddenly started having grown-up conversations with my peers and they were making all kinds of important financial decisions. Buying homes, travelling, and here I was spending my paycheck with nothing left at the end of the month. I didn’t understand what the stock market was or what to do, and retirement seemed so far away. I realized quickly I was behind the 8-ball and had to take control of myself – I didn’t want to be naïve or reliant on anyone to control my financial decisions when I did decide to settle down.
HOLIDAYS & NEW YEARS EVE – SAMMYRIFFIC EARNING OPPORTUNITIES
Team Sammy: What was your first job (formal or informal)? How much did you earn and what you did with the money?
Linda Lipovetsky: Babysitting – I started at 10 or 11 (crazy to think about now that my own son is 11!). I think I earned $2.50/hour, more on holidays and New Year’s Eve was always the best night to work – especially for families with multiple kids. I did this for many years, giving up most of my Saturday nights. Since I didn’t know any better at the time, I unfortunately spent it all!
KEEP YOUR CREDIT SCORE INTACT
Team Sammy: Did your parents talk to you and/or teach you about money / personal finance growing up? What do you remember? What, if anything stuck?
Linday Lipovetsky: Not really, but not for lack of trying to pass on some wisdom on my dad’s part when I was a teenager. The one thing that stuck was – keep your credit score intact and stay out of debt. I’ve always been afraid of debt, especially credit card debt and I always made sure to live within my means no matter what.
MY PARENTS SAID “NO” OFTEN
Team Sammy: Who was your primary or one your main money mentors as a child or teen?
Linday Lipovetsky: Despite not having many open conversations around money, my parents managed themselves well together. Even if we didn’t discuss it I always knew we were okay. My parents said ‘no’ often which sent a strong message. They were not hesitant to say something cost too much and they rarely bought brand name stuff. Being involved in their finances now I can see the full scope of their sacrifices and how they saved to ensure they could retire on their terms.
POTENTIALLY DEVASTATING CONSEQUENCES
Team Sammy: At what age and how did you come to realize money had a value?
Linday Lipovetsky: In my twenties as mentioned above, and more clearly when my son was born. My real education however, came when I changed careers in my thirties from tech to financial services, and became aware of how much our society as a whole doesn’t understand basic finances or their potentially devastating consequences. This was not specific to one demographic or income level. We engaged with clients earning 7-figure salaries without any savings or plan in place! I was on the brink of divorce and needed to learn a whole lot in a very little amount of time.
EARNING AND LEARNING
Team Sammy: Did you work as a teen and/or in college?
Linday Lipovetsky: I worked an overnight job 4-5 nights while in college along with a part-time gig another 2 times a week. Then, I pursued my master’s degree in the evening and worked full-time.
AN OOOPS AND A WOOHOO
Team Sammy: What was one mistake and one smart money choice you made as a kid or teen?
Linday Lipovetsky: My biggest mistake was not saving.
Smartest choice – most of my smart money choices came later in life. I’m investing a lot of time teaching my son to make smart choices early.
Team Sammy: What piqued your interest in personal finance?
Linda Lipovetsky: Having my son and realizing my marriage was not going to work out was a big dose of reality. I had some major obstacles to overcome and no starting point – so I took a position in a financial practice. I figured I’d have first row seats to the best education possible – real clients! Little did I know it would become my career and my passion. I was fortunate my company offered sponsorships for continued learning and I took advantage of everyone course I could, earning multiple licenses and designations. These obviously helped me help my clients, but they shaped the financial decisions I made for myself and my son.
THE ONE MONEY HABIT
Team Sammy: One question I ask everyone is: If you could only teach a child one money habit, what would it be and why?
Linda Lipovetsky: Invest early – take advantage of compounding.
Save as much as you can – at least 20-30% of every paycheck, if that is economically possible.
THOUGHTS FROM LINDA ON AN ARRAY OF ISSUES
Team Sammy: If you have any thoughts on the following, feel free to share your thinking:
Is it important to teach kids about money? Why? At what age should parents start?
Linda: I started teaching my son at 3. I think the earlier the better, it definitely can’t hurt!
Should personal finance be taught in schools?
Linda: It should be mandatory from Kindergarten!
Linda: This is an emotional subject but one that must be addressed. Teenagers have a choice where to go to school. There are good reasons for choosing an expensive school but most 18-year olds cannot comprehend the long-term consequences of the massive debt they are signing on for. Most professors teach at multiple universities and colleges – including community and state schools. It would be smart for teens to research their major and where the professors teach. It would be helpful if counselors helped students weigh the benefits of an expensive degree vs the income projections for their field of study and determine if/when the debt can reasonably be paid back.
Financial pet peeves
Linda: Financial advice in blogs from unlicensed posters/writers
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