By Jim Eastin
The occasion was a Social Security seminar sponsored by Elkmont Wealth Management, PLLC. The conference room held about a dozen people in the spacious home-style office on Prince Street in Sevierville. Everyone had come to learn about Social Security, something everyone expects to receive at some point, but almost no one understands.
“We like to do small meetings so we can answer questions,” Jim Ridley tells me. “Most people think all they need to know about Social Security is that they should take it at 62. But that was when life expectancy was 70. There are 2,800 rules that apply to us. There are deemed filing, standard filing, file and suspended, file restricted. All of these have different outcomes. People leave a lot of Social Security money on the table because they don’t know. Since the choice is for life, and possibly your spouses, any decision about Social Security is huge. We understand that financial planning is scary and uncertain, especially in today’s economy. But we’ve helped clients with all types of backgrounds successfully and happily retire with their financial hopes and dreams met and often exceeded.”
Ridley has always wanted to be a financial planner. He knew it in 8th grade. He studied finance at U.T., became security licensed in 1994, and worked as an investment planner in the banking world. “I was limited by the products I could offer,” he says. “They weren’t always the best fit for the customer. Now I can offer a variety of products and services based on the customer’s needs. Each investor is unique, and their plan should match their risk tolerance and time horizon. We listen to the client to determine the best course of action.”
Jim completed his Certified Financial Planner™ training in 2003 and opened his own firm this year. “The reason I wanted the CFP® is so that I could help people with all their financial planning. Too many people make the mistake of treating their finances as separate pieces. But they are all related and someone has to look at them together to keep them from blowing up. Our goal at Elkmont Wealth Management, PLLC is to provide the best possible customer service, along with a holistic approach to managing investments. We are proud that so many of our clients have repeatedly turned to us for guidance and assistance with their financial futures, and we work hard to earn their loyalty every day.”
Jim radiates a sincere, calm confidence that puts one at ease about money conversations. He is an avid outdoors man, hiker, hunter and fisherman, and single parent to his 16-year-old daughter.
By the end of the seminar, there was a lot to think about. Social Security has many options and it became easy to see why one would want an expert to tie it in with comprehensive expert guidance. You can contact Jim Ridley, CFP® at
Elkmont Financial Management, PLLC
226 Prince St.
Sevierville TN 37863