The First Step on a Financial Journey

When CEO Scott Lebin speaks about a sound fiscal journey while investing in the financial world, his clients listen with an open ear. That’s because he offers professional advice that ultimately motivates his clients to use planning as a tool to proactively create their own life’s journey.

In fact, Lebin’s corporate mantra is simple: “You need to know where you want to go before you can figure out how to get there.”

For Lebin Financial Planning, a company based in Geneva, Ill. this seems like a basic instruction that can often be amply, easily and frequently applied to many of life’s experiences. The one exception – and a dangerous one at times – is often found within the management of personal finances. Not having a money management road map means there is no navigation for avoiding unnecessary detours or dead ends.

“One of our goals is to make clients feel better about who they are and the journey that they are on in their lives,” Scott Lebin emphasized. Lebin takes much longer than the industry-standard hour to intake a new client, and he takes even more time progressing through his firm’s trademarked Wealth Optimization Plan with clients.

“Clients need to take time to breathe as they work through all of these questions regarding what they want to do, and where they want to be – and what their goals are. They do not have to answer all of it quickly. They can think about it slowly over time as the story of their life unfolds. We are here to be guides in that process.”

The Wealth Optimization Plan is a four-part process beginning with Discovery, where vision and goals are identified. From there, the Creative Solutions portion of the process allows the client and the advisor to think about solutions. Strategy Deployment is where one or more solutions are deployed. The fourth and final, but ongoing, part of the process is called Results Management.

In this process, deployed solutions are monitored and tweaked with the goal of sustaining the desired results.

This process is what Lebin uses to move clients from financial dreams into financial reality – especially in the retirement years when the demands of careers, and perhaps even mortgages, should be gone.

His greatest joy is to tell a client that he or she can indeed do those things they spent their working years dreaming about as hallmarks of their retirement. Perhaps it means going back to school to study an obscure subject or start a second career.

Perhaps it is volunteering at hospice or at the local hospital. Maybe it is volunteering at an elementary school helping young students learn to read. It might be a trip around the world or a complete indulgence in that hobby one always thought was interesting but couldn’t find the time to start.

Whatever those dreams may be, Lebin’s goal is to help make them belong to his client by paving the road toward achieving them with the appropriate, necessary and prudent financial decisions.

“My philosophy in life has always been this – if people want something, help them achieve it,” Lebin said. Not all financial planning firms follow this philosophy: Lebin doesn’t have a minimum for new client engagement. “I don’t believe we cut people off just because they do not have a minimum amount of money to start off with. We help them. We get them started. This has always worked for me.” Lebin has also found that clients who do have money often need just as much guidance to be efficient and confident.

He started in the financial services industry 31 years ago, when a neighbor who worked with doctors on money management and wealth planning suggested to Lebin that he might enjoy the same type of work. It did indeed appeal to him. Lebin had a strong desire to help people. He liked the idea of creating solutions for people to help them with their financial decisions.

So he went through the required testing and also learned about the financial needs of health care industry professionals. He continues to learn and study about current trends and stays engaged in many professional organizations, including MDRT, the premier association of financial professionals. Lebin is currently the Divisional Vice President of the Program Development Committee for the 2017 Annual MDRT Meeting.

For Lebin, his work really is all about his clients.

He relishes hearing life stories. Lebin says, “All clients have great stories.” As an example, those who have told him about growing up during the Great Depression and other periods of the nation’s history when lean times prevailed were filled with significance.

“Some of them have told me about growing up with little to eat – or only having potatoes to eat and discovering 50 different ways to make a meal out of potatoes,” Lebin said. “To hear their stories and be a part of their journey is very rewarding.”

Lebin believes that success is directly attributable to following his creed of helping each client determine what their goals really are, and then identifying the right financial tools to get the job done.

In doing so, Lebin believes he becomes a motivator.

“If you have a passion for something and you know it, it is amazing how you can save the money you need to get there,” Lebin said. “If you don’t know what you are saving for, it just does not have the same drive to it. This isn’t necessarily about being wealthy in terms of money, but about being wealthy in your life and the way that you live it.”

Learn more about Scott Lebin and Lebin Financial Planning online at

Scott Lebin is a Registered Representative and Investment Advisor of and securities offered through Signator Investors, Inc. Member FINRA, SIPC, and an SEC Registered Investment Advisor. California Insurance License #0B70404. 20 S. Second Street, Geneva, IL 60134. 199-20160621-301200

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