Faculty & Professors


Financial Planning for Educators

OUR STORY: Rick Harkins, the founding principal of Harkins Wealth Management, LLC studied at Brown University as an older student. After having served 6 years in the United States Marine Corps, Rick entered the University for his bachelor’s degree, while married and raising two young children. He applied for and was accepted into the Resumed Undergraduate Education program (RUE) at Brown with dual concentrations in Sociology and Organizational Behavior and Management. As an older student, Rick developed relationships with many of the professors and as he transitioned into financial services became increasingly knowledgeable around the financial issues that professors and university professionals face. He has become an advisor to many at Brown and other universities. For more than 15+ years, Rick has been helping individuals in higher education work towards their financial goals and objectives.

Retirement Savings: Many colleges and universities have specific retirement plans with varying rules around in-service distributions and investment allocations. Most university professionals have also worked or will work at various institutions during the course of their career and each institution often will have their own, and sometimes conflicting limitations as to how you can manage your retirement assets. An advisor who has experience in this area, can be extremely useful in identifying the proper asset allocation while employed and in assisting to position assets properly during the retirement income phase.

Early Retirement: Already having a financial plan in place is beneficial if you are offered an early and voluntary retirement package. We can review how taking this offer will impact you in terms of experiencing a longer time period in retirement at an earlier age and where and how you may need to draw from savings. This offer could come prior to Social Security eligibility that should also be factored into your retirement income planning.

Retirement Income Planning: As many professors near retirement we find that they have multiple questions around retirement income planning, lump-sum payments, on-going and adequate health care coverage and long-term care options. A complete review of options may make sense.[/list]

The importance of personal financial planning for professors and university professionals cannot be overemphasized.In 2007, the Senior Faculty Transitions Task Force survey of all faculty at Stanford University revealed that approximately one–third of the regular active faculty respondents had not yet done any financial planning for retirement. And a study conducted in 2013 by Fidelity Investments, the “Higher Education Faculty Study” found that while older faculty say they’re financially prepared for retirement, few have created an individualized retirement income plan.

As a professor or university employee you have worked for many years educating future generations and working to accumulate assets in your university retirement plan. It is very important to prepare for the next phase. A retirement income plan is critical as it combines anticipated monthly income and expenditures, based on desired lifestyle, predicted life expectancy, and many other factors. The plan is key to managing day-to-day expenses in retirement and in converting a career’s worth of savings into a lifetime income stream. At Harkins Wealth Management, we have found that a major obstacle to proper planning is the lack of time most university professionals have in which to research financial options and decisions. Most are busy in their field as visiting professors, focusing on academic publishing, developing groundbreaking research and guest lecturing. Again and again, we hear that having a comprehensive financial plan that keeps goals on track helps to reduce financial stressors. At Harkins Wealth Management, we have the tools, resources and information needed to guide you through your financial journey as you focus on your academic career and beyond.