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Gig Harbor financial coach focuses on retirement preparation

Financial Coach Richard HimmerWhen clients come to Richard Himmer for financial advice, they will not hear about stock investments and other wealth accumulation strategies. In fact, they will not experience many things one might expect from a financial adviser. Himmer, a financial coach who owns PyrBlu, Inc. (www.pyrblu.com) in Gig Harbor, uses a unique method to help people succeed by saving money rather than risking it through investments in the stock market. He doesn’t even use the term retirement planning: “I call it retirement preparation,” he says.

Himmer uses a quadrant method he created himself to teach people about how to manage their money. He feels that in a marriage, learning how to have cash flow is as important as communication, but people are often afraid to talk about money because it becomes very emotional. “We simplify life for them. We’ve developed a system to teach folks how to talk about money without arguing,” he says.

Himmer was a mortgage broker when he realized many people continuously followed the same patterns that got them into debt — and that financial advisers usually worked with wealthy individuals who had money to risk. “If you need help with basics of cash flow and spending, who do you go to? Nobody,” he says. “It’s one thing to spend money, and another to spend it worthwhile.”

Himmer wanted to fill that gap left by financial advisers. Not only does he work with people from all income levels, he teaches nothing about the stock markets. His strategy is to help people be better spenders, which can help them save thousands of dollars over time. “I teach people how to do the things they already know they need to do,” he says. “And I teach first how to save money then how to spend it.”

His main requirement is commitment and honesty: If a couple are not willing to commit and be brutally honest with him (and each other) as well as to be held accountable by him, he disqualifies them as clients. He prefers to work with clients between ages 25 and 55, married and with children — in fact, some parents sign up their kids for consultations after working with Himmer. For clients who are well-situated for retirement, he can focus on something else, but, he says, “95 percent won’t have enough money.”

Every client starts out with a mission, or what he calls a commander’s intent, which is “to have sufficient active and passive income to cover expenses during retirement.” “We teach them how to get there,” he says. The approach also teaches couples how to communicate better, whether that’s about finances or not.

Active income, in Himmer’s view, is going to be key for the majority of retirees, because they will not have enough money from sources like savings or stocks. Which means he coaches them to prepare to use their passion for something they do really well and turn it into a small, income-producing business when they retire. “Small business is what will save them in the future,” he says. “If I can get them as clients in their 30s and 50s, I have decades to work with them.”

Himmer’s system is a comprehensive, step-by-step one with scripts and detailed worksheets he gives as homework. He trains other professionals in how to coach using his system, and created a team of coaches who can teach what he knows.

Recently, Himmer was approached by a bridal club to develop a program for newlyweds. He created an 11-week process designed for newly-married couples, who can receive coaching over the phone on how to merge their two separate financial blueprints into one.

A Gig Harbor resident of more than a decade, he continues to be a mortgage broker as well, but says financial coaching is his true passion. He recently finished an e-book on the topic of finances. He, too, uses coaches in life, and he says he lives by his system in his personal finances.

“It is so fun to see when a client gets it, it’s a kick,” he says. “…Clients tell me all the time saving the money is the easy part — it’s about the peace of mind, not just about saving.”

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