Sometimes we face challenges in our lives that become turning points. For Deb Sims, owner of Estate Management Group in Rancho Santa Fe, that turning point came during a devastating divorce. “I became a single mother in 2004 and experienced the emotional roller coaster of separation and divorce. Equally difficult was watching my daughters experience this horrible chapter in our lives.”
But overcoming that financial hardship gave Sims a unique perspective on helping others in financial crisis. In fact, it’s what fueled Sims to develop her purpose and determination to help those dealing with similar situations, especially women. “Over the years, I have witnessed a repeated problem with women and finances. For the most part, even in today’s world, men are in charge of the finances. So when a catastrophic event happens, women are in a vulnerable situation to be taken advantage of, due to their lack of involvement and lack of knowledge about finances.”
As an Accredited Investment Fiduciary, Sims acknowledges that everyone has financial fears, and it’s her job to address them. “One of seniors’ biggest fears is running out of money. I’ve made it my mission to help clients conquer this fear. My focus is personalizing financial plans for retirement, college planning, guiding people through unexpected catastrophic events, Social Security planning, and business planning.” One of her specialties is estate planning, which she learned a lot about at the death of her own parents. She believes this makes her unique to most Wealth Managers.
In 2005, Sims launched Estate Management Group, partnering with estate-planning attorneys, CPAs, divorce attorneys, mediators and mortgage brokers to simplify her clients’ lives. She had been a vice president at Great Western Financial Securities and decided to give up her practice when her first daughter was born in 1987. She got back into the financial business in 1999 as a Wealth Manager determined to make a difference in people’s lives.
“My role and passion as a Wealth Manager is creating financial and retirement plans for the future, as well as investing for clients so they are able to enjoy today. I want my clients to have peace of mind for their future and the legacy they wish to leave behind.”
After moving to Rancho Santa Fe with her three daughters in 1994, Sims always dreamed of opening an office there. “My dream to open an office in the Ranch was fueled by my witnessing many friends and associates dealing with difficult financial crises. Whether it was a loved one or spouse passing away, being blindsided by divorce or separation, or simply changes to their financial situation, helping women became my focus and getting them engaged and excited about their finances became my purpose.”
Sims has worked for 10 years with her oldest daughter, Devon Sims, as a mother and daughter financial duo. She says they are able to outsource many tasks due to the advancement of technology. In addition to working with her daughter, Sims says one of the most rewarding experiences is working with clients who are about to retire. “Watching the financial planning come to life and witnessing goals being achieved is so satisfying. I have never had one client come back to me after retiring and say they wish they’d kept their job. Most say they don’t know how they had time for a job with their new lifestyle.”
The mother and daughter team also launched the group “Engaging Women in Wealth” in 2013. Its mission is to engage, excite and encourage as many women as possible to take control of their finances now and not wait until a catastrophic event occurs. She says since re-launching the website in 2019, the response has been overwhelmingly positive. In the upcoming months, they’ll also launch a YouTube channel featuring informational videos on common financial topics.
You can check out the website for Engaging Women in Wealth at www.engagingwomeninwealth.com. If you’re interested in learning more about Estate Management Group, go to www.estatemanagementgroup.com.
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