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From Apprehension to Purpose

April 11, 2017

#MyWhy Series

I remember my “why” day vividly--even though it was over 15 years ago. Having only been a financial counselor for a year, I was apprehensive about the new role I had taken on. My biggest fear was meeting with a client and not being able to provide them with the help they needed. Then it happened--a high-ranking individual scheduled an appointment to see me. To say I was anxious was an understatement. How could I provide this individual with something he didn't already know? After all, he was a seasoned professional!

The more I thought about my client, the more anxious I became. The day finally arrived. I met him in the lobby, introduced myself, and walked him back to my office. He was a tall, robust man. I proceeded to ask him what brought him in to see me that day. As he lowered his head, he hesitated for just a minute as if to gather his thoughts. He looked up at me with tear filled eyes and said "Barbara, I have almost 30 years in the Air Force and I am being forced to retire due to high year of tenure. I have less disposable cash today than I had 30 years ago as an airman. I'm petrified. I can’t afford to retire. I don't know what to do!"

What happened after that statement is blurry and I can't even recall if I was able to help. I do know one thing for sure--from that moment on, I knew my destiny. I knew why I had to learn all that I could so that I could share my knowledge to help others avoid the same plight. To this day, I share this story with others.

Barbara Lang, AFC®


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