Adviser helps millennials save for retirement — and see the world along the way

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Some financial advisers find their niche by zeroing in on an area they’re passionate about or where they see an untapped opportunity to attract clients. Richard Cooke discovered his niche by believing there are a lot of people just like himself who enjoy travel and don’t want to work themselves to death before they retire.

Cooke, 33, founded 2Point0 Financial in December to meet the unique financial planning needs of millennials who enjoy travel.

“Travel has always been a passion of mine and a big part of my life, and I want to work with people who see the world like me,” he said.

As a millennial who worked at Fidelity Investments and Edward Jones before heading out on his own, Cooke realized his niche opportunity after his wife opened his eyes to what’s really important to him.

“We were on vacation and she asked me what I would do if I could do anything I wanted,” he said.

While not all millennials can be packed into a single bucket of traveling gig workers, Cooke said there’s a general theme in the generation that he sees as keeping things in a different kind of perspective.

“Travel and spending time with friends and family is important to a lot of people, but millennials seem to get it,” he said. “The millennials have this view of seeing how things work and looking for a different way to do it. They know they need money, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they have to wait till they’re 65 to enjoy retirement.”

That’s where Cooke comes in, appreciating the thirst for looking at traditional lifestyle patterns and “tweaking it a little bit.”

“One of the things I ask clients and prospects is if they have ever considered different types of retirement planning, and that’s when you see the wheels start to spin,” he said.

Cooke’s business model is a simple subscription plan that charges between $150 and $300 per month, and also includes an optional investment management service for 35 basis points.

But to get the ball rolling, he starts by helping clients understand “what is important about money.”

To be clear, Cooke isn’t just helping clients plan and finance their next junket. Retirement planning is a big focus, but there is also a carve-out in the planning process for financing some fun along the way.

For example, he encourages his clients to set up Roth IRAs, as opposed to traditional IRAs, because of the option to withdraw principal without incurring a penalty prior to age 59.

In addition to retirement savings, Cooke encourages clients to have an “opportunity fund bucket” in a taxable account.

“That gives us a little flexibility,” he said. “Traditional pre-retirement planning is important work, but millennials want help with all these decisions.”

Cooke said he’s still figuring out his marketing efforts and has found some success with Facebook and Instagram.

“My mission is to encourage travel and to live in the most fiscally responsible way,” he said. “I do a lot of travel myself and try to present that lifestyle as the return I get on that investment. That’s something that is different from the advice they might get from traditional advisers of just save, save, save, and no fun.”

Cooke boils it down to helping clients “find the sweet spot.”

“Life is short, so let’s make sure we’re enjoying it,” he said. “But there’s also the possibility that life could be long, and you can’t ignore that either.”

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