You are no doubt familiar with The Better Business Bureau, possibly even looking for that recognizable flame logo on a website or physical location before deciding to do business with a company. That’s because The BBB exists to allow consumers to make informed decisions about working with companies they can trust. They help you know what businesses you can trust and which ones you can’t without you having to learn the hard way, which makes them a valuable resource for consumers.
While you probably know about the BBB, you may not be aware of their Annual Business of the Year Torch Award. Each year, for each region of the country in which the BBB has Accredited Businesses, businesses are nominated after a rigorous application process and then evaluated by a panel of experienced business professionals from SCORE, Service Core of Retired Executives. The businesses are judged based on their commitment to their local community, ethical business and leadership practices that unify their organizations. One large, one medium, and one small business from each region are given the prestigious Torch Award. One local charity is also recognized and receives a $500 donation from the BBB.
For 2020, the Better Business Bureau awarded the Coastal Financial Planning Group of Charleston, SC the Small Business Torch Award for the Midlands and Lowcountry region.
The Coastal Financial Planning Group was founded in 2003 by Rick Durkee, an investment and retirement specialist with over 20 years of experience in the financial services profession.
The Coastal Financial Planning Group sets itself apart in an effort to prove trustworthy to its clients, not only by having a Certified Financial Planner on staff, but also by its ISO 9001/2015 certification, a rigorous standard that specifies requirements for a quality management system. Organizations use this standard to demonstrate the ability to consistently provide products and services that meet customer and regulatory requirements.
As independent advisors licensed as fiduciaries, Rick and the team at the Coastal Financial Planning Group purposefully take an approach that focuses on education and collaboration for all their clients and the community.
Education has been a primary emphasis from the beginning when Rick started his original morning radio show (now a podcast called Navigating Retirement) that many of you have listened to over the years. In addition to the radio show turned podcast, Rick has also developed several educational courses such as Rethink Retirement and Income Allocation that were taught at the College of Charleston’s Center for Creative Retirement prior to the Covid pandemic that shut down the College of Charleston’s North Campus.
Due to Covid pandemic restrictions, these two classes have now been made available online and on demand in a video learning series. In addition, The Annual Retirement Planning Summit, now in its 7th year, invites the community to learn from multiple local professionals regarding topics important to retirees.
Collaboration takes place first developing an understanding of the clients’ needs and goals of their particular situation and built into a written financial plan, and then with a select team of collateral professionals who provide their additional expertise in areas of tax planning, estate planning, real estate, Medicare, and other areas.
The goal of the Coastal Financial Planning Group is that after going through a discovery process focused on tax planning, income planning, and risk management, known as the “3-Step Review,” clients will be fully educated and highly confident regarding their financial plan and their family’s financial future.
This focus on trustworthy financial planning through education and collaboration, supported by an accredited process, laid the foundation for the Coastal Financial Planning Group to earn the coveted Torch Award in 2020. But it was the action taken during the early stages of the Covid pandemic that truly set Coastal Financial Planning Group apart to become a Torch Award recipient.
With many of the traditional avenues of education shut down, the Coastal Financial Planning Group worked to make all of the educational programs they had developed available online, at no cost to interested parties. This meant extensive time and effort spent in reformatting the courses, preparation of materials, website design, and recording.
The Retirement Planning Summit also went entirely virtual as well. These efforts allowed clients and the community free continued access to these educational resources when attending these events in person was impossible, and ended up making it easier! Even as Covid restrictions are eventually lifted this material will be available from anywhere at any time.
Collaboration continued with other area professionals through their appearances on the Navigating Retirement podcast, as well as the Christian Business Values podcast, also hosted by Rick, that focuses on business leaders with Christian principles in their businesses and community involvement.
Rick and the team at the Coastal Financial Planning Group would like to thank the BBB for their support of members of the BBB and the high bar they have set for keeping consumers informed.
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