13 Years of Service in His Niche Retirement Market

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Micah Shilanski RFC, the cover profile of the Jan/Feb International Association of Registered Financial Consultants (IARFC) publication the “Register,” has found a niche market working with clients in the federal community. He celebrates his 13 year helping retirees understand their federal benefits from a financial planning perspective.

Make a decision to become successful and write down your goals. Listen to those that say you can do it and don't listen to those who say you can't.... Micah Shilanski

Following the advice of his parents to build expertise and specialize in a particular area of Financial Planning, Micah Shilanski (Shilanski and Associates located in Anchorage, AK) recognized that this complicated federal retirement system was where he wished to put his energies. The payoff to focus on this area of need was long coming, but the longer he has been helping federal employees, the more established and successful he has been.

Reaching the 13 year mark of service to this niche market, Shilanski attributes his growth of reputation to three factors: goal setting, unique communication with clients and family support.

Setting goals has enabled him to achieve both personal and business goals. Every January, he creates a business plan for the year that gets broken down into smaller increments to figure out what has to be accomplished on a daily basis. Every morning he spends the first 30-60 minutes getting into the right frame of mind and writing down his goals for the day. “I am a big fan of technology and being paperless,” says Shilanski, “But for this exercise, I put pen to paper. Once I have all my goals written down, I start laying out what I need to do that day to meet those goals.”

Communication to the client, he believes, has to be a very simple process. Shilanski prepares a financial plan, but does not present the client with a 200-page report in a fancy binder. They cover one part of the plan at each meeting and try to distill the subject matter down to one page. “Our clients really like this approach” relates Shilanski. “We have found that 30% of our clients come to us after they have worked with another planner that just handed them a 200 page document which overwhelmed them. And when they were overwhelmed, they didn’t do anything.”

Family Support is the third piece to his winning formula. With the help of his parents (Rosa and Floyd), Jamie (his sister) and most important Kelly (his wife), he has achieved a substantial level of success. Shilanski defined financial planning is not just something that he does…it is who he is. He has learned the importance of family and thus community at large.

Working in his niche market - the federal retirement system, Shilanski often receives referrals from people he has never met with. “The federal community is a ‘small community’”, explains Shilanski, “not in number but in the way that everyone knows everyone. We now have an established reputation.” His firm has created a do-it-yourself financial planning system for federal employees and offers videos and custom calculators – see http://www.Plan-Your-Federal-REtirement.com.

“As a member of the IARFC, we feel Micah Shilanski’s foundation for service exemplifies the type of member that embodies our association,” says IARFC Chairman Ed Morrow. “His formula for success in his niche market is typical of our professional practitioners.” More information on Micah Shilanski can be obtained on the IARFC website by looking under “Find a Member" section or visit the firm’s website at http://www.shilanski.com

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