First National Wealth Management, Steve Parady
Steve Parady, Executive Vice President, First National Wealth Management. Photographed by Benjamin Williamson.

Dreamy as the prospect of retirement is, talking about retirement savings can be intimidating. Facing the facts of what we earn, spend, and save can be embarrassing. And confronting questions like “What if I don’t have enough?” can be downright scary.

That’s where Steve Parady comes in. As chief fiduciary officer of First National Wealth Advisors, a division of First National Bank, he talks clients through such touchy topics and helps them do the necessary planning to make the retirement they envision a reality. “Most people feel relief,” he says, “when they talk with someone who knows the market, understands their circumstances, but isn’t emotionally attached.”

What’s the most underrated strategy for smart saving?

Start early and stay consistent. In your early 20s, take advantage of any retirement plan your employer offers, or start one of your own. Make saving part of your budget.

How do you save when your everyday cost of living seems to swallow income?

Automate your savings however you can. Use direct deductions from your paycheck, or take advantage of a debit card that deposits loose change from your purchases into savings. If you don’t prioritize saving, even during the lean years, it will catch up with you.

There’s so much information about the market online. Can’t you just DIY?

If you try to play the market using your own information, or your emotions, you might lose money that you can’t recoup. Instead, establish a relationship with a financial advisor early, set goals, and review them each year. As your work, family, and health change over the years, the advisor can help you adjust your investment objectives, if necessary.

What qualifications should you look for in an advisor?

Look for someone who is a certified financial planner (CFP) or a chartered financial analyst (CFA). Ask friends for recommendations, or check with your local community bank.

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> First National Wealth Management, a division of First National Bank. 800-564-3195.

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