Five Questions With: Steve Lavergne

Steve Lavergne is a financial adviser at NCU Financial, a program at Navigant Credit Union. He talks with Providence Business News about NCU Financial, how the program is doing and what people should be thinking about as 2017 comes to an end.

PBN: Can you tell our readers a little bit about the NCU Financial at Navigant Credit Union?

LAVERGNE: Designed exclusively for credit union members, and located at the credit union, the NCU Financial Program offers various insurance and investment programs that complement traditional credit union savings plans. Some of the products and services available include: 401(k), pension rollovers, retirement planning, education funding, mutual funds, life insurance, long-term care insurance and wealth management.

In the spirit of the Navigant Credit Union’s overarching philosophy, NCU Financial is designed to assist a wide variety of members – from those just starting a savings plan, to those with sizable assets looking for more-sophisticated management tools.

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PBN: How is the wealth-management program doing business-wise?

LAVERGNE: We continue to see tremendous growth. With the low interest rate environment persisting for an extended period, savers have had to seek out alterative options to help preserve their wealth to ensure they don’t run out of money in retirement. Providing a no-pressure process with simple to understand options is what we do best.

PBN: What would you say is the most challenging aspect of the trade?

LAVERGNE: Helping members overcome some of the common money mistakes. Breaking old habits can be difficult and we understand that. And when it comes to our finances, it’s no different. At NCU Financial, we take the time to get to know our members and always take into consideration past money experiences and perceptions. It’s all about incremental improvement.

PBN: As the end of 2017 draws near, what should folks be thinking about in terms of financial planning?

LAVERGNE: We are certainly living in an interesting time, both economically and politically. Besides the typical year-end planning, it would be wise to pay close attention to the proposed federal tax legislation. We recommend consulting your financial planner and tax adviser before the end of the year to discuss the proposed changes and your options.

PBN: How does that thinking change for a 25-year-old compared to a 75-year-old?

LAVERGNE: Long story short: The older we get, the more complicated it gets. At age 25, most people are simply focused on growing wealth over the long term by earning income and saving it. As you get older, though, the focus often shifts to current income and protection of wealth. The options for the latter objectives can be more complex. It can be hard for some to switch from “playing to win” to “playing not to lose.” This can be the most important financial transition in your lifetime to preserve wealth for your family. A trusted partner like NCU Financial exists to make it easier.

Eli Sherman is a PBN staff writer. Email him at Sherman@PBN.com, or follow him on Twitter @Eli_Sherman.