Jeannette Bajalia, President of Petros Estate and Retirement Planning and Founder and President of Woman's Worth®, Finds Her Passion As a Lifetime Income Planning Advisor
ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla., March 7, 2013 /PRNewswire/ – Retiring from the corporate world at 55 after nearly 25 years at Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Jeannette Bajalia knew she wanted to expand her horizons, but had no idea how quickly she would put her vast, previously untapped entrepreneurial skills into action.
At the time, Bajalia – currently the President and Principal Advisor for St. Augustine, FL based Petros Estate and Retirement Planning — found herself in the challenging position of being primary caregiver for her mother and great aunt, both in their 90s. She sought the advice of local financial advisers for help with her assets, including those from the company sponsored 401 (k) and company pension.
"Those I approached wanted to grab my assets and put them in the market without any planning based on risk tolerance or what I expected to do with the assets over my lifetime," she says. "These were high end advisors who didn't understand the life planning costs associated with the major challenges of growing older in America. Under their system, they couldn't guarantee that my money would last as long as I might need it to. I realized that the financial service industry was under-serving baby boomers who might endure some major market hits in the later years of their retirement – or who might, like me, have to become caregivers for family members outliving their assets or children losing jobs or even supporting grandchildren."
The Jacksonville born and raised Bajalia, who launched her corporate career at Prudential and rose to middle management by age 21, approached Petros Financial Services in St. Augustine. Upon her hiring in November 2007, she slowly reinvented their business model – which at the time was focused on selling financial products – to more of a lifetime income planning firm, with asset management as merely one element of an integrated planning model.
The original owner of Petros wasn't interested in doing this kind of long term planning, so Bajalia bought the firm when he left to form his own company in 2010. While the evolution involved a name change to Petros Estate and Retirement Planning, the company's original branding line – "Building Rock Solid Futures" – was still applicable and would be actualized through staff additions and strategic alliances with experts in the areas of asset management, tax planning, and estate planning.
She brought in Brian Mickley, a former Army Officer (who retired as a Lieutenant Colonel after 23 years of service) and health industry leader, as a partner; Mickley had also retired from Blue Cross/Blue Shield, where he had previously worked with Bajalia. While she focuses on client relationships for Petros, Mickley is in charge of practice management.
Some of the key ways Petros helps their clients are listed on the services page of their website (www.petrosplanning.com). These include more conservative income based Investing, Estate and Legal Planning, Health Care Protection and Retirement Rollovers – with the latter involving ways to reduce the risk and increase lifetime payout to client pensions, 401 (k) s, 403 (b) s, SEPs, IRAs and maintain control of the retirement nest egg. As a member of Ed Slott's Master Elite IRA Advisor Group, Petros offers services that are available only from a small handful of estate and retirement planners nationally.
In addition to her business and professional experience, Bajalia has significant experience in the issues facing the aging population. Her passion for helping women led to the establishment of Woman's Worth®, an affiliate of Petros Estate and Retirement Planning specializing in working with women due to the unique challenges women face due to fewer assets, longevity, and long-term care costs.
The services offered by Woman's Worth® are similar to those offered at Petros and include: Creation and growth of wealth; Helping reduce risk to life savings; Planning lifetime income; Integrated retirement planning; Estate and legal planning for the client and her heirs; Helping reduce tax liability; Healthcare, Medicare and Medicaid planning; and, above all, building financial independence.
In April 2012, Bajalia published a 154-page book whose title rings like a call to arms: "Wi$e Up, Women! A Guide To Total Fiscal and Physical Well Being." In the book, which is geared towards helping women achieve emotional, physical and financial balance for total well being in retirement, Jeannette shares important truths that are the cornerstone of the national educational program she has developed around this concept.
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