Hello and welcome! Derek here.
I’m the founder of Tools 4 Retirement. I’m also a husband, proud father of a beautiful eight year old daughter, an eternal optimist, a lover of the great outdoors and an adventurer.
When it comes to my career, I’ve been living and breathing data for over 15 years as a data management consultant holding a science degree. Along the way, I’ve come to enjoy the stories that different sets of data can tell and am continually amazed at the capability of spreadsheets to reveal those stories.
Our Family’s Financial Expert
About 5 years ago, I found myself as a mid-career professional and family man who was making decent money but was not on solid ground from a financial perspective. We had recently become debt free, but we were far behind when it came to saving and investing for retirement. I started having feelings of fear and concern for our families financial future. It finally sank in that it was my responsibility to set our family on the right path.
My wife and I became determined to plan for a relatively early retirement and at the same time wanted to provide our daughter with the best life experiences and education possible. Along with our decision not to spend any of our hard earned money on financial advisor fees, I soon became aware of the immense responsibility of my new role as our family’s financial expert.
Financial Planning Skills and Spreadsheet Wizardry
My first task was to learn as much as I could about personal finance and how to plan for our families future. Next up, and near to my heart as a data consultant, was to comb the internet in search of financial planning tools to help get our finances on track. After searching long and hard, I was only able to find either overly simplified or overly complicated options, none of which fit our needs. Knowing a thing or two about the merits of data processing tools I quickly realized it was best for me to take a shot at building a tool custom fit for our needs.
I started off with a deep dive into figuring out as much as I could about basic economics, how stock and bond markets function and personal finance. I then began the creation of our family’s financial planning tool. My wife and I began to really enjoy approaching our families financial planning process in the same diligent and determined way that a good business approaches it’s finances. After all, many of us are being paid by our employers to think along these lines for the company, it became clear to us that we ought to apply our business skills to our family’s financial business.
The more we learned, the more the Family Tool evolved. The more the Family Tool evolved the better our financial situation became and the more confident we became in our ability to reach our financial goals.
Whenever our Family Tool has come up in conversation with colleagues, family or friends, the response from others has always been along the lines of “Wow, I wish we had one of those.”
Now my daughter is five years taller, my family is five years further along our path towards reaching our financial goals and through this process I’ve come to realize I have a real passion for personal finance and desire to share some of the lessons learned with others who may find themselves in similar situations.
Wonderful Community of Personal Finance Bloggers
In everyday conversation, the topic of personal finance often falls into the category of topics not to be discussed “at the dinner table”. This is why so many of us have found the personal finance blogging community to be such a breath of fresh air and a real beacon to help us navigate our financial journey.
We all come to personal finance with a unique perspective which is important to share. It’s also a beautiful thing when we’re able to find commonalities amongst our community. Let’s be sure to have an open dialogue while we embark on this adventure together!