Skip West has worked in the financial field for more than 20 years. He is currently the founder and primary financial advisor at the West Financial Group in Wildwood, FL.
Current Role and Duties
West is president, CEO, and chief financial advisor at West Financial Group. West Financial Group, founded in 2003, is a boutique-sized independent financial planning firm that specializes in helping retirees and pre-retirees develop long-term financial strategies. The firm offers retirement income planning, retirement tax strategies, life insurance and annuities, and legacy and estate planning. West Financial Group is located in The Villages Retirement Community in Sumter County.
Career and Academic History
West graduated from the University of Arkansas with a bachelor’s degree in engineering in 1972. He’s always owned his own business. He discovered that financial planning is his passion and has been a financial advisor for several decades. He has recently developed a specialty in helping retirees enjoy the life of their dreams. He is also an author.
Professional Skills and Experience
West is skilled in a broad spectrum of financial planning and advisory services, including retirement planning, budgeting, taxes, legacy planning, and estate planning. He also helps clients determine their insurance needs, including life insurance, disability insurance, and long-term care insurance.
A crucial part of Skip West business plan is providing personalized service. He works with clients to develop individual programs based on their desired retirement lifestyle. For example, whether they want to travel, volunteer, work a “retirement job,” or relax. He also helps retirees or soon-to-be retirees to mitigate tax liabilities during their retirement and in what they leave to their heirs.
In addition to helping clients one-on-one, he frequently gives seminars and teleconferences. Topics include:
protecting oneself from stock market risk
protecting retirement from increased taxation
how to have a guaranteed income for life
conquering the fear of uncertainty
how to spend more time on the green and less time chasing it
is debt free retirement possible?
retirement strategies for women
how not to outlive the money.
The seminars are often free.
Even though West lives in a retirement community, he continues to attend continuing education events and to keep abreast of current events. For example, he studied and offered resources on the CARES Act and its updates and annuities during the pandemic.
Childhood and Values
Skip West was born in Greenville, SC, but later moved to Arkansas. He attended Monticello High School. His father taught him a mantra that has helped propel his success throughout his life. The mantra is “Always do more for others than they do for you, no matter what it takes.” At West Financial, he puts this mantra into practice through his empathy and personal support of clients. For example, he understands the emotional stress involved in planning what will happen to your estate after that. He helps clients navigate that emotional time through preparation.
West also believes that having a sound mind and body is a gift that comes with responsibility. As part of fulfilling those responsibilities, he strives to keep his mind and body fit and sharp through faith and discipline.
Philanthropy and Charitable Involvement
Giving back to the community is an essential part of his value system. His particular passion is helping improve financial literacy within his community. He also believes that everyone should have a retirement income plan and strives to help them develop it. Many of his seminars are free. He and West Financial Group also offer a variety of free resources and free consultations built around retirement planning. Free resources are available on West Financial Group’s website and through his personal Twitter and Facebook accounts.
Accomplishments and Achievements
West and West Financial have received several accolades. One client says he is “personable” and “really knows his clients… “He makes me feel special, takes care of my business, and gives me excellent advice.”
Another couple praises the events he schedules to allow them to socialize with other clients with similar interests. They also find him friendly and enjoy his personal service. “You definitely don’t feel like a number with Skip. He’s very personable and makes you feel at ease.”
Another client refers to him as her best “financial guy.”
Still, another client says he really listens to their needs and desires. “We found him to be sincere and knowledgeable in how he watches over each account.”
Interests and Hobbies
Skip West lives the retirement lifestyle that he urges for his clients. He is an avid runner and golfer. He is married and has children and grandchildren. His grandchildren also live in Florida, in Pt. St, Lucie and one of his granddaughters is also an avid golfer. Skip and his wife currently live in The Villages. West is a big fan of The Villages and promotes it on his social media.