Financial Planners offer security, peace of mind
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Between mortgages, children, and everyday living expenses, modern wage earners have a multitude of costs weighing on their bank accounts.
For the past 30 years, Todd Hamlin has helped local residents plan their financial futures through his business, Protective Financial Services. From young adults making their starts in the business world to seasoned professionals with an eye on retirement, Hamlin and his team of certified financial planners have helped countless people in Baldwin County and across the nation work toward permanent financial security.
“We do financial planning, and we’re an investment insurance service,” said Hamlin from Protective’s North Columbia Street office. “Comprehensive financial planning involves every application of a dollar bill in a person’s life. That could be investment management, retirement and income planning, and an insurance component that includes life insurance, disability insurance, long-term care, and medicare insurance planning. You’ve got college education funding and planning, what we call spending plans which break down your money by percentages for groceries, housing, cars, and gas, and we also do legacy planning and making sure the wealth you’ve accumulated in your life goes to the people you want it to go to … There are about seven different sections to a financial plan depending on your stage of life, and we help you graduate from one ‘stage’ to the next.”
While Hamlin and his staff have found considerable success in helping people plan their futures, that success was not always a foregone conclusion. After being recruited by an Athens-based financial planning firm his junior year at Georgia College, in 1987 Hamlin went to work helping Middle Georgia residents protect their savings. Since growing his business from a local operation to include clients in 16 states (and U.S. service members in countries across the world), Hamlin has come along way from the early days of Protective Financial.
“Coming from Crawford County, I had no idea that financial planning was even an industry,” said Hamlin. “We had one local bank and that was it; there were certainly no stock brokers or financial planners. The gentlemen that recruited me out of Athens was in this business, and I got introduced to it through that even though I was still studying at Georgia College. … Having lived here in a 20-foot camper for four years while I was in college, and with no clients, no business, and no money, that twenty-foot camper seemed like a good option, so at 22 years old I came back to Milledgeville and started a company.”
After opening Protective Financial in Milledgeville, Hamlin has been trusted with many people’s finances more than their own family members. Some have been coming to Hamlin for 20+ years, and the Protective owner has personally seen many people retire after seeing them through the majority of their working careers. In addition to helping plan retirements, investments, and long-term spending plans, Protective also helps its clients in times of sudden need.
“We have a service called Electronic Client File storage where we can store documents in an off-premise location with 24-hour backup,” said Hamlin. “We had a client that went to the hospital with his wife in an ambulance, and their safe was at their house, but they were in Athens with no vehicle, their daughter was in Nebraska, and their son was in Florida. If we electronically store those documents, all they have to do is give us a card or email and we can get their important documents where we need to.”
After thirty years spent giving others advice for their finances and their futures, Hamlin has effectively made a career out of helping other people end their own. With a staff that has grown to include 10 people, and a planned addition that will add four new offices to Protective’s North Columbia Street office, Hamlin has laid the groundwork for a new generation of financial planners.
“A lot of people come in here stressed out, either about their financial situation or just about their lives,” said Will Clifton, who, like Hamlin, began working at Protective after graduating from Georgia College. “It could be that they lost their job, and it could be that they had an unplanned expense that’s going to cost them a couple thousand dollars, but the look of relief on people’s faces when you tell them ‘Hey, we’ve planned for this’ … is probably my favorite part.”
Protective Financial Services is located at 2727 N. Columbia St. in Milledgeville, and is open Monday through Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. For more information, call Protective Financial at 478-452-3746 or email Todd Hamlin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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