I am a proud first generation American and my story started before I existed. It was the late 1950’s and my father (Arwin) was growing up outside of Nairobi, Kenya. He was 1 of 8 siblings and suffered the loss of his mother before the age of 6 and ultimately lost his father at 18 years old. Around the world in Kyushu, Japan my mother (Fusako) was being raised by a traditional Japanese family but had an adventurous side that she needed to explore. She went to Kenya in her early 20's as a tourist and instantly fell in love with the country and culture. 

Without hesitation she decided to learn Swahili and found a job with Mistubishi. She met my father through a work colleague and that's how their love story began. They immigrated to the United States in the 1980's and I was raised in Randolph, New Jersey with my sister Sakura.


What My Parents Taught Me…

Since my father was forced to be financially independent from a young age, he always included me in money conversations at home. His motivation was driven by fear. Fear that if something happened to my parents,  I would need to know how to take care of myself. Having no relatives in the United States this was a very real threat to my father. Since my mother grew up in a traditional Japanese family, talking about money with an 8 year old girl seemed highly inappropriate and made her uncomfortable. But she knew my father’s fear was real so she openly communicated as well. Being raised in this environment, I was taught to believe that I should have an emergency fund of a safety cushion just in case something unforeseen happened.

Finance Was Always A Fit For Me… 

 It was a natural progression for me to enter into the personal finance field. Once I accepted an internship with Smith Barney in college I knew this was the right place for me. I was excited by the financial markets; every day was different; things were always changing and I was constantly learning. It was fascinating. Through my experience at Smith Barney and Fidelity Investments, I became a Certified Financial Planner TM.

After many satisfying years building financial plans for families, I ultimately decided to step away from work to be home with my two kids, Holden and Harlow. But as I stepped away from the work force I noticed something interesting. Friends would reach out to me for personal financial guidance. People had questions like how and why save for retirement, how to invest, how to buy a house, the list goes on. I realized there was no obvious option for them to get professional financial support if they didn’t have a lot of money already saved. The best thing for them to do was get educated, create a plan and monitor it. But where could they go? 

Why Empowered Planning Is Here For You…

There’s a need for friendly, easy to digest financial education earlier on in life. Most of my friends don’t have a strong financial foundation because of a lack of time and education. Schools don’t teach us this stuff and when we start working, our focus is on learning our craft, establishing ourselves in our careers. But if we don’t take care of ourselves now, nobody will be there with a blank check when we hit these important milestones. Empowered Planning will simplify the complex world of finance and help you reach financial freedom! 

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