Ken Heise, Heather Hellmann, Lori Heise

Jamie Vess

When Ken Heise sat down with his parents several years ago to look over their retirement plan, he discovered how much work needed to be done. “I saw their lack of a solid plan, and realized that I wanted to help provide people a secure retirement that they can enjoy with confidence.”

With that goal in mind, Ken joined forces with his wife, Lori, to open Heise Advisory Group in 2007. With more than 45 years of combined experience in insurance and securities, the couple saw a need for a greater focus on protecting clients’ retirement incomes. “The No. 1 concern for retirees is that they’re going to outlive their money,” Lori says. “We want to help make sure they don’t do that.”

To create that ‘worry-free’ retirement income plan, the Heise Advisory Group moves away from the accumulation phase of life, and instead focuses on the preservation and transfer phases, Ken explains. “It becomes important to preserve those assets, create income cash flow that will last the rest of a person’s life and then finally, transfer those assets to beneficiaries. Many advisors tend to keep people in that accumulation mentality, so people have a hard time understanding that they are not in that phase any longer.”

Instead, the Heises preach a strong defense as the best approach to retirement planning. When meeting with a potential client, they often discover that the client’s goals do not match the financial vehicle currently in place. “Would you go waterskiing behind your car or drive your boat down the interstate? They’re perfectly good vehicles, but they’re designed for two different purposes,” Ken says. “We teach people the purpose of investments and the purpose of savings vehicles.”

That education is at the root of Heise Advisory Group’s approach, stressing the importance of preserving retirement income and creating a cash flow instead of risking huge losses with investments. “Too many people have pulled back in their retirement dreams over the last 10 years because they’ve lost their confidence,” Ken says. “But through this whole financial meltdown, our clients have not lost one penny. They have the confidence everyone should have.”

The firm, which recently moved into new offices in Des Peres, works with clients throughout the bi-state area. The couple puts a great emphasis on building personal relationships with those clients. “We spend a lot of time getting to know them. We want to build that comfort level, educate them about their options and how we can best meet their goals,” Lori notes.

With director of operations and marketing Heather Hellmann completing the team, Heise Advisory Group is able to provide individual attention for each client. “Most people revolve their financial decisions around family,” Ken says. “We’re a family business and people enjoy being able to sit down with both of us.”

With the importance of family always at the forefront, the Heises spend much of their time away from the office with their four children and grandson, Hayden. The Harley Davidson motorcycle-riding couple enjoys life—and aims to make sure their clients do so, as well, Ken says. “We want to give as many people as possible the confidence to enjoy their retirement lifestyle the way they want.”

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