Say Hello to the CEO
Nicole Peterkin, CFP®, CLU®
Hi, I’m Nicky Peterkin Morong, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and CEO of Peterkin Financial.
I work one-on-one with about 50 families a year, helping them make smart financial moves so they can live the ridiculously happy and fulfilling lives they deserve.
I also run a group program for service-based entrepreneurs called Next Level Profits, teaching them the exact system I used to be able to retire my husband, build true financial security in my business, and live my ideal lifestyle.
Yes, you read that right, I retired my husband. At 32 years old.
In December 2016, I was doing my business planning for the coming year. As part of that, I always do an exercise about what my ideal life and ideal business look like. At that time, Bobby, who was my boyfriend back then, had been teaching for about 12 years. While he loved teaching, I could see very clearly that the job was burning him out.
I put down as part of my financial life planning that I wanted to be in a financial position where Bobby was working because he wanted to not because he had to. That was a priority for me. More than extra money to spend, early retirement, more money in the bank, or anything else. Reflecting on it now, I think this probably had something to do with my experience with my dad, but more on that later.
I’d been making over $100k since my first year in business and growing my revenue every year since, but I just couldn’t see how I could achieve and maintain that goal when the other goals on the list involved multiple kids, continuing to travel, work/life balance, and so on. But, I’m nothing if not determined and I decided it was time to get my financial sh*t together. No more excuses about variable income month to month, business expenses, taxes, and whatever else. So I started testing and creating different systems, setting savings goals that simulated us living on one income, and stress testing.
The planning worked so well that when Bobby proposed to me in December 2019 and we decided to have a wedding 6 months later, I was able to pay for the entire wedding and month-long honeymoon to the tune of over $60k in cash. (Bobby was still working after all.)
Then, when Covid-19 hit in early 2020, we decided to take off and work remotely from a lake house in Maine to ride out the quarantine. It was during that time that we got word that Bobby was being laid off as part of a reduction in force, and it was time to have a serious conversation about that goal and our priorities as a couple. Yes, Bobby’s almost 6-figure salary, pension and benefits were amazing, and it was tempting to think about how nice it would be to have that extra money while starting our family. But at the end of the day, we agreed that the experience we had in Maine getting to have the luxury of time together was much more important than increased lifestyle, savings, or investments. I told him that he didn’t have to go get another job, and that I’d fully support whatever he wanted to do, which turned out to be starting a business to help kids with shoe-tying.
And that’s what’s so cool about financial planning. It allows you to use your money to live your ideal life. Whatever that looks like for you. No judgement.
Here's what I've learned about money:
1) Life is too short to settle for anything less than your ideal life and your ideal business.
2) It doesn’t have to be hard - you just need to know what to do.
3) And when you have the right guide, it makes it that much easier.
“I have all these big personal goals --- and I wish I had the support and confidence to make the best financial decisions to get me there.”
“I own a small business and I know that ‘what I don’t know’ about business finances is costing me money.”