“Saving is a requirement, not an afterthought,” says Jason Preti, CFP and owner of Unleashed Financial, a fee-only firm out of Kirkland, WA. With this philosophy, Jason has helped numerous clients pay off daunting credit card debt and improve net worth, and he has the thank-you notes to prove it. That hard-earned fan mail is precisely what Jason finds most rewarding about his work as a certified financial planner.
In March of 2017, Jason’s colleagues at XY Planning Network penned some fan mail of their own. Fellow members of the Network, where Jason has been actively involved since 2015, nominated him for the honor of “Member of the Month.” They shared praise for his work with clients (“He diligently helps clients with budgeting and cash flow issues”) and recognized him for his contributions to the community ("He is a prolific contributor and always delivers sound counsel”). If there was a theme, it was that Jason demonstrates a sincerity for helping others.
Eight Questions with Jason Preti
In recognition for earning the distinction of “Member of the Month”, we asked Jason to share a little about himself.
1. XYPN: Where did you grow up and where are you currently based?
JP: Most of my childhood was in MA and I moved to GA my junior year of high school. For nine years, I floated around the country while active duty Marine. I’ve been in Washington since 1998. This is by far the longest I’ve ever been in one place. I guess I’ve grown roots (moss).
2. XYPN: Please describe your journey into financial planning for Gen X and Y.
JP: I started financial planning working mainly with boomers and retirees. An easy job, either you had gobs of money and needed to know how to spend it or you wore a blue smock. For those who didn’t prepare well there was little in the way of future planning or enough time to affect change. Since most of the successful clients weren’t high level executives but they managed to create muti-million dollar retirement accounts, I wanted to know what was different. The firm I was working with at the time wasn’t interested, not worth their time to build a client from nothing, so I started Unleashed Financial.
3. XYPN: Did your background give you any special skills to help others reach their financial goals?
JP: My personal background was primarily with blue collar workers living paycheck to paycheck. I went to college as an adult, with my own family, and a full-time job…I know it can be done and I’ve lived through it. When it comes to budgeting or daily life events, there is little that any client can do that would surprise me.
4. XYPN: What is the one piece of advice you find yourself giving over and over?
JP: If it’s a want, save for it. It might not even be relevant when the cash is available. But, if you splurge with a credit card, you could be stuck with an irrelevant item and still be paying for it.
5. XYPN: What do you enjoy splurging on?
6. XYPN: What should we know about finances that we didn’t learn in school?
JP: Saving for retirement, emergencies, or big goals has to be planned and pre-paid. Credit cards and most consumer debt is a life-suck. Credit cards allow you to live beyond your means, but only for a short time. Saving is a requirement, not an afterthought.
7. XYPN: How do you typically start your day?
JP: Coffee, coffee, coffee.
8. XYPN: What are your current aspirations?
JP: I’m looking forward to going back to college within the next 2-5 years. I’d love to finish a doctorate and be “Dr. J.”
Jason is available to work with clients virtually. View Jason Preti’s XYPN profile.