5 Questions with RK Senior Advisor, Tim Eichhorn
What led you to the financial planning industry?
From a school standpoint I excelled in math and thought for certain that needed to be my direction. Then in sophomore year of college I was introduced to my first economics class and the rational and sometimes irrational decisions that people, corporations, economies and nations will make. So it was no longer about pure math. Although while math engineering and accounting are very strict with rules, I actually gravitated to the decisions behind resource allocation in economics. I loved that people were making decisions on how to spend money or time or resources and because people were involved, there were no “sure things” or rules to broadly apply. People’s decisions and plans were important and making good decisions and plans matter.
Why did you choose Maryville as the community to raise your family?
We knew that from our early career time in the Marine Corps that the people that we met from Tennessee were by and large a very solid group of people. That being called The Volunteer State was true based on the people that we met and in how they conducted themselves. When choosing Maryville specifically, my wife Beth carried around one of the old real estate maps with yellow highlighter blocking off various school zones. Something like, “Tim, I really do not care what house becomes our home, but it must fit in this school area.” No need for Zillow searches and other current house hunting aids. We just had to pay attention to those neighborhoods. It proved to be a great choice for our family.
You are involved in the management of retirement plans for businesses through RK. What do you enjoy about this facet of our business?
I think that I can best say it like this: In the Marine Corps, as a young platoon leader, I was taught by a fantastic company commander role model that I had to carry out the seemingly contradictory mantra of “Mission first, troops always.” What I mean is that the business owner has a mission. To win at whatever business they are in by serving customers, clients, and patients well. Those things are the mission. They matter and they absolutely have to be accomplished-they have to come first. But a business owner, that also can be said as a 401k plan sponsor, needs people or troops to make the mission happen. It is a very healthy tension for a business owner to need to put the mission accomplishment first and to take care of their number one asset, their people or their troops always. So again, mission first, troops always. That is a perfect summation of a 401k. If the plan is designed right and implemented correctly, it helps directly to accomplish the mission by seeing to the welfare of the troops. That occurs when we can see to the correct advice and knowledge to help the sponsor, and then also the provision of financial education to the troops.
Service seems to be a theme in your life. You served our country as an officer in the United States Marine Corps. You have served in a variety of volunteer roles in the community. Why is service important to you?
In a way I guess that I am thankful for every teacher, little league coach, friend, mentor, pastor or anyone who took the time to help, teach, encourage, lead and mold me. When thinking about how important each of those persons are to me, how could anyone not want to pass it to someone else. One year in the late 1800’s, the founder of The Salvation Army, Gen. William Booth was faced with the dilemma of wanting to encourage his ministry leaders and servants throughout the world at Christmas. The cost at the time of a message, even a short paragraph, was exorbitant through the only world wide system available, the telegraph. After praying about it he sent a much more economical message yet one that was no less powerful and full of encouragement. The message was “Others.” How powerful is that and how can we not heed that message?
Best piece of financial advice you’ve ever received?
My Aunt Eileen, who took over when our parents died, taught me to understand a simple budget at my age 18. She taught me what a blessing it was that Mom and Dad had paid off the mortgage. How the simple disciplines of money management and that savings and investments are different but interdependent.