By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski
Growing up in Toronto, Viv Woolford was the eldest of seven boys, all of whom lived in a 900-square-foot home with their parents.
Money was tight, so now the North Phoenix resident appreciates money.
“I certainly get the value of family,” he says. “We had a good upbringing that I wouldn’t trade. But we didn’t have a lot of money.”
After his move to the Valley, Woolford started Woolford Financial, which has an office in Scottsdale.
For more than 21 years, Woolford has built his business “on the cornerstones of dignity and respect,” he says. Woolford arms his clients with retirement income strategies so they don’t outlive their income, he says.
Woolford carefully and respectfully plans his clients’ future with them, taking a personalized approach to retirement income planning.
His products help protect retirement income from market downturns, and Woolford helps clients feel confident about their strategies.
“We insure houses, cellphones and cars, but we don’t insure our money,” Woolford says.
“What’s happening right now in the United States and in the world, people are living longer. If you have longevity and if you take your money out the wrong way in retirement, you can run out of money. If you had a million dollars and the market went down 30%, you’re never going to recover.”
Woolford graduated from Centennial College in Toronto in 1997 with an emphasis in business administration and accounting. He earned his Arizona insurance license and a designation as a USA Hockey level-four coach.
“I moved here in ’04 with nothing,” he says. “I was doing OK and, in ’09, when the market crashed, my financial adviser told me not to worry. I was young. I was going to recover.”
That jump-started his desire to open Woolford Financial. For 21 years, he has also been in banking. His focus, however, is planning for retirement.
“Most think they have a plan for retirement,” he says.
“I won’t take a dime from anyone unless I can sit down and understand the situation. I ask them to tell me about their family, their wife, their husband, their kids and how they want to retire.”
Woolford says, through his business, he’s growing money tax free so clients can take it out tax free in retirement.
“We have a team who discusses everything,” he says.
“There are accountants and attorneys involved to make sure we’re making the right decisions for our clients. It’s not fee based. Others make their money on fees. Whether the account goes up or down, they’re still getting paid. My goal is to protect (clients) and give people the help they need.”