As Rick Kremel sails into his 37th year as a Catholic Financial Life Advisor, there’s a lot to reflect on. One of the highlights of his career has been the ability to balance his personal life with his business. Rick enjoys wearing many hats - he’s a father, a business owner, a problem solver and a friend all at once.
As an Advisor, Rick is able to stay true to his family values while growing his business. With his wife-Susan, and five children (now between the ages of 27 and 35), life as an Advisor gave Rick the freedom to remain a full-time dad while growing a full-time career.
“As they grew up, I was able to be with my children when they needed me the most. I couldn’t have done that with any other career,” Rick said.
Rick was drawn to Catholic Financial Life at the age of 22. While going through pre-marriage counseling through his church, Rick met George Fullstead, a Catholic Financial Life General Agent (as Advisors used to be called). George shared how much he enjoyed being self-employed, setting his own income and helping others. As their conversations progressed, George presented the opportunity to join the CFL team to Rick. It was the beginning of Rick’s journey as an Advisor.
Much of Rick’s career is centered around helping people in his community. Whether he’s assisting clients with life insurance, retirement planning and investments or helping decide the best way to finance a car, Rick enjoys being “the guy” that his clients call when in need of financial answers. “In a lot of situations, people don't realize they have a problem. Through a conversation that isn’t sales driven, I help them determine their goals and identify what we can do to realize them,” said Rick.
“They just like to know that I’m ‘the guy.’ And I want to be their guy,” Rick said. “I love to help others solve their problems.”
Early on, Rick realized the key to success is hard work. He loves the ability to take a week off and then make up the time the next week. “Nobody cares because I'm self-employed and I love running the show,” he said. Seeing others working long hours and unhappy in their careers reminds him he made the right decision to become an Advisor.
The emphasis Catholic Financial Life puts on community impact is important to Rick. As an Advisor, he has built relationships with members and within his community. “They trust you and bring you into their families. They don’t see me as a salesperson, they see me as a trusted Advisor and part of their family,” he said.
Being an Advisor has allowed Rick to assist families in many ways. At one point, a family friend’s five-year-old daughter was diagnosed with eye cancer. With the surgeon located in New York, the friend expressed concerns about the financial burden of having to travel back and forth every month. Rick reached out to the CFL Home Office to see if there was anything they could do to help.
“Without hesitation, the Home Office wrote a check payable to the family,” said Rick. “CFL knew it was important because a local family was in need. There aren’t a lot of companies like that. They truly do their best to help.”
In his spare time, Rick spends time on the water doing what he loves - sailing. Due to the flexibility in his schedule, Rick has had the chance to sail the Great Lakes, up to Traverse Bay, Mackinac Island and extensively from Lake Huron to the North Channel in Canada. He has also ocean sailed along the East coast.
“It’s the most remarkable job to have if you want a career, and if you want to control your career and have complete flexibility.”
Interested in becoming an Advisor at Catholic Financial Life?