Dear Pam,

If you can believe it, has been 11 years since you first met with me and my wife Lucy to discuss our financial future.  We were attracted to Northwestern Mutual because of their proven track record, but also due to their commitment to diversity.  You and your team made Lucy and me feel comfortable from the very beginning, which laid the foundation for a wonderful partnership.

Although we were both college graduates and successful in our fields, Lucy and I were not financially savvy beyond the basics.  You started our financial education by helping us to tie our dreams and goals to tangible action.  You laid out a sound plan and suggested products to protect our assets and grow our investments to meet those dreams and goals.

Even though we were not your wealthiest clients, you always made us feel like we were important and valued.  When I was promoted to Region HR Director with CarMax, our income and assets continued to grow.  You reviewed our financial position twice a year, and offered recommendations to continue to protect and grow those assets.

Sadly in 2015, Lucy passed away from cancer after a long, courageous battle.  You and Kathy were kind enough to attend her Chicago memorial service.  I don’t think you will ever understand how much that meant to me.  That showed me that not only did you care about us as clients, but as people too.  Thank you for that!

After Lucy’s death, and due to your earlier recommendation that we purchase life insurance for each other, my financial situation changed dramatically.  Recently I shared my dream that I would like to retire at age 56. You suggested a Planning Engagement to develop a Retirement Plan and Income Distribution Strategy. I still cannot believe how thorough and valuable this process was!  We started by having frank conversations about my vision for retirement, we evaluated my current spending habits and projected my financial obligations for as long as I could live.  Then you and your team generated a timeline that clearly showed what assets I should liquidate and when, in order to meet my obligations and leverage current tax strategies.  This timeline also showed me how long my assets were likely to last, and warned me where I may face a shortage.  Finally, the plan was designed to mitigate market volatility, which gives me peace of mind.

As a side note, your team truly exceeded my expectations during the Retirement Planning process.  You took the time to do a deep dive into my financial documents and uncovered opportunities that my previous advisor had missed.  And those opportunities were outside the scope of our Retirement Planning engagement.  This just shows that you are committed to adding value, even when your efforts go beyond the scope of what you are being compensated to provide.   

Thank you for everything, and I look forward to our continued partnership!

Ann M. Hoggatt


Dear Pam:

As I prepare for our meeting today, I want to thank you again for empowering me with a financial playbook for my future.

Our engagement last Fall in my retirement planning, particularly the 'deep dive' into my current and future expenses, forced me to step back and evaluate where I had been spending money, and consider where my resources would give me the most satisfaction in the future.

The Implementation Time line has given me a clear, step-by-step schedule of what I need to do (and when) to realize my aggressive goal of retiring at 55. And your thought provoking questions, patient guidance and comprehensive analysis, have truly enabled me to make informed financial decisions that allow me to look ahead with confidence and excitement about my next chapter.

Pam, working with you these past 19 years has been a delight! And I thank you for the strong financial foundation that you have helped me build in order to navigate the many challenges and opportunities that lie ahead!


Marty Wilke


The testimonials presented may not be representative of the experience of all clients and are not a guarantee of future performance or success.

Catalyst Planning Partners

Pamela C. Atkinson, CFP®
Wealth Management Advisor

Catalyst Planning Partners


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