I am Debra Berman Freedman, founder and principal of Debra B. Freedman Personal Financial Planning, LLC. Since you will be working exclusively with me as your financial advisor when you engage my firm for your planning, and since selecting the right financial advisor for your situation requires “informed” decision-making, it’s important that you know something about me.
You’ll find the details of my education, employment experience, credentials, and professional memberships/affiliations listed below.
In addition to my professional qualifications, there are a few personal things I want to share with you:
- I am a Miami native, with deep ties to this community, both personally and professionally.
- I am a proud parent of two relatively young adult children. For many years I have made a concerted effort to impart to them the importance of understanding financial fundamentals and the specifics of their personal financial situations. I’ve encouraged them to make informed financial decisions. While my efforts have met with varying degrees of success at different periods of time (…and more than a few “spirited” discussions), I can see progress being made. In more recent years I’ve fielded questions from them about employee retirement plans and benefits; tax returns; cash flow statements; a wedding budget; a first-time home purchase; health, life, disability, property and casualty insurances; asset protection; Health Savings Accounts; Traditional and Roth IRAs; savings goals; and even an investment or two.
- I am divorced, and that experience has had a significant impact on my life. It gave me firsthand knowledge of the personal, social, and financial challenges that come with an unanticipated life transition. It taught me that sometimes I need to enlist the services of trusted professionals to help me get to where I want and need to be. It led to my career as a financial planner, and its lessons always inform my work with clients going through life transitions, both planned and unplanned.
- I’ve always loved teaching and learning…and numbers…and helping people…and trying to understand what makes people “tick” (i.e., what is meaningful to them, what motivates them, what concerns them, what causes them to succeed or fail). Financial planning and I make a good fit.
- I value relationships and like to think I treat people the way I’d like to be treated, both professionally and personally.
- I have my own well-thought-out personal financial plan with clearly articulated, measurable, and attainable goals. Those goals have evolved over time, reflecting the ever-changing personal and financial circumstances in my life. I suspect that evolution will continue. For the most part, I make informed financial decisions on a consistent basis. I find that when I act on those aspects of my plan over which I have the most control (…saving, spending, working, etc.), that I almost always achieve my shorter term goals and inch ever-closer towards achieving my longer term goals. When I see things on track financially, I feel less stressed in other areas of my life and experience an overall sense of well-being. I strive to “practice what I preach!”
- I also love watching vintage TV shows. (Just thought I’d throw that in.)
- Southwest Miami Senior High School (1970-Class Valedictorian)
- Bachelor of Arts, English, University of Florida (1973-High Honors)
- Master’s of Science in Management, Florida International University (1982)
EXPERIENCE / EMPLOYMENT HISTORY
- Founder and Principal of Debra B. Freedman Personal Financial Planning, LLC, a fiduciary standard, hourly-fee/fixed project fee financial planning firm providing personalized, objective financial advice and education, with a focus on helping clients in transition (divorce, loss of spouse, retirement, job loss/career change) make informed financial decisions for a better life (March 2016 to present)
- Lead Financial Planner, with expertise in transition planning (divorce, loss of spouse, retirement, job loss/career change), at The Enrichment Group, a long-established Miami financial planning and wealth management firm (April 2004 to July 2015)
- Extensive Volunteer Work, principally through Temple Beth Am in Pinecrest, Florida, involving extensive committee participation and board service, fundraising, publicity, computer graphics, and writing skills (1995 forward)
- English Teacher (Secondary Level) in the Miami-Dade County Public School System (1973-1979)
- CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional (CFP®) (…more)
- Certified Public Accountant (CPA) (…more)
- Personal Financial Specialist (PFS℠) (…more)
- Certified Divorce Financial Analyst™ (CDFA™) (…more)
CURRENT MEMBERSHIPS / AFFILIATIONS
- Financial Planning Association
- American Institute of CPAs®
- Florida Institute of CPAs
- Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts™ (IDFA™)
- Collaborative Family Law Institute-Financial Professional
- Family Law Section/Florida Bar, Affiliate Member
- National Financial Educators Council