Browse highlights of Szifra’s contributions in print, broadcast, and online media.
Click here for more of Szifra in the media.
It’s a recipe for relationship trouble. But switching advisers isn’t as easy as, say, ditching your cell-phone provider. The ties are often decades in the making. “Money is such an emotional subject, and these planners have helped build their [clients’] retirement or children’s college funds,” says Szifra Birke, a consultant in Chelmsford, Mass., who helps financial advisers develop rapport with their clients. “So investors feel like they’re betraying their planners and don’t even have the courage or the words to have a conversation about it.” Read more >>
“It’s not only okay to cut back, it’s a great opportunity to talk about values,” says Szifra Birke, a psychologist and wealth counselor in Chelmsford, Mass. “If you’re extravagant when it doesn’t make sense, and then become upset and stressed about money, what lessons are you passing on to your children?” Read more >>
“To retain trust, advisers must demonstrate transparency, accessibility and honesty, said Szifra Birke, a licensed therapist and president of Birke Consulting of Chelmsford, Mass. Read more >>
“It’s incredible how reluctant we are to discuss money,” says Birke. “We’ll tell friends about drugs we’ve taken and affairs we’ve had, but how much we make and how much we have is still taboo.” Read more >>
“You need to plan and prepare for retirement, and be intentional about it,” says Szifra Birke, a financial behavior and transition coach in Chelmsford, Mass. “Many people have a financial plan. What they often don’t have is some sort of life plan.” Read more >>
Szifra Birke, a retirement consultant based outside Boston, Massachusetts, told RetirementHomes.com in a recent interview that although her clients tend to be higher net-worth, their concerns are frequently outward-focused.
“Their biggest concerns are less likely to include finances, but the one that does come up is ‘I think I have enough money, but you never know,’ ” Birke said.
She added that other top concerns she has heard from clients include: “What will I do with my time in retirement,” “My spouse wants me to retire, and I’m not ready,” and “My spouse wants something different from retirement than I do.” Read more >>
“You can tell your clients that helping them achieve their goals and be happy is very important to you, a big motivator,” says Ms. Birke. “Clients respond very well to messages like this–though when you say it, you should seem very solid and competent and not desperate.” Read more >>
“Listening for other than bottom-line concerns is critical,” said Szifra Birke, a Chelmsford-based family wealth consultant and licensed marriage and family therapist. “Advisors need to slow down and watch for verbal cues clients might give to see what they really want to talk about.” Read more >>
“Money is a lightning rod for emotions… In many ways, it defines us. It could be a source of self-esteem, security or even guilt. But people would rather reveal an extramarital affair or their children’s drug problems than talk about how much money they have.” Read more >>
Psychologist and wealth counselor Szifra Birke observes, “Money tends not to solve personal problems; money solves money problems.” Birke also reports that many financially wealthy people are actually burdened by a vague sense that they don’t deserve what they have. Read more >>