Got goals? The Wealth Management Advisors through CUSO Financial Services, LP (“CFS*”) at Elevations Credit Union can help you build a financial roadmap focused on achievement. Learn more about Robert Cribbs, CFP® and how he has worked with members to envision, define and reach their financial goals since 2007.
Robert Cribbs, CFP® knows a thing or two about taking risks, and the rewards that follow. After a global move and finessing how to take his job along with him, he’s a pro at guiding people to follow their most ambitious dreams and meet their financial goals.
Helping others prepare for the future
Although he assists with a variety of financial services, Robert spends 70-80% of his time creating retirement plans for Elevations members. Over the years, he’s built up relationships with his eventual retirees, helping them prepare for a host of financial decisions such as setting up college savings accounts for their children, understanding IRAs and preparing to buy homes.
Robert says his expertise lies in helping members refine their goals, especially if they’re a little outside the usual box of retirement planning. “I’m that guy who my clients call on when they need help with something financial,” he explains. “Think of it like hiring a guide to climb a mountain. That guide puts together the plan, looks after risks and determines how to get from point A to point B.”
Along the journey, Robert helps members understand the impacts of their investment decisions, subtle differences among various financial products and all the complexities that come with those two aspects, thanks to regular industry updates and government-based changes.
If you’re new to the idea of working with a financial advisor, he says to choose someone who takes a holistic, big picture approach. They should not only focus on investment performance but also your personal goals and what financial decisions you need to consider to get there.
Learning how to access retirement funds
As a CFS* Wealth Management Advisor at Elevations, Robert also works with current retirees on distribution planning. After years of saving for retirement, it’s wise to have a financial advisor assist with the process of accessing the funds. He says it’s not uncommon for members to not know how or when they can actually use their saved money. He’s often asked if funds can be deposited paycheck-style every two weeks into a checking account for ease of use or about the tax implications of making a withdrawal from a retirement savings account.
Robert says he enjoys helping members complete the circle and finally reap the rewards of investing and saving. And sometimes, life throws a curveball to manage.
When people need to gain access to retirement funds before they quit working due to unexpected circumstances, a change in job or financial hardships, Robert is ready to assist. He’s happy to carefully explain how an early withdrawal will affect tax liabilities and what a member can do to get back on track with their saving goals.
A career in financial services
A major move across the globe hasn’t stopped Robert from working with Elevations. After sharing his dream of relocating, his supervisors worked with him to create a remote work plan that supports a healthy work-life balance.
“The member focus was what got me, in the beginning, to come over to Elevations. ‘Hey, we just really want to do what’s best for our members’ wasn’t just something they said, it was reflected in everything they did. They supported me in my pursuit of helping those members, as well. I don’t know of another company in the world that would bend over backward and help me do something this wild,” he explained of his move.
Robert values the way the Elevations team approaches conflict resolution and how various departments work together to meet goals. For example, sometimes the CFS* Wealth Management Advisors at Elevations coordinate with the Mortgage Team when members are getting their finances in order to apply for a home loan.
“My ability to help people plan toward their goals was so much improved after I followed my own goal (of moving internationally),” he explained. “I learned so much from creating this big, audacious financial goal and then following it through. All the things that I learned in that process now helps me put myself in their (the members’) shoes to see the scary parts and the easy parts. Where are the hesitations and the places people are comfortable, and not comfortable, in the process? That’s really helped.”
A full-time remote work life
Robert and his family currently live on the South Island of New Zealand in a small town near Nelson called Mapua. After vacationing in the area five or six years ago, Robert and his wife fell in love with the lush landscape and decided to make the island country nestled between the South Pacific Ocean and Tasman Sea their home.
Each day he wakes before sunrise (to account for the 20 hour time difference) and starts his workday at the same time as his colleagues in Colorado. Since he’s been working remotely for years, Robert says the pandemic hasn’t affected how he connects with members, and communications are flowing per usual thanks to the advanced Internet services in New Zealand and technology like DocuSign and voice over IP.
In the early afternoon, he leaves his desk for the day and transitions into dad and husband mode, where he enjoys teaching his two sons his passion for fly fishing, going for family hikes or mountain biking. If it’s outdoors, it’s likely Robert, his wife and two kids want to give it a try.
Robert works remotely from a home office in New Zealand during Colorado business hours. He’s happy to visit with members via video chat or a toll-free telephone call to (303) 247-8897. You can also email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.