How to manage your career like a financial asset

Michael Haubrich

Michael Haubrich

There’s nothing more basic to a retirement plan than your career—income from work makes everything else possible.

Many financial planners recognize that truth, at least in theory. But most haven’t taken the next logical step, argues Michael Haubrich, founder and president of Financial Service Group, a fee-only planning firm based in Milwaukee. Haubrich is the author of Career Asset Management: Getting Ahead, Staying Ahead and Using Your Head to Maximize Your Career Value. The book describes a model for thinking about careers as an asset, and how to develop a strategy for optimizing its value across a lifetime of work.

I spoke recently with Haubrich about his model for career asset management and how planners can effectively integrate this approach into client plans. “For the vast majority of people, their careers are their most valuable assets—unless the person has a very large amount of inherited wealth. They fuel their standard of living, their ability to acquire other financial assets. Yet, many often don’t step away and look at their careers strategically, as something that has market value.

“Once you re-frame the career as an asset like any other financial asset, you can determine how to optimize and manage it. Then you blend it into the overall financial plan.”

Read my Q&A with Michael at

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