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By Pat Weigel
Financial Adviser, 21st Century Financial Powered by Penn Mutual
Like most Americans, I grew up watching and playing the traditional sports of football, basketball and baseball. I heard about rugby while attending Miami University (Ohio) but I did not get actively involved until later in life.
My daughter actually got me into rugby. She was a soccer player and a swimmer and during her sophomore year of high school, one of her swim teammates recruited her to play rugby. She has been hooked ever since. After playing rugby in high school, she continued her love of the game in college and is currently a member of the Harvard women’s rugby team. Seeing her passion for the game and the enjoyment it has brought her over the years, I was eager to try it myself. Three years ago I laced up my boots for the first time, and, at the ripe age of 50, I played my first old boys match. While I do not play all that much, I am still involved with the local community and immersed in the rugby culture. It is rarely too late to try something new that you are passionate about and I loved every second of it.
I took this same philosophy in my professional life. For 25 years, I worked as a high school teacher and served as a football and track coach. However during the 2008 financial crisis my mom, a widow living on a teacher’s pension, was faced with the possibility that her pension system could not meet its solvency requirements. Changes had to be made to the system that would negatively impact her retirement income. That was a real eye opening experience for me! I had no idea how to help her or how to put myself in a better financial position should it happen again in the future.
I believe knowledge is power. I contacted a family friend who was a retired financial adviser to learn how I could help my mother. In 2009 I obtained my life insurance and investment licenses and became a part time financial adviser.
I realized that I had a true passion for this and after four years of part time work helping family and friends, I shifted into a full time adviser role. I wanted to have more of an impact on people’s lives and the opportunity to make the career switch occurred when I came across 21st Century Financial, powered by Penn Mutual. As someone with a teaching and coaching background, I wanted to take that same approach with my clients. 21st Century Financial offered me a model and support system to achieve these goals.
As fate would have it, my passion for rugby has merged with my passion for helping people. After Penn Mutual signed on to be the title sponsor of the Collegiate Rugby Championship, I took the mantle of taking the national sponsorship to a local level right here in Northeast Ohio.
With the help of a few of my rugby friends, we have set up a chapter of the Rugby Business Network and are building a dynamic network of rugby enthusiasts that will also support the growth of youth rugby in Northeast Ohio. Our mission of “How May We Help You?” is an extension of the values and character exhibited by all rugby players. I have been blessed to help many of my rugby friends with their financial needs, as well as giving back to the rugby community.
I am now living a more enjoyable and fulfilling life thanks to two passions I found later in life. For me it was playing rugby and becoming a financial adviser. Regardless of when you find what you’re passionate about, there is usually an opportunity to pursue it.