Roya Moltaji Helps Seniors Keep Their Golden Years Shining Bright

Photo courtesy of Lucas Delaney
Photo courtesy of Lucas Delaney

Once upon a time, retirement planning typically consisted of working for a single company for your entire career, a gold watch and maybe a cake on your last day in the office, and a comfortable company pension to cover your expenses for the rest of your life. 

Nowadays, a huge percentage of people make a number of career moves throughout their working lives, often with each position offering a dizzying array of options for investing their retirement savings. Trying to figure out retirement options or a new career entirely can be a daunting task, not to mention trying to budget how much one should be putting into their retirement nest egg. 

Short of winning the Powerball lottery, most of us need a lot of good, solid advice on how much to save throughout our working years, as well as keep those golden years shining. 

Lavender talks to Roya Moltaji, Financial Planner and Financial Services Representative with ROYA llc Relational Financial Planning about the importance of making smart financial choices when it comes to putting your money to work for you. 

How long have you been doing this work? Is it something you always knew you wanted to do? 

I’ve been working in the financial services field since 2003. As a kid, I would look forward to watching Louis Rukeyser and Paul Kangas on The Nightly Business Report with my dad. In my junior year of high school, I remember telling a co-worker during my summer job that I wanted to be a financial advisor. Then at the University of St. Thomas, I had two powerful experiences that affirmed my career path. As a business major and economics minor, I learned about investments and the power of planning. I also learned that when you get to speak with someone about money and their future, you get to deeply know their values, fears, hopes, and dreams. And that is something I knew I wanted to do. 

Your approach to / philosophy surrounding financial planning is so unique! I’d love to hear how you got here – whether it’s something you developed yourself or learned from others. 

My relational approach is based in one of my top values – loyalty! My dedication to investing in long lasting relationships with my clients has meant that every day I feel I am advocating for and advising people and families I care about. 

My philosophy surrounding financial planning has developed over time as I’ve thought critically about the industry, capitalism, what most people I know actually want out of a financial planner, and how I want to live my life with integrity. I believe that my clients’ experience of the process is at least as important as the outcome, if not more in many circumstances. We have many LGBTQIA+ clients mainly because they are seeking out a Financial Planner who will respect them on their terms and who will understand their life outside of a heteronormative structure. The financial industry is still working off primarily white, heteronormative assumptions when it comes to peoples’ finances. This has naturally led me to working within my own community to help people navigate their financial picture. For some clients, this has meant learning about family or corporate wealth accumulation, and often valuing a more collective financial wellness through wealth redistribution. 

I’ve learned so much from others about myself along the way. Early in my career, my manager and managing director first helped me realize my uniqueness. It was kind of a push and pull – sometimes I saw the value of being myself and sometimes I wanted to hide it. But as my relationships developed with clients, I came to realize that showing up in my authenticity opens the door for my clients to do the same, and for us to partner in support of their dreams. 

What is something that sets you apart from other financial planners? 

Roya Moltaji. Photo by Brittany Thomas

One thing that sets me apart from other financial planners is the fact that I practice relational financial planning. This means that while we’re looking for positive financial outcomes, we’re also prioritizing the client’s experience, input, and personalized needs. When given the option, few people choose goal achievement if it means dreading every day and feeling like they can’t live their best lives in the meantime. I want my clients to understand their options and the impact of their decisions so they can make the best choices for themselves and their communities. My team also provides connections to resources our clients are seeking, whether they’re looking for a new mechanic, a CPA who understands stock options and business revenue, or an estate planning attorney who works with LGBTQIA+ clients. 

I’d love to hear a bit about any value-based investment advice you give. 

We’re voting with our dollars when it comes to where we shop and who we hire for help. Many folks are also interested in investing their money more thoughtfully. We talk with our clients about whether they’d like to consider environmental impact, profit from weapons, and diversity in leadership when it comes to their portfolio holdings. There may be certain industries or companies a person wants to include or exclude when it comes to investing, and we work to make that happen. We incorporate our clients’ values as a guide within their financial plan. 

What is some advice you’d give to someone who is feeling lost financially? 

You’re not alone! This is why I have a job – you may have the knowledge but not the time, or you may have the time but not the knowledge. If you’re feeling lost financially, first look at what your goals are. Seeing the big picture can help to determine next steps. Take stock of what your current strategy is and write down ideas to reach your goals. Then, implement! You’ll get there eventually with a series of incremental shifts in habits and behaviors. I work with many people who have inherited wealth and don’t know how to handle the emotion along with the tangible steps they need to take. I also work with self-employed folks and those who aren’t sure how to handle their compensation structure when shifting to bonuses, stock options, and other creative compensations packages. If you feel you can’t do it alone, talk to a friend, family member, or financial planner so you can find support and accountability. 

What is a common misconception you see in folks about money, investments, and savings? 

So many folks think they don’t have enough to warrant a money conversation with a financial planner or even with friends. We’ve all dealt with financial decision making at some point in our lives and you can find helpful solutions when you start asking around. If you’re not sure whether you should hire a financial planner, schedule an appointment with one to find out. Ask them questions about the industry, where you might be able to take advantage of opportunities, and how much it would cost to get started. 

I also notice how much energy people put into investment selection. While this is an important piece of a person’s financial life, it’s only one part of the entire picture. Often, there can be a larger impact by addressing the amount that’s being saved, the distribution strategy for those in retirement, and tax strategies. Keep in mind there are many components to a healthy financial plan.

Anything I didn’t ask that you’d like people to know about you or your business? 

My team is hard-working and we LOVE our clients! We’re willing to have initial conversations to find out more about goals and fit. When we’re not working, you can connect with us as we’re hiking around the state, playing broomball, socializing at The Woman’s Club of Minneapolis, gardening, or climbing at Vertical Endeavors. We want to work with people who love life and want clarified strategy and action items around their money. See you soon! 

Roya Moltaji is a registered representative of and offers securities and investment advisory services through MML Investors Services, LLC. Member SIPC. [www.sipc.org] ROYA,llc is not a subsidiary or affiliate of MML Investors Services, LLC, or its affiliated companies. [Supervisory office: 100 South Fifth Street, Suite 2300, Minneapolis, MN 55402 (612) 333-1413.] CA Insurance License # 0L09841 

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