Protecting Boomers from Themselves

Over the next couple of pages, you’re going to learn a lot about John Zidan’s views on boomers and how to connect with that influential demographic. But before we go there, let me tell you my John Zidan story.

I went to visit Zidan in his hometown of Wadsworth, Ohio during the first days of March Madness. The night before our interview, I dropped by a sports bar for a burger and to take in the NCAA Tournament. I brought along a printout of Zidan’s website biography and plopped it beside my burger and fries, attempting to gather insight on the guy I’d be interviewing the next morning. Staring out from the bio page was a picture of Zidan, offering a friendly, open smile, the kind of guy who could enjoy a good burger and a basketball game.

During a TV timeout, I had a surreal moment when the commercial break featured the same guy who was on the piece of paper. I did a double take between the two Zidans.

What I found out then and would continue to learn about over the next 24 hours is that Zidan is kind of a big deal in Wadsworth. With his Retirement First advisory business and a weekly TV show, he’s become a local celebrity who gets recognized on the street by people who have heard his message either in person or on the small screen and they want to talk with him about his favorite topic—safe money.

As Zidan would tell me, protecting clients from themselves is one of his key goals as an advisor. Sometimes they don’t see the benefit in “The Power of Zero” — that is, until Zidan has the time to explain it to them.

When he does bring clients into his office, they find a place that’s unique among financial offices. First of all, there’s a café on the premises with fresh pastries and hot coffee. On the other side of the wall is a professional-grade chef’s kitchen, the kind you see on the Food Network. For seminars and events, Zidan hires chefs to prepare lobster and filet mignon. Oh, and if someone has to use the bathroom while at the office, they’ll find a heated toilet seat among the many amenities.

As Zidan told me, “I want to treat my clients like royalty.” After touring his office, it’s hard to argue that fact.

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