WILMINGTON - Residents of the greater Whiteface region have a new place to go to learn how they can make the most from their money.
Susan Hockert owns and operates Whiteface Insurance and Investment Services. The firm opened in Wilmington late last year and provides customers with a wide range of insurance and other financial products.
Having started her career in the financial and insurance industry, Hockert worked in the New York City area for 25 years for various financial agencies and institutions, including a major insurance data provider.
In 1997, she and her husband Bob built a second home in Wilmington where they would spend their weekends and vacation time.
"We realized after doing it for four years, we had to find a way to stay up here permanently," she said.
Hockert started an insurance and investment agency in nearby Lake Placid in 2004, but soon realized she could make just as good a living operating her business in Wilmington. Last fall, she opened her new office on NYS Route 86, right next to The Little Supermarket.
"For the first time in my life, all my time and effort is spent working for my business instead of someone else's, and it's very satisfying," she said.
When she's not providing financial advice to her clients, Hockert serves as secretary of the local Kiwanis club, president of the Whiteface Regional Business and Tourism Center, and volunteers at afterschool programs as a Cornell Cooperative Extension Master Gardener.
Hockert said being able to work with people who live right in her community is an added incentive.
"My clients become my friends,"she said. "They know I truly care about them. If i can't find a better solution, I tell them, 'Keep it; don't touch what you have.'"
At Whiteface Insurance and Investment Services, Hockert offers a full range of options for home, auto and life insurance. Policies are also available in the realm of disability income insurance or long-term care insurance. She is certified by the Corporation for Long Term Care and is a Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter.
"So far I've had a lot of success saving people a lot of money and still getting them very solid coverage," she said.
Hockert said about half of the business she does is in financial advice and services. She offers her clients various products such as fixed and variable annuities and mutual funds. She can also help set up retirement accounts and assist with rolling over funds from previous accounts.
"I think the difference is, when I sit down and talk to someone, I listen to everything they say," said Hockert, noting how she doesn't try to pressure clients into using certain products. "I'm explaining to them and educating them so they can make an educated choice. I'm there to fill a need, but not until they understand their options."
Though Hockert has more than 30 years experience in financial services and is licensed in five different states, she continues to pursue training and licenses to continually expand the products and services she can offer.
"I believe in keeping current with everything," she said.
For more information about Whiteface Insurance and Investment Services, contact Hockert at 523-4701 or check out the Web site at www.susanhockert.com.