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American Funds Investors

Investing for the Future in a Lifetime of Change

Right after law school, investor Patricia Hernandez-Edelstein was encouraged to find a financial professional and start investing in her future. Marriage and children presented additional considerations as Patricia started 529 plans. And, when she opened her own law firm, Patricia’s financial professional helped her start SEP plans for her employees.



Patricia Hernandez-Edelstein


Recorded January 2013

Patricia Hernandez-Edelstein: When I got back from law school, dad sat down with me and he said, mija — which means my daughter — you need to talk to an investment firm and you need to start putting money away for your future. I really didn’t have it on the forefront of my mind, to be honest with you. I was more worried about my student loans and trying to make a good impression at the new law firm that I was working at.

But my dad really was a motivator and pushed me to make sure that I thought about these things. Basically what’s happened is we’ve come full circle. My husband and I know it’s very important that we instill these same values in our children.

When I initially decided to open up my own practice and hang my own shingle, I was terrified. And again, going back to my dad, he didn’t like the idea. He had always worked for someone his entire life — he had never owned his own business. I think he was very worried that this was a big risk that I was going to be taking, going out on my own. And I thought, well, I’m going to go ahead and take that risk. I’m young, and I had enough confidence in myself that I thought, I can do this.

I think initially when I first started investing and first started saving for retirement, I was thinking of just myself at that point. Once I got married and we had children, the picture grew, and I started thinking, we better start putting money aside for these kids and their college education, ‘cause it’s expensive. So we set up 529 plans and we’ve been contributing to those plans as well for several years.

Now that I own my own firm and I have employees of my own, I wanted to do what I could within my financial means. So my financial advisor and my accountant advised me and told me about the SEP plan. They explained it to me and it took a couple of times to understand the whole concept about SEP, but it sounded pretty good and it meant that I could invest money for my employees, I could set money aside for them — because I really love my employees. We’re like a family. So I wanted to make sure that they were taken care of.

You know, I don’t really think I’m really ever going to retire. I think if I retire, or if you use the word retire, I’ll still be busy doing other things.

We’re a very close-knit family. I love spending time with my children and my husband. We enjoy traveling together, and just spending time together, just being together as a family. I guess when you’re married, that’s pretty much what it’s all about, is family. Your world becomes much bigger than yourself.

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