Jeff Larson - A Journey From Public Service to Personal Finance

Jeff Larson is a financial planner dedicated to guiding individuals and families through the complexities of financial planning. Initially, his career aspirations were directed toward law enforcement, with a particular interest in joining SWAT or the ATF. However, due to unforeseen circumstances, including a hiring freeze during his graduation year, his professional path took a significant detour into the world of finance instead.

Early Life and Education

From his formative years, Jeff Larson was intent on a career in law enforcement, a passion that was clear from his early educational choices. He focused intensely on academics, forgoing sports to accumulate as many credits as possible to expedite his career preparation. Despite the academic challenges he faced, Larson enrolled in AP and honors classes throughout high school, earning an associate degree by the time he graduated. He then attended Biola University, where he majored in Psychology and minored in Biblical Studies, graduating at the young age of 20.

During his university years, Larson also prepared for a transition into the Police Academy, which included working with campus safety and participating in ride-alongs with various police departments. His meticulous planning and dedication during these years underscore his proactive nature and commitment to his initial career goals.

Career Shift and Development

Larson's career took an unexpected turn due to a hiring freeze across law enforcement agencies in Los Angeles during the time of his graduation. Faced with this unforeseen barrier and a disappointing experience with recruitment practices that seemed unjust, he began to reconsider his career options.

Despite a profound desire to serve in law enforcement, he realized the door to this path had closed, prompting him to seek alternative ways to build a stable future for himself and his future family. This search led him to the financial sector, where he started as an intern at a financial firm, quickly adapting to the demands of a new industry. Motivated by the opportunity to create a secure life, he diligently studied to obtain his financial licenses, positioning himself in a sector that, while not his original passion, promised stability and fulfillment in other ways.

Professional Achievements

After transitioning into the financial industry, Larson founded 25 Financial, a firm that initially specialized in providing disability insurance specifically tailored for physicians—a group he identified as underserved in financial education despite their high earnings potential. Recognizing the unique financial challenges faced by physicians, such as significant student debt and late starts in earning peak salaries, Larson carved out a niche by offering specialized financial services, including disability insurance, that were critically needed but often overlooked.

Under Larson's leadership, 25 Financial evolved from focusing solely on disability insurance to offering comprehensive financial planning services. He identified a crucial gap in the market—contract negotiations for physicians entering the workforce. By understanding and addressing the specific needs of newly trained doctors, Larson expanded his firm's services to include contract negotiation assistance, helping physicians understand and negotiate terms that would secure their financial future right from the start of their careers.

This strategic expansion played a significant role in the firm's growth. 25 Financial transformed from a niche service provider into a prominent financial planning firm, expanding its reach across the country. The firm now boasts 36 offices nationwide and employs over 200 staff members, demonstrating the success and scale of Larson's vision and leadership in the financial industry.

Values and Philosophy

Larson's values are deeply intertwined with his faith, shaping both his personal life and professional ethos. He named his firm "25 Financial" to represent what he calls the "25th hour" in a day—a symbol of striving to provide clients with more life beyond the constraints of time. This philosophy isn't about accumulating wealth or material success; instead, it focuses on enabling a richer, more fulfilling life. Larson believes that true wealth lies in experiences and time spent with family, rather than in monetary gains alone. This belief system fundamentally influences how he conducts his business, advising clients not just on how to grow their assets, but on how to use their financial resources to achieve a balanced, fulfilling life.

These values manifest in his approach to client relationships as well. Larson is known for his personalized advice, encouraging clients to invest in experiences like family trips or home improvements that foster well-being and happiness. His commitment to "more life" guides his interactions and the bespoke financial strategies he develops for each client, ensuring that their financial planning supports their personal values and lifestyle goals.

Community Involvement and Philanthropy

Larson's commitment to service extends beyond his financial advising practice into various philanthropic efforts. He and his wife are actively involved in several community and religious organizations, demonstrating their dedication to giving back to the community that supports them. They participate in Forest Springs, The Pregnancy Center, and Joy in the Journey, among other initiatives, and take leadership roles in their local church activities—Larson leads a men's group, and his wife heads a women's ministry that engages over 40 women weekly.

Moreover, Larson uses his personal resources to further community engagement by offering his private residence for community events. This venue serves as a gathering place for baby showers, graduation celebrations, memorial services, and more, providing a personal touch to his community involvement. This use of personal assets for public good illustrates Larson's philosophy of using what one has to enrich the lives of others, reinforcing his commitment to building a stronger, more connected community.

Personal Life and Work-Life Balance

Larson is a dedicated family man, balancing his professional commitments with a full family life, where he and his wife are raising five children. For Larson, maintaining a healthy relationship with his family is as paramount as his career achievements. He emphasizes structured routines to manage both his responsibilities and well-being effectively.

His morning routine is sacrosanct, starting with scripture study and a cup of coffee, often enjoyed outdoors at sunrise. This serene start is followed by a family devotional with his children, reinforcing their bond and shared values each day. Larson also integrates physical wellness into his routine, with regular gym sessions following the family time, setting a tone of discipline and health for the day. These routines not only help him manage stress but also ensure he is present and engaged during his time at home, underscoring his commitment to being an accessible and involved parent and spouse.

Reflections and Advice

Reflecting on his journey and the lessons learned along the way, Larson often thinks about what he would advise his younger self. His primary counsel would center on the deeper exploration of faith and learning, recognizing the profound impact of spiritual growth on personal and professional life.

Larson believes that understanding and embracing life's unpredictability while seeking alignment with broader, divinely inspired plans, are crucial for genuine fulfillment and peace. This perspective has shaped his approach to challenges and opportunities alike, encouraging a flexible, faith-led response to life’s changes.

Looking Forward

Jeff Larson's career began with aspirations towards law enforcement, a dream that unexpectedly shifted to the financial sector due to external circumstances. This pivot was not just a change in profession but a redirection that allowed him to excel in a field that appreciates foresight, strategic planning, and personal integrity.

Today, as a successful financial planner, Jeff Larson defines success not by his financial achievements but by the quality of service he provides and the integrity he brings to every aspect of his life, both personally and professionally. His journey is a testament to the belief that true success comes from serving others and living a life aligned with one’s deepest values and beliefs.
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