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Like many people who devote their lives to helping others achieve financial happiness, Laurie Johnson grew up without it. No stranger to poverty and even homelessness as a child, her first “life plan” at age 16 included a job with a pension. She was never bitter about her circumstances, though. She was simply determined to find—and maintain—financial security as an adult.
Laurie fulfilled her dream of a formal financial education and has spent more than 20 years working in fields such as taxes, real estate, insurance, and financial counseling. But not everything in her life followed her carefully laid out plan.
While she was blessed with two beautiful children, she was thrown for a loop when her son was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome at the same time her daughter was going through a particularly difficult period. Out of those unexpected circumstances Laurie learned invaluable lessons in flexibility, empathy, validation, support, and non-judgment—qualities she incorporates into her work with clients.
One of the biggest surprises of her adult life was realizing that financial security didn’t lead to happily ever after. As her then-husband climbed the corporate ladder (moving their family to a new part of the country at every rung), Laurie launched her own business in each of the family’s new cities. And while their hard work produced more than enough money to cover the bills, Laurie's childhood assumption that money equals happiness was dashed when more money than she ever imagined brought more stress, rather than more pleasure.
That’s when Laurie’s real journey began. She finally examined the attitudes and barriers surrounding money that she’d internalized throughout her life. Discovering how they affected her thinking and spending changed her life. More importantly, it led to the creation of a powerful new approach to helping clients overcome their own money hurdles and enjoy true satisfaction in every area of life.
Laurie’s career as a Financial Therapist, financial counselor, personal finance expert, independent corporate trainer, income tax specialist, and author is rooted in decades of study and practice.
To earn her Accredited Financial Counselor (AFC©) designation through the Association for Financial Planning and Education, Laurie accumulated 1,000 hours of financial counseling, completed nearly 300 hours of course work, and passed a series of exams. This credential is accredited by NCCA, the same body that grants accreditation to the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) credential. In fact, in gaining her AFC© designation, Laurie acquired the same financial education as that required for the CFP and was also required to continue on until she had received education and training in both Financial Counseling and Debt Management.
Laurie also devotes dozens of hours each year to continuing education.
Among her professional affiliations:
AFC© - Accredited Financial Counselor, AFCPE
CBGF - Certified Cognitive-Behavioral Group Facilitor, NACBT
Certified CBT Life Coach, NACBT
RTRP - Registered Tax Return Preparer
Licensed North Carolina Real Estate Agent
Licensed North Carolina Life, Health and Medicare Supplement/Long-Term Care Insurance Agent (non-practicing)