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Meet the people behind Tenon Financial

Our goal is to help you approach and live retirement with happiness and confidence, without uncertainty or anxiety about your finances

Andy Panko, CFP®, RICP®, EA Photo Andy Panko, CFP®, RICP®, EA Hover Photo
About me

Andy Panko, CFP®, RICP®, EA

Owner & Financial Planner



Contact me

andy@tenonfinancial.com

My story

When I was in high school, I wanted to be a physics or calculus teacher. However, I then read a book about investing in stocks and was immediately hooked. Because of that book, I decided to instead pursue a career in finance.

While studying toward a finance degree at the University of Delaware, I realized finance was a lot more than just the stock market. And it all intrigued me. So I decided to work toward a career helping others with their finances. I didn't quite know what that job would look like, but I figured it must exist. Like teaching, I assumed it would involve helping and educating.

In my senior year at Delaware, I interviewed at a few of the large household name financial services companies for roles they called "financial advisor." I assumed those would be the sort of financial planning careers I was thinking of. Unfortunately, I quickly realized those jobs were not about giving financial advice or guidance. Instead, they were just commissioned sales positions to sell the companies' products - life insurance, annuities and mutual funds. I was completely turned off by that and gave up on trying to find a financial planning job. I ended up getting a corporate job at a large insurance company.

After graduating college in 2000, I spent the next 19 years working for multiple global insurance, banking and brokerage firms. All of the roles were predominantly corporate or institutional in nature - not working directly with individuals and their personal finances. However, the different jobs all provided insight into the inner workings of the finance world. I worked in functions which involved the creation, risk management, trading and financing of many of the insurance and investment products and strategies used throughout the financial services industry. My roles included pension risk management, investment management, securities financing and investment fund analysis and diligence.

Along the way I went back to school - in 2004 I earned a Master of Business Administration degree from Rutgers Business School.  I'm also currently an adjunct lecturer for Rutgers Business School.

In 2016, I had an experience which reignited my desire to do personal financial planning. My mother was transitioning into retirement and was trying to figure out how best to claim her Social Security benefits. She has one of the more complicated set of circumstances with regards to Social Security and needed assistance in figuring out the complexities of the system and its rules. After getting different answers from different people (including different answers from within the Social Security Administration itself!), I dug in and helped her research the relevant laws and regulations. We ultimately got to the correct answer and she was able to make the optimal claiming decision.

At that point, the proverbial light went off for me - helping people make decisions about their retirement finances was what I was supposed to be doing with my life. Since that point in 2016, I committed myself to getting educated on all things related to financial planning for retirement. In that journey, I obtained the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ ("CFP®") designation, the Retirement Income Certified Professional® ("RICP®") designation and the IRS Enrolled Agent ("EA") license.

In 2019, I left the institutional investment and banking world to launch Tenon Financial. I'm greatly appreciative of having the opportunity to help people make the most of their retirements. And I look forward to hopefully walking alongside you on your retirement journey!

- Andy

Learn more about me

What's your view on life?
I have a few:

  • Anything worth doing is worth doing well
  • Don't take yourself too seriously
  • Be nice

What are you most likely doing on a Saturday night?
Probably something local and low key with my wife, two daughters and some family friends. Hopefully it involves live music. I'm especially a sucker for a mandolin or a banjo.

What are your hobbies?
I've been passionate about woodworking since my early-20s. I'm also an avid road cyclist and runner. Additionally, I'm the proud "prop dad" for my daughters' competition dance team.

What's your most useful skill outside of financial planning?
Building things.  I've remodeled kitchens and bathrooms, re-wired and re-plumbed most of my house, built a deck and have designed and built numerous pieces of custom furniture. I also like to think I'm funny, though my wife often doesn't agree with me on this.

What's an interesting fun fact about yourself?
I dabbled in stand-up comedy and performed a few times at Caroline's Comedy Club in Times Square. I was also a contestant on HGTV's All American Handyman, Season 2 (aired Fall 2011).