Jim Keenehan, AIF®, CPFA®

Senior Consultant at AFS 401(k) Retirement Services, LLC 

Why I get up in the morning

We would all like to make it to a point where, financially, work is optional. What many call “retirement” can and should be an exciting part of our lives. I know I intend to retire someday with dignity and on my own terms. I hope to make that a possibility for every single employee that I meet. But, for most of us, there is a lot that will happen between now and retirement. The path to financial success does not begin with a deferral rate and investment election (purposeful use of ridiculous industry lingo). Too often, people skip the critical steps necessary for a strong financial foundation.  Without that, a 401(k) account is just one hardship or loan away from trouble.

That is where we come in. We make sure employees are on solid financial ground and protected if and when life gets in the way. For better or for worse, our financial standing impacts our enjoyment of life. I am honored to be in a position to help people make smart financial decisions that just might make their day a little bit better.

How I got here

I owe much of my desire to connect with others to my diverse background. I grew up in Lima, a small, lower-middle-class town in West Central Ohio. Throughout my younger years I became friends with people from a wide variety of cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds. Those bonds and experiences will forever stay with me and help me understand the challenges that face employees every single day. 

I learned about the importance of saving at a very young age. Growing up, my family took annual Thanksgiving road trips to visit my grandparents in Rochester, NY. I’ll never forget my grandfather showing me his Kodak stock certificates and teaching me about how he had been able to lead a more enjoyable life because of the different investments he had made (luckily, he also understood the concept of diversification). Those fond memories have had a great impact on my views of the financial industry and, ultimately, my life.

I’ve been working with retirement plans ever since I graduated from the University of Notre Dame. I spent significant time on the investment side of the business working with consultants, financial advisors, and plan providers. Back then, the goal was to help organizations build more effective 401(k) plan investment menus which their employees could clearly understand and use to best maximize their savings.

I also spent some years working for retirement plan providers, known in the industry as recordkeepers. This gave me hands-on experience with the back-end systems that are the platforms for retirement plans. This experience helped me gain an understanding of and appreciation for all the moving pieces that must work in sync to make a retirement plan function seamlessly.

I hold the FINRA series 7 and 66 securities registrations and am an Investment Adviser Representative with Commonwealth Financial Network. I have also earned the Accredited Investment Fiduciary® (AIF®) professional designation, awarded by the Center for Fiduciary Studies, which is associated with the University of Pittsburgh, and am a Certified Plan Fiduciary Advisor (CPFA). 

What I do really well

I pride myself on my ability to connect with people and help them feel more at ease about their financial situation. Throughout my career, I have had the pleasure of working with financial consultants and advisors, investment managers, third-party administrators (TPAs), plan sponsors, retirement committees, and employees. Of those, helping employees is my true passion.  

I am also a retirement plan geek. Being a student of the retirement plan industry helps me better serve my clients. While the 401(k) industry can seem somewhat slow moving, we at AFS want to make sure that we are educating our plan sponsors on changes and trends and arming their employees with the tools they need to be successful.

Who I am really

I live in Rockville, MD with my beautiful wife, Ashley, and our two daughters, Clover and Scout.  We are fans of trying out new restaurants and have probably been to every brewery within a 50-mile radius of our home. When we are not out and about, we are likely to be relaxing at home listening to music or catching up on movies/shows/documentaries.  

I try to stay as active as my schedule allows; on the weekends I am always game for a jog, hike, tennis match, or bootcamp-style workout. Depending on when you read this, I am either WAY into golf or “permanently” retired (if you find my clubs in your local lake please return them). My professional sports teams are the Washington Nationals and San Francisco 49ers.

Last, but not least, I am a Notre Dame alumnus and a die-hard fan of any and all of their sports teams. Go Irish!

About AFS 401(k)

We are an independent financial advisory team located in Bethesda, MD. We believe everyone deserves to live their best life. We are on a mission to help working Americans take control of their finances and save for their long-term future. We work with many companies, non-profits, and trade associations in the Washington, DC, and mid-Atlantic area, to help them enhance their employee benefits offering, and work directly with employees to help them take meaningful steps towards building a healthier financial life.