I was born and raised in Rockford Illinois, but a wonderful Mother Joan from Yorkshire England who served in the BAF in WWII and met my father Ed serving in the USAF in England. My father’s parents escaped Communist rule way back in the 1910’s to America, a trip I cannot even imagine.
My family was blue collar, old-school hard-working loving family. My father was the kindest man, and taught me to respect and love for elders with my Grandparents and church where he was a lay-leader.
After graduating from Engineering School top of my class, like most I got married and had kids. My wife took lead on 3 kids, while I worked to build a career. Sadly, after our first child, my Father died suddenly of a heart attack at 56, and had to care for Mom at 53, retired (??).
Over the years I had a fast climb all the way to CEO, and missed a lot at home but my wife was the best. One day during an LBO with Goldman Sacs I had a choice to exit corporate life, and did to be with my family. Only 46, too early to retire but some time off was appealing.
Today my kids have 8 grandkids, we all have Doodles, and we sponsor 3 wonderful kids in Africa, plus 2 in Haiti Dominican Republic. Over 25+ years ago we changed to Prestonwood Baptist in Plano, and still attend today while the kids found churches closer to home. We all live close, except one daughter in Waco TX.
So at 46, I had a widow mother 1500 miles away with no job and no clue (my dad did everything), plus a family, house and etc. and for first time accrued assets in 401k, etc. to manage.
So like most I found a Retirement Advisor….who proceeded to lose 45% of our life savings! That was 2000, 2001, and 2002, remember? In 2001 I was done, called and said this is crazy go to cash, and he replied, “you are crazy, you should mortgage your house and go all in, not out”. Well, market fell way over -20% more in 2002. I NEEDED A PLAN, and a job!
Today I ask, but what if I had been 70? Not 46. “Hi welcome to Walmart” was not my vision of retirement.
Long story, I had to write a plan. Who better, but that took education. After running a P&L in Corporate Life it is paramount…do not lose money. Well, I discovered brokers get paid to sell and variable annuities, not buy them back! The light came on.
Albert Einstein was asked, what was the greatest math discovery and he replied, “Compound Interest”. Warren Buffet wrote “I have Two Rules of Investing, Rule 1 Never Lose Money, and Rule 2 Never Forget Rule 1.
We built a plan, and headed on…lessons learned repent and never repeat.
Sadly, my mother who was doing great was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. On her $1100 a month total income, $5000 to $6000 a month for care, after we kept her with us for 2 years was a burden no one planned or spoke about. God was awesome, and gave me the means although some months were very difficult, and almost broke me.
I call this a Blessing as it was a Lesson in Retirement, that led me to Retirement Planning. I knew first had exactly what can and will happen, and the importance to plan ahead.
Having a Plan, with a Retirement Expert is Step 1. Brokers help you save, accumulate. They do not plan, and they sadly do little because of hos they get paid to protect from loss. Imagine in 2008, all Meryl Lynch brokers called all their clients and said “Get out of the market”? First they would be fired, and next they would get a paycheck for $0.00. Worse, Bank of America would have bought Lehman Bros not Meryl Lynch, and those people would have lost every penny (like Lehman Bros clients did).
Step 2 is planning for Income for Life, the #1 thing you need to retire. For you both, and for spouse in case.
Step 3 is ok, what do we do with the balance. What if. What if we get sick, what if we die, what if you die and your wife needs help in late years? Men 90% of the time die married, while women 90% die single.
Step 4 is an Estate Plan. This assures all your dreams and wishes will carry forward. Eliminate costly and time-wasting probate, remove the IRS as your #1 beneficiary, avoid un-necessary taxes, costs, and burdens on your family, and assure that not only your kids will benefit, but also your grandkids, your church, and your charities.
The single worst obstacle is you. In my 20+ years, it is not what people know or don’t know that hurt them the most. IT IS…what they “think they know” that does.
John….this is the way my dad did it.
John…this is the way I always did it ( with a horrible history)
John…losing $270,000 does not scare me, it will come back.
John…who cares, I will be dead.
To close, I beg you. See and learn, what you do not know you cannot fix. Not from a broker (he knows every day is the best day for you to give him $), not with a CPA (they are historians not planners), not with your wife (she cannot tell you more than you know), etc. With a proven Expert in Retirement.
Like a GPS:
Where are you today? Fees, loss, risks, loads, historical returns.
Where are your goals? Retire at 70, RMDs, Income, Longevity, WHAT IF’s, and Legacy to Family.
How can you best get there? Achieve all those goals, protect your lifestyle, and loved ones, and enjoy your retirement.
Education will empower you to make excellent decisions for YOU.
At retirement your Lifestyle should control your future, not your Portfolio. You won the race, PROTECT IT.
God Bless you.