retirement planning tallahassee

Helping People Prepare for Secure Retirement

by John Curry

Hi, this is John Curry. Recently, a friend asked me why I focus on helping people prepare for a secure retirement. I thought I’d take just a minute or two and explain that.

My obsession and passion, if you will, for helping people prepare for a secure retirement, the why, goes back to my grandfather and my father when they retired from the Florida Retirement System. They worked for the Department of Transportation out of the Defuniak Springs, Florida, office. Over the years as a kid, I didn’t really understand anything about retirement planning, of course. I was too busy just trying to get through high school. I played football and then later went in the air force, but I remember my grandfather and my dad rode to work together every day with some friends. They left early every day. I mean, in our household, we were up every day at five o’clock, every day at five o’clock. In fact, when I went into the air force, everybody talked about getting up at five-thirty, and I thought it was, frankly, a vacation because, where I lived, we got up early every day.

But I saw these two men going to work every day, working very hard, and later, when my grandfather retired, I realized then that he didn’t get very good, sound advice to help him with his planning. In fact, he took option one under the Florida Retirement System, and when he died, my grandmother got nothing. Nothing! And my grandmother was in the nursing home for eleven years. She had to rely on government assistance. We helped out some, of course, but I saw what happened with those decisions.

Then, later, my dad retired, and based on the experience he saw with his dad, he made a better choice. He took an income stream that would last him for the rest of his life and also for my mother for the rest of her life. So, he made a better decision, but it wasn’t the best decision for him based on the assets that he had.

So, seeing those things and later getting in the financial services industry, and frankly, early on, there was nothing but life insurance. I didn’t like that. I realized that I wanted to do more on the planning side. I didn’t want to be a traditional financial planner though, because, frankly, most financial planners just go out and sell product. My philosophy was and still is and more now than ever that I’m in my sixties…that I wanted to help my clients, people who chose to work with me and I chose to work with them, because it is a two-way process. We get to pick and choose who we work with in our lives, because I wanted to make sure that my clients enjoyed a secure retirement.

Now, what does that mean? What it means is this, that when you go into retirement, whatever that means to you, because for me I’ll never fully retire. I know that. I will have a pension plan. I’ll have my 401k and other personal investments. I’ll enjoy the income from those, but I’ll still work. I will work up until the day they bury me. Why? Because I love what I do. I’m helping other people.

So, you have to define retirement for yourself. Well, whatever that is, I believe it should include the following: number one, that you have a stream of income that will come to you for the rest of your life. How long? For the rest of your life. This is in addition to any guaranteed retirement incomes you might have if you have a defined benefit pension plan. For people who work with the city, the county, state, and federal governments, they have a defined benefit pension plan. Now, there’s pressure to get rid of those or at least to change the benefit package. In the corporate world, we’ve been dealing with that since the eighties when the 401k was invented, but the point is, some of your assets have to be positioned in a way that would guarantee you a guaranteed lifetime income that you could never outlive. If you have a spouse, I would recommend you include the spouse in that planning and make sure that person has an income stream for life.

And the interesting thing is, with proper planning, you can have an income stream for the rest of your life, your spouse’s life, and still leave a legacy to your children, grandchildren, and perhaps charitable organizations that you care about. It really comes down to taking the time to do the research to get help. Sadly, most people won’t do that unless they work with me or someone like me, they won’t get it done. And I tell my clients every day and prospective clients, “You don’t have to work with me, but you do need to find someone, either me or someone like me that could help guide you, take you by the hand and help you do the things necessary.” With all this information that we have available today on the Internet, books, CDs, you name it, it’s more confusing than ever.

So my advice and recommendation to you would be to find someone that you like, respect, and can trust and allow them to guide you through this thing in this phase of life called retirement. If you’d like to learn more about what I do, you can visit my Website. Learn more about what I do there. You can get a copy of my book, and if you’d like to give me a call, please call me. But if I can help in any way, I’m here for you.

This is John Curry saying I hope that you will prepare for your secure retirement.

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