Splitting Finances in a Relationship the Right Way

There are no ideal retirement plans that work for everybody. Every couple has different needs and desires. That goes for how they split day-to-day financial responsibilities as well.

That was certainly the case for Carlton Ingram and his late wife, Nancy.

Carlton explains the arrangement they had and how it led to their happy marriage. He also goes over what he’s doing now to keep going in the face of tragedy.

We also talk about…

  • What you must do now with your financial accounts

  • The impact of lifelong learning

  • When you can’t take “no” for an answer from your doctor

  • How to reduce stress around money in relationships

  • And more…

Listen now…

Episode Transcript:

John Curry: Hi, folks. This is John Curry for another episode of John Curry's Secure Retirement Podcast. Jay Wolfe and I are sitting here today with the pleasure of having a conversation over lunch with Carlton Ingram. I think you're going to enjoy getting to know Carlton. Carlton, say hello.

Carlton Ingram: Hello, folks out there in the wide world of podcasting.

John Curry: Today we're going to talk about a couple things. Carlton served in the military, specifically in the Coast Guard, and he's had an interesting career in state government. We're going to talk about it a little bit. Married to a beautiful lady named Nancy. Sadly, she passed away. So we're going to talk a little bit of, how do you pick up the pieces after you lose someone that you dearly love?

I think, from a man's perspective, that's going to be interesting, Carlton, because people think about, okay, somebody lost their husband. So someone's a widow. But what about the widower? So thank you for being with us.

Carlton Ingram: Sure.

John Curry: Let's start off by you just sharing a little bit about your background. You went to Florida State. Just tell us a little bit about the early years, a little bit about your Coast Guard, and then we'll get into more about how you met Nancy because that's an interesting story.

Carlton Ingram: I'm one of the few Tallahassee natives that you'll run into. I was born here in Tallahassee, graduated from Leon High School, went to Florida State. After I graduated in biology, which doesn't have a whole bunch of future if you don't have advanced degrees, I decided I didn't really want to go to Vietnam, so I joined the Coast Guard. Ended up doing mostly oceanographic work while I was in the Coast Guard in the North Pacific, about halfway between Honolulu and Japan. It was quite deep. It was 3,200 fathoms, and at 6 feet of fathom-

John Curry: Wow.

Carlton Ingram: ... I was in pretty deep water. Enjoyed it while I was. Hawaii was pretty. North Pacific was interesting. When I got out of the service, the job market had kind of fallen through as I'd had fairly decent job offers graduating from college. But Uncle Sam came first.

As a group of people in that day and age, if you were in a land-grant university, you were subject to draft and you were also subject to having to take two years of ROTC. I wish I'd stayed and gone on and done the full four years instead of just doing the minimal two. But got out of the service. Like I said, the job market had dried up quite a bit, so I just kind of-

John Curry: What year was that?

Carlton Ingram: Got out in April of 1971.

John Curry: I'd been in a year at that point because I went ... Not quite a year, because I went in the Air Force October of 1970 and got out October '74. So, somewhere along the way, you were getting out as I was getting indoctrinated.

Carlton Ingram: Yeah. Well, once you're in, you're in. There's not a whole bunch you can do about it. There were a lot of really ironic happenings to me while I was a senior and almost graduating. I took a Peace Corps exam. At that time in this country, the Peace Corps was an alternative to military service. They kept dragging their feet on telling me what ... I was already in the Coast Guard. I was already halfway through boot camp, and I got this little notice from the Peace Corps: "You have been accepted as a fishery biologist to Micronesia."

The Coast Guard said, "Oh no you haven't. You're in the Coast Guard now. You will never go be in the Peace Corps." So, anyway, that was a little bit of a disappointment because I would have loved to have been able to do that. It may have furthered my career in biology, which ended up being an advocation rather than a vocation. After that, in the education system, they're always needing male teachers. They were wanting specifically science teachers. So I got a temporary certificate, and I taught biology at Leon High School, where I had graduated.

A lot of the teachers that were in there were teaching me and my contemporaries when I was in school. Believe it or not, my mother was actually still teaching at Leon when I was teaching there. But that didn't interfere with anything. She let me be who I was, and that was nice.

John Curry: Well, you were telling us earlier during lunch that pretty much everybody in your family were teachers, right? 

Carlton Ingram: At one time or another, they had teaching certificates. Whether they actually taught ... My mother and father actually met while teaching in a little teeny town in Columbia County called Fort White. That was interesting. They were there when Pearl Harbor got bombed, and then my father joined the Navy. He was an air traffic controller in the South Pacific, a little teeny island called Palmyra Island.

But, anyway, I got to see a little bit of the Pacific that he ... I landed on a flight. I landed on Wake Island. My ship going out to sea, every patrol, we stopped at Midway Island to refuel. So I got to tour Midway and see all the bomb craters that were still there and dodging all the gooney birds that were albatrosses that were laying eggs that were as big as a foot-long ruler.

But that part of it I enjoyed. I enjoyed the natural beauty and the natural interest that I had, and I always had a fishing rod with me. I even trawled off the back of our ship and had an executive officer that liked to fish. So he was accommodating and had some interesting stuff. I worked with the University of Hawaii and developed a ... We needed to study radioactive carbon-14 in the Pacific waters from all the nuclear tests that the United States had performed at Bikini Atoll and some of the other facilities out there. Designed a device to capture water at a certain depth and bring it up through without it changing, and being able to study carbon.

Did some interesting things, but I wasn't meant to be career military, even though they tried to get me to be. I was lucky that I was able to do some oceanographic work. The Coast Guard has such a small total number of members. It was only 35,000 in the whole service, and so everybody had to learn multiple tasks. But, predominantly, I did oceanographic work. I got on my ship. There was a two-year tour of duty. I got on my ship one week after my ship came back from Vietnam and my 2 years was up 10 days before I went back on a second tour of Vietnam. I got to squeeze right in between the two.

John Curry: Wow.

Carlton Ingram: Because I was in oceanography and not a complete combat role, I could've opted out.

John Curry: So, in your case, it was only two years of service in the Coast Guard?

Carlton Ingram: No. Two years on that ship.

John Curry: On the ship. Okay. So four years.

Carlton Ingram: Right. I was anywhere from Key West to Miami Beach to Honolulu to Tallahassee, believe it or not.

John Curry: How old were you when you went in the Coast Guard?

Carlton Ingram: 21.

John Curry: 21. I went in at 17 in the Air Force. I was just 3 months shy of 18. I can tell you that going in the military was the best thing I did. Instead of going to college and goofing off, Air Force was my first taste of getting away, traveling, traveling around the world. Went to college every station I was on. Every base, they had college courses. Started that.

So I'm sitting here having fond memories of some of the things that I was doing when I was in Okinawa, Thailand, just listening to what you're talking about because the military helps you grow up. You get the heck out of town. You grow up. You do some stupid stuff too, folks, but at least you grow up and you get to know other people. And you have different life experiences.

Let's fast-forward a little bit here. You get out of the Coast Guard. You come back to Tallahassee. Somewhere along the way there, you had a first marriage that lasted 10 years. You guys got divorced. Then you and Nancy met, and you dated for a number of years. But tell us what happened once you got back out of the Coast Guard. Just give us kind of a thumbnail sketch there.

Carlton Ingram: Well, I taught school at Leon High School, taught biology for a short period of time. I had no education courses per se at FSU, but they needed male teachers and they needed science teachers back in the early '70s. So I got a temporary certificate and taught seven and a half to eight months. I couldn't make it the whole year. Went to work with the state at Division of Retirement. I got offered a decent job with the state and stayed there from '72 to almost '77, mid/late '76. And moved to Missouri to help my first wife. We had some medical problems.

Came back to town, got a divorce, worked with my mother and stepfather in the business that they had in some malls around here and some other places in Florida and the Southeast. Then met Nancy while I was in between state jobs. How we met was very interesting. A contemporary of my mother who went to college same time at Florida State College for Women with my mother, worked out at Lively, and Nancy was one of the faculty at Lively. She had a master's in speech pathology. She started out as a speech therapist and then evolved into some other stuff.

So this lady knew my situation, knew Nancy's situation, gave each one of us the other's telephone number, and left it up to us to make the contact. After about three weeks of getting up enough nerve, I called her. The rest, I guess you'd say, is history. We dated about eight and a half years. My mother is the one that put the most pressure on me. She said, "You'd better watch what you're doing because you're fixing to lose a wonderful person." This is funny and silly and sentimental, but I took my mother and Nancy ... My mother was still a widow at the time. I took my mother and Nancy to the Silver Slipper restaurant and a private room and proposed.

John Curry: Nice. Nice.

Carlton Ingram: Not too many people will propose in front of their parent.

John Curry: That's right.

Carlton Ingram: But ...

John Curry: Well, it was fitting because she was the reason you guys got together.

Carlton Ingram: Sure. Exactly.

John Curry: I love it. Well, for the people who knew Nancy, you know that she was a great lady. For those who didn't, you missed out on knowing a wonderful person, a wonderful human being. Let's talk a little bit more about ... You shared with Jay and me earlier about how you had a blind date with Nancy. Would you share that, how you met?

Carlton Ingram: Yes. It was kind of funny. When I called her, we were ... At some point, she had tickets to, believe it or not, a Barry Manilow concert at the Civic Center, and I decided to tell her, "I haven't been to a concert."

John Curry: I was at that concert.

Carlton Ingram: Were you?

John Curry: Yes, sir.

Carlton Ingram: The Civic Center wasn't that old at the time, and I hadn't been, except for a couple times while we were dating. So I called her and said, "Well, how can we meet?" We decided we would meet downtown at a restaurant at a specific time. She described a little bit about her, and I tried to describe a little bit about me.

Sure enough, we met, and it just was ... I wouldn't say it was love at first sight, but I was freshly out of a divorce, and she had been divorced for quite a while. She had her own house out in Killearn Acres. I was ready to get remarried. I mean, I wanted it. But she saw how vulnerable I was and how graspy I was, and she thought better of that. The longer we dated, the more the roles reversed. She wanted to get married, and I was just finding my oats. But with strong encouragement from my family, we got married.

John Curry: What year did you get married?

Carlton Ingram: 1989.

John Curry: '89. Very good. Very good. During this time, what was Nancy's career, and where were you working? Was that when you went to community affairs, along that time?

Carlton Ingram: Yeah. I was actually working ... Yeah, I think I was unemployed at the time. I was actually living with an old-maid aunt. I did all the yard work, she did all the inside work, and we split all the costs 50/50. But I didn't have any money, so I had a little ledger and I kept a list of every penny I owed her. When I started working in the Department of Community Affairs in 1980, I paid her back every penny that was on my little list that I owed her.

John Curry: Now, you just told us the real reason Nancy didn't want to get married. You didn't have a job and you had no money.

Carlton Ingram: That's probably what it ...

John Curry: That's the real reason now.

Carlton Ingram: And she had her own house. That was one of the reasons why I always attracted ... I'm just kidding. She was a wonderful person.

John Curry: Yes. Lovely person. What was she doing career-wise? You said she had training in speaking?

Carlton Ingram: Yeah. She was a smart cookie. She had a full four-year academic scholarship to Vanderbilt. Well, it was the Peabody College of Education, which is a part of Vanderbilt now. I think back then it was separate. Her parents were educators. Her father was superintendent of schools in the town in Alabama where she grew up, in Bessemer, Alabama.

So she was destined to be an educator no matter what. She had gotten married, was living in Tampa, came back to Tallahassee. She had gone to FSU. After she graduated from Vanderbilt, she went to FSU. She was in the first speech therapy master's program at FSU. So she was actually in graduate school at FSU, and I was still in undergraduate school at FSU. But I didn't know her.

She was a little over a year and a half older than me, but she was a lot more than a year and a half wiser than me. But, anyway, it turned out to be a wonderful, wonderful marriage. She did her things, I did my things, and we did our things. She respected my likes. I respected her likes.

John Curry: Well, knowing over the years as I did from the financial advising side, you guys had a remarkable relationship, and the way you handled your money and respected each other was awesome. There's a valuable lesson there that, if people could see that as a model, there'd be less stress regarding money in relationships, and not just money but overall relationship.

Since we're into the personal side here, talk a little bit about ... You enjoy fishing. You mentioned that earlier, fishing off the ship. But the two of you enjoyed going to the beach and doing things. Would you talk a little bit about that?

Carlton Ingram: Right. We were lucky enough to obtain a house at Alligator Point. We owned it with another couple because, at the time, it was the only way we could possibly have afforded it. But I spent more time there than anybody else. I did more of the maintenance. I did more of the upkeep. But I got more of the enjoyment, too. I would go down there three or four days a week sometimes by myself fishing.

After we had owned it about five years, we had a dock built. We were on the bay side. We had daily beach access, but once the dock was built, I didn't go on the beach again. I just fished off my dock and catch red fish, flounder, trout, right in the little tidal creek, and really enjoyed it. Had a boat but didn't use my boat too much because my neighbor down there had a bigger boat, and he wouldn't dare set foot in my little boat. So we always went in his boat.

But, yeah, I've always loved the outdoors. I've been outdoor all my life. I grew up on Lake Ella. I used to tell people that Lake Ella was my babysitter. My parents would just turn me loose on the lake, and I'd learn how to catch fish and net things and turtles and tadpoles and what have you. I think that spurred my interest into biology, period, is just having that at my beck and call. Whenever I wanted to go fishing, I'd just fish.

At one time, that was actually on my grandparents' property, half of Lake Ella. It was called Bull Pond way back when. I have cousins that are trying to get me to write chronicle of growing up on Lake Ella. I got 28 chapters, but I don’t have anything written in any one of the chapters. But I got the titles.

John Curry: Well, that's a start. I think you should do that. There's a lot of history in that head about our community that I think people would enjoy. As a matter of fact, maybe we'll sit down and have another podcast on that sometime.

Carlton Ingram: Well ...

John Curry: And then you can take the recording of it and use that as a transcript to get started.

Carlton Ingram: That sounds like an idea.

John Curry: That'd be fun. The benefit for me and for Jay over here, we'll get some history and we'll hear about it first. Maybe we can get a book out of you.

Carlton Ingram: Well, you touched on just a real great thing about how we decided on our financial responsibilities when Nancy and I got married. We looked at both of our individual incomes and decided what percentage of the total income was one and which was the other. We looked at our fixed recurring costs and said, "All right. Based on our two respective incomes, you'll take this, this, and this, and I'll take this, this, and this."

We tried to start a joint checking account because we thought that was what we were supposed to do. But after two or three years, the little bit of money we put in there was still there. We had never touched it. So we said ... She was independent enough and I was independent enough, so we kind of did it on our own. That way, if she wanted to go buy a pair of shoes, she could, and I didn't have to tell her about my fishing tackle or stuff that I bought.

When she died, she had a real small foot. So I had a hard time finding somebody that could wear her shoe size. I finally found a friend that I used to work with who also knew Nancy, and she came out to the house and tried on 47 pairs of shoes and took 45 of them. I'm still finding shoes. I'll look in a closet and there'll be some more shoes.

John Curry: So if that had been a joint account, you might have gone nuts.

Carlton Ingram: That's right. That's exactly right.

John Curry: Yeah. We're laughing at something here, folks. You'd have to know Nancy and the relationship that she and Carlton had. But great people. But what you did, what you described about the money side, worked for the two of you. Other people, it would not work. They have to have that joint account. In 44 years of doing what I've been doing, I've seen all kind of plans. To me, there is no ideal plan. It's whatever works for the couple. And it worked very well for the two of you.

I know we'd have review meetings and come in, and she would know all the numbers right to the penny. I think, for quite some time, you pretty much relied on her to take care of a lot of the planning.

Carlton Ingram: Yeah. It slowly evolved that way because she retired earlier than I did. Part of the reason I retired when I did was leaving the house at 6:30, and she's still in the bed asleep. I couldn't take it too much longer. So I decided I better go ahead and retire, too. But she evolved in taking on a lot of accounts, especially online stuff.

One of the significant difficulties that I had after she died was, her being as independent as she was, she had her own passwords and accounts and contacts, and I did not know. I couldn't get into even income tax stuff. I had a hard time getting in online because I didn't know passwords. When she died and I tried to access some of her accounts that I knew I was the beneficiary of, I had some difficulty.

John Curry: Let me just pause you for a second there. Folks, what Carlton is sharing is so important because, whether you're working with us or someone like us, make sure that you have all these passwords put somewhere secure, and make sure that everybody that's involved in your world knows about it.

Carlton, something we're doing now, we're encouraging people to have their adult children be part of our review sessions so that at least the adult children know who we are. We know them. It makes life much easier if somebody gets sick or hurt or in the event of death. And it makes life easy.

Are you comfortable sharing what happened regarding leading up to Nancy's accident and ultimate death? Would you share?

Carlton Ingram: Well, I'll try.

John Curry: If it's too difficult, I understand.

Carlton Ingram: Well, first of all, it was the second marriage for both of us. Nancy did not have children by her first marriage. I didn't have children by my first marriage. We didn't have children together. So that was difficult. When she developed breast cancer and had a bilateral mastectomy and went through reconstruction ... And she had gone through five years since the cancer and had regular checkups all the time. Not going to point fingers at who doctors were or anything like that. But they were in Thomasville. She loved Thomasville.

So we never had any indication that she had recurring cancer. She fell one night. She was in the Tallahassee Civic Chorale. They rehearsed out at TCC. One night coming back to the car, she tripped over one of the stops in the parking lot for the wheels to hit to stop. She tripped over it. I can almost tell you which Tuesday night it was because I had another meeting that was always on a Tuesday night. She called me and said she'd fallen, and she was bleeding bad, but she could drive home.

And she hurt her back. They found a slight stress fracture in one of her vertebrae. She got to where she couldn't do a lot of things. She couldn't go to football games with me anymore because she couldn't climb the steps. She fell in October. The chorale had a concert in December. She didn't think she could do it. They told her, "We'll let you sit in a chair or a wheelchair if you need." That wasn't Nancy. She stood up the whole time.

But, anyway, the pain got worse and worse, and they kept blaming it on this fracture. She got to the point where she couldn't get into bed to sleep. She stayed 24/7 in a chair because she couldn't move. I had to assist her. And going to doctors' appointments in Thomasville was, in and of itself, a rough ordeal just to get her in the car, getting her up there. We went up there for ... She was going to have a bone ... something where they inject a dye in the bone so they can get a better view of this fracture.

The whole time, her stomach started descending. Nancy was a small lady. From her profile, it almost looked like she was pregnant at 70-something years old. Every time we went in the last six months, I asked the doctor. I said, "Isn't this something that needs to be concerned?" "Oh, no. That's just lack of muscle control because she hasn't been mobile. She's been confined to a chair for this long. But we'll take care of her. We'll inject some superglue-type stuff on that bone, and everything will be just fine."

She was going to have just one more scan, and her regular doctor, her family practitioner up there, said, "Stop by my office first before you go over to Archbold to have this thing done." She was in so much pain ... They drew some blood, but she was in so much pain that they called an ambulance to take her one and a half blocks to the hospital. So she was in the emergency room at Archbold Hospital. Real nice people, but it seemed forever before a diagnosis came.

Finally, a doctor came out that I didn't know that told me that cancer had gotten all over her.

John Curry: So that's what was causing the stomach to descend?

Carlton Ingram: Basically, it was her liver. But the breast cancer had metastasized into her body. At that point, they told us ... I said, "How much time are we talking about?" "Short" is all that she would say. Well, I get back home. It was on a Monday. Tried to get hospice involved on Tuesday. They brought a hospital bed out to the house, oxygen tank out to the house. And it just didn't work out.

So I got her into Hospice House on a Wednesday. They immediately put her into a morphine-induced coma. I couldn't talk to her. I mean, I talked to her, but I couldn't converse with her. That was on a Wednesday, and the following Tuesday, she was dead.

John Curry: It was fast. Yeah, I remember I was shocked how fast it was. Thank you for sharing that. There are people listening to this who are going through something similar or will in the future, and sharing your story is helpful. Thank you for doing that.

Carlton Ingram: Okay.

John Curry: Let's talk-

Carlton Ingram: It isn’t easy.

John Curry: No, it's not easy. Let's talk about where you are now. I've had some private personal conversations about how difficult that's been losing her. She was your partner in life/friend. But life goes on. You've been doing other things. Share about what you're ... The funny part for me is you're now taking ballroom dancing lessons. Let's talk about that a little bit. I know there's a knucklehead that got you involved in that.

Carlton Ingram: Should that knucklehead's name be mentioned?

John Curry: Yeah, go ahead. It was me.

Carlton Ingram: John Curry, the one and only, convinced me to meet him out at this ballroom dancing place one evening. They were just going to have a little party, and they may have wine or something. I'd get to meet some people and maybe ... So I went, and they had this special. Man, I can't turn down a special. So they-

John Curry: You're funny.

Carlton Ingram: I had a three-lesson special, and then once you just dip your toe into the water, you want to maybe go a little bit further. So another five lessons, and then another five lessons. I keep thinking there's no hope. But my instructor said, "Oh yes there is." She has very much encouraged me, and it's one-on-one, so it's not like a group dancing thing at the senior center. But I understand that that does well for people, too.

John Curry: Absolutely.

Carlton Ingram: But, anyway, yes, I am ... Whether I'll ever use it or not ... Nancy and I were members of the Tallahassee Town Club, which is nothing but a social club. We had four dinner-dances a year. We joined at the request of some mutual friends of ours, Cal and Lou Augburn. This was a couples-only club. I think Nancy and I were the youngest couple there when we joined. There were people there that I knew, who were contemporaries of my parents that I knew growing up. They were part of it.

But age catches up with you, and people slowly die off, unfortunately. But the only way you can stay as a single member of the Town Club is if you are a widow or widower having been a member as a couple. So I tried to continue, but it didn't work.

John Curry: Yeah. I can understand why. Let's talk about what the dancing is doing for you, because I'm convinced that as we age, we have to keep the brain active. Taking the dancing lessons makes you think. You can't just jump out there and do anything. So talk a little bit about that because I think it's important.

Carlton Ingram: Well, it's ... I've always wanted to dance. It's always been on our collective bucket list, and we just never got around to it. Nancy and I would dance. We didn't know what we were doing when we got out there, but none of the other people knew whether we were doing it right or wrong or not, so it didn't matter.

It's fun. It's frustrating at times because I made a wrong turn the other day in something we were doing, and my ... started to hit me across the nose with her elbow and about broke my nose. She felt really bad about it, but it was my fault because I took a step in the wrong direction because I couldn't remember what I was supposed to do. But I think it'll turn out just fine. Whether I'll ever use it or not will be another story.

I have got to get a lot of confidence built up before I'll be feeling ready to see some lady standing or sitting and going over and asking her to dance that I don't know.

John Curry: The reason I did it is because I wanted ... And I told the instructors I want the ability that, no matter where I am, whatever function, that if I want to dance, I can and feel comfortable. I don't care about being in competitions. I don't care about being on Dancing with the Stars. I just want the ability to go out and be able to dance and not make a fool of myself. That's what I said.

Carlton Ingram: I don't know whether I'll ever get to that point or not, but I'm trying.

John Curry: Well, I saw you dancing the night at that social. You were doing pretty darn good, and you were dancing with a lot of different people.

Carlton Ingram: Well, I'm real comfortable with my instructor because she's got a lot of patience. Of course, she says the same about me, that I have patience with her, and that's one thing that my wife said I didn't have. She couldn't ever figure out how I could sit and wait four hours for a fish to bite, because I didn't have patience at anything else. How come I did for that?

John Curry: I'm going to throw a little plug in here for the ... We're talking about Monarch Ballroom Dancing Studio. Michael's the owner there, and they've done a fantastic job. You feel welcome, and they have socials, obviously. If anybody's interested in learning more about that, just contact them at their website, Monarch Dancing.

Carlton, I can't believe how much time has already gone by. But let's do a little wrap-up here.

Carlton Ingram: In addition, I just want to say that people 50 and older in Tallahassee should take advantage of the OLLI, which is Ocean Lifelong Learning Institute at FSU. Take advantage of the classes. It's learning for the fun of learning. No tests. No homework. Nothing like that. I've been taking classes out there now for about two and a half years and really, really enjoy. That's another option for people.

John Curry: I was going to ask you if there's anything you wanted to share with people to check into. So let's do that. You've already hit one thing that I believe strongly in, as you know. That's lifetime learning. Constantly be learning.

I'm 66 years old. People ask me when I'm going to retire. I hope I'm like George Burns, still going at age 100. So I'm constantly reading and studying, traveling, going to conferences. I was at one last week in Dallas. I looked around the room. I'm like, "There should be more people here.

But from the standpoint of just an overall wrap-up, what are the things that you would want to leave people thinking about?

Carlton Ingram: Well, I think in any kind of partnership, whether it's business or marriage or whatever, that the partners need to know everything that the other partner is doing. I'm not saying you can't have a few secrets when you're married, when it involves-

John Curry: Like how many shoes or fishing poles you bought.

Carlton Ingram: Right, right. Exactly. Or especially financial, how it affects your life, that you need to really understand everything, all the aspects of it, and not get stuck because you're in a bad enough mindset when you lose a spouse. And then trying to deal with all the other stuff is very difficult. If you got more obstacles thrown at you than you were ever anticipating, it just makes it that much more of a struggle.

John Curry: Which makes planning important.

Carlton Ingram: Yes. Very much.

John Curry: Some people think it's ... It's not just planning. It's planning and organization, making sure that you know where everything is, each of you know the passwords, you know where the accounts are held, you know who the beneficiaries are. One of the things that we look at, even with accounts that people don't have with us, they say, "Well, my beneficiary is so-and-so." Let's double-check that. Invariably, we'll find accounts where there's either no beneficiary or a former spouse.

Carlton Ingram: Well, your organization provides a very valuable tool in that living balance sheet where all your financial stuff is kind of in one place: life insurance, investments, everything. And you can get and see where the interaction where the totality is, instead of just piece-mealing it. That is a very important tool.

John Curry: Thank you. We think it's the foundation of what we're doing in the sense of identifying what people have, helping them identify it, what's working, what's not working. It's a tool where they can see it on their own 24/7 without having us be in the room all the time.

Carlton, we're out of time. Thank you so much for joining us, and thank you for your friendship.

Carlton Ingram: Well, I'm sorry that I'm so verbose and just continue talking and talking and talking.

John Curry: Don't apologize, my friend. I think it was fantastic. I'm looking forward to hearing this again myself.

Carlton Ingram: Well ...

John Curry: Thanks again for joining us. And, folks-

Carlton Ingram: Thank you for inviting me.

John Curry: Our pleasure. And Jay and I enjoy having lunch with you anytime.

Carlton Ingram: Thank you.

John Curry: Folks, thank you for listening, and we'll talk to you in the next episode of the Secure Retirement Podcast.

Speaker: If you would like to know more about John Curry's services, you can request a complementary information package by visiting johnhcurry.com/podcast. Again, that is johnhcurry.com/podcast. Or you can call his office at 850-562-3000. Again, that is 850-562-3000. John H. Curry: chartered life underwriter, chartered financial consultant, accredited estate planner, master's in science and financial services, certified in long-term care, registered representative and financial advisor of Park Avenue Securities, LLC.

Securities' products and services and advisory services are offered through Park Avenue Securities, a registered broker-dealer and investment advisor. Financial representative of The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America in New York, New York. Park Avenue Securities is an indirect, wholly owned subsidiary of Guardian. North Florida Financial Corporation is not an affiliate or subsidiary of Park Avenue Securities. Park Avenue Securities is a member of FINRA and SIPC.

This material is intended for general public use. By providing this material, we are not undertaking to provide investment advice for any specific individual or situation or to otherwise act in a fiduciary capacity. Please contact one of our financial professionals for guidance and information specific to your individual situation. All investments contain risk and may lose value. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results.

Guardian, its subsidiaries, agents, or employees do not provide legal, tax, or accounting advice. Please consult with your attorney, accountant, and/or tax advisor for advice concerning your particular circumstances. Not affiliated with the Florida Retirement System. The living balance sheet and the living balance sheet logo are registered service marks of The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, New York, New York, copyright 2005 through 2018.

This podcast is for informational purposes only. Guest speakers and their firms are not affiliated with or endorsed by Park Avenue Securities or Guardian, and opinions stated are their own.

2019-78200 Exp 4/16/21