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Bluffton Location

117 E Elm Street

Bluffton, OH 45817

October 2018 - My Thoughts on the Flag

“I was a paratrooper on D-Day...We were dropped behind the enemy lines before the attack began.” I was stunned by his reply. Bill was an employee of ours during my time working in the family construction business many years ago. We were working on a small rock crusher and having a difficult time in getting it to work. It was a very hot day full of difficult work and, during this shared misery, we started swapping stories about ourselves. It was then that I found out he had been in the military. One question led to another and I was stunned to hear him state what he did.

Bill was near retirement at the time and although a great guy to work with, had not been very successful financially. After recovering from his revelation, I peppered him with questions about his experiences. I had enough book knowledge to know a little of the trials shared by those soldiers who were dropped behind enemy lines on that day. In my way of thinking this guy was a genuine hero; yet he was humble and quiet and, typi-cal of his generation, he didn’t think much about it afterwards. Many from that era viewed their military career as a job they needed to do and they just did it.

I have never been in the military but have always had a strong respect for it. I have two uncles and a father-in-law that were in the military–two of them in Korea, one with a bronze star. I had a great uncle that fought at Iwo Jima, another relative that fought in the Civil War and was imprisoned at Andersonville, GA. I saw his name on the roster at the camp museum. He lost an arm but survived and returned to Putnam County and raised 10 children.

I remember reading about a father and son losing their lives in the same skirmish in the battle for Baltimore during the Revolutionary War. That was the same battle when Francis Scott Key saw the American Flag still flying after a deluge of bombardments from British war ships in the harbor all night long. Mr. Scott was onboard a prison ship in the same body of water and could just make out the flag still waving by the light of the bombs bursting all around it in the early morning light.

I have always been amazed at these real events with real people sacrificing their “normal” lives to help provide the freedom that we all enjoy and so easily take for granted. It also saddens me how at different seasons of our nation’s history, honor and respect for our flag have become unpopular. I do not dispute that people have the constitutional right in our country to disrespect the flag for whatever reason they choose. It just seems terribly ironic that they have the freedom to show that disrespect as a direct result of the sacrifice of others who cherished and defended that right and the flag that it represents.

I remember years ago while in a socialist country suddenly finding myself in the middle of a shouting angry throng of people. The emotional catharsis of the crowd reached it climax when they burned the American flag amidst shouts of, roughly translated, “Down with America!” I was appalled, of course, and I remember wondering how many of them would be thrilled to be able to come to America and enjoy its freedoms. I know I was very glad that I was privileged to come back home. After visiting many countries over the years, it is still a special thrill to come home to America.

I am often close to tears when the flag is marched by, being honored and carried by active or retired military personnel. Because—to me—the flag is symbolic of hard-fought freedom. Again I will say that Americans absolutely have the right to disrespect their country’s flag, but I also have the right to disagree and not watch them do it or support their sentiments.

I extend my respect and gratitude to those of you—clients, family, friends, and acquaintances—who have served our country. Your service and sacrifice is greatly appreciated and I choose to honor the flag in recognition of what you have done. (Post script—I attended the funeral of one of these uncles this past weekend and there was a beautiful flag ceremony as part of the tribute. It was very moving and underscored my devotion to the flag and my respect for my uncle.)



Have things changed for you — new home, new phone number or email, new child, family changes? Do you need to change your beneficiaries? Please take a moment and email We may simply need to update our files, but certain types of information should also be reported to the companies who hold your investments. Let us help you stay up-to-date!

RILEY CREEK ARBOR has completed several community service activities in Bluffton this year. We are looking forward to 2019 and the opportunities it brings to help and bless our local community. If you are a current Gleaner client of ours, we would welcome your participation in the club. If you aren’t a Gleaner member, there are several easy ways to become a part of the action. Ask us about it when you call or email.

EVERPLANS - Our clients and friends are able to get a complimentary subscription to Everplans through our office. This is a simple online tool that guides you through legal, financial, healthcare and personal decisions—a tool that ensures your wishes are met and your loved ones aren’t left with hassles. Email to request your complimentary membership.

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A MOVE COMING!! It is our plan to relocate this winter to a larger space in downtown Bluffton. Please follow us on Facebook or Linked In to get the latest updates. We will also keep clients posted via our e-newsletters — to subscribe, please visit and complete the “join our mailing list” information on the right side. Our e-newsletter has easy opt-out if you get tired of receiving it.


How do you learn about Social Security and the way it works? From friends? On the TV? By talking to a Social Security representative?

There are things that you NEED to know before you make decisions about when to draw Social Security and we can help. How will working part– or full-time affect your benefits? How much can you earn without causing your benefits to be taxable? What income sources can you receive without negatively affecting Social Security?

Because Social Security and other income sources are inter-related, it is important to talk to someone who is an expert and who has your best interest in mind. Let Gary review your total situation and help you make good decisions during your retirement transition. Call today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.


Appointment Nights

We are setting aside November 12 through November 16 as a week dedicated to new client evening appointments. Call ahead to get the questionnaire completed and set a time to come in and talk. Maybe it is retirement planning or questions about inheritance or aging parents… perhaps you need to know what to do with an old 401k or whether to start a Roth IRA. Maybe you don’t really know what you need to be asking! We are truly here to help—if you’ll invest a few minutes in completing a questionnaire ahead of time.



Will you or someone you know be inheriting tax-qualified money?

STOP! Before you accept any money through inheritance—you need to know about the tax im-pact! We strongly recommend that you talk to a trusted adviser BEFORE taking possession of any inheritance money. What you don’t know CAN hurt you!

Setting up a Beneficiary IRA (sometimes called Stretch IRA or Inherited IRA) can help you control the timing of the taxes you will pay on the inherited money. However, once you take possession of the money, you cannot go back and set up a Beneficiary IRA after the fact.

Call our office — we help people all the time to understand the tax implications of the decisions they are making. We’d be glad to help!