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I don’t really think in terms of “bucket lists” but if I had one, my visit to Hitler’s “Eagle’s Nest” would certainly be in the top 10! My interest in this retreat, a gift to Hitler from loyal friends and the Nazi Party for his 50th birthday in 1939, has been fueled by my study of World War II and by the gross contradictions between this magnificent site and the atrocities that were conceived there.
Most serious students of WWII recognize this retreat, perched atop Obersalzberg in the Alps. It has been featured in many documentaries, books, and films; most notably in chapter 10 of the Band of Brothers mini-series. It has breathtakingly awesome views of the surrounding vista. It was one of the few places not destroyed by Allied bombing. Even though it is now a massive tourist attraction, that did not diminish my sense of historical perspective. Of course, an appreciation of the awesome views and the brilliant engineering required to forge this spectacular getaway stands in stark contrast to the horrors the Nazis thrust upon their own people and the rest of the world.
I am mentioning this “bucket list” destination because it reminds me of an important principle that I bring into my business practice. It’s called perspective.
As we sat at the top of this mountain, surrounded by scores of people from all around the world, we were struck with the realization that everyone had taken the same buses and climbed the same path to see the same views. We all had that in common. Yet on most other issues, I would guess that everyone’s perspective was widely divergent — depending on their culture, customs, or beliefs. When I last visited Israel and saw people from all over the world coming to that place, I was struck by the broad range of perspectives represented. Shared experience—different perspectives.
Here is my point. This is also true in various financial decisions. Many people face what you face or are walking where you walk. But each of us brings a slightly different perspective to those events. People have all sorts of reasons, thoughts, and opinions about how to handle their money. I do not put people in a “financial box” when they come to me. I am very good at listening without judging. I will share my opinions if allowed, but will never force them on anyone. It is safe to have a conversation with me. Our whole office staff works diligently to create an atmosphere of acceptance with absolutely no sales pressure.
That does not mean that I am unskilled or lacking in financial knowledge. In fact, I am greatly skilled and trained to help in all types of financial situations and I have earned many designations to confirm that—many of which I do not draw attention to. I add to my knowledge and understanding at every opportunity. I have recently been engaged in self-study to better understand the nuances of Social Security options and timing and will be taking classroom training this month on this subject...so that I can be a good resource. I am pleased to report that I recently became an Endorsed Local Provider (ELP) with Dave Ramsey. I recently completed Financial Peace University and studied the accompanying materials and I am excited to be a resource to those folks who are looking at finances from the perspective of his teaching. This ELP opportunity is not a “box” to put folks in—but a way to find common ground. If you’ve completed Financial Peace University or any of the Dave Ramsey classes and would like to speak to an Investment Adviser to broaden your perspective, I would be happy to talk with you.
We have a saying here at Faith Investment Services: “Start the conversation!” Whatever your perspective, situation, or background, be sure to share your financial concerns with someone you can trust. I am available if you need me.
HOW INVESTING MAKES IT POSSIBLE
Investing your money the right way helps you build wealth over time, allowing you to make your dreams a reality. By investing you can build your dream home, send your kids to college, and retire comfortably.
How can I help you?
As Dave Ramsey’s recommended financial advisor, I do more than simply pick which funds you should invest in. I fit your investments to your life and consider tax implications and changes in legislation. Plus, with the heart of a teacher, I’ll educate you so you understand what you’re investing in and why. I’ll also help remind you why you’re investing and encourage you to stick with your long-term goals.
Who is Dave Ramsey?
Dave Ramsey is a personal money management expert, national radio talk show host, television host, and New York Times bestselling author. He’s helped millions of people get out of debt and build wealth. He is today’s voice of financial wisdom and he exclusively recommends me and my team to help you!
ELPs earn Dave ’s endorsement, they don’t buy it
Being an ELP isn’t easy; it’s hard work because ELPs are held to a higher standard of excellence. While ELPs do pay a fee to cover program maintenance and employment costs, Dave’s endorsement is not bought – it’s earned.
ELPs help you win!
With an ELP, you know for sure that you’re getting the same type of advice that Dave would give. You can trust ELPs because Dave has a 19 person team that works with every ELP to make sure they meet your standards and give you great advice. You can feel comfortable talking with an ELP because they will never talk down to you or make you feel stupid.
ELPs are constantly evaluated
Every ELP’s performance is evaluated every month to make sure you get the best agent possible. Also, you have a chance to grade the ELP you use based on your personal experience through a survey provided by Dave.
Gary is attending a Social Security training class in Columbus this month. With a host of different filing options and multiple considerations on when to file, there is a great deal of confusion among those nearing retirement age about when and how to file for Social Security. This is compounded by the fact that many people do not even know they have options — and they make an uninformed decision as a result.
It is because of these complexities that Gary is enhancing his own education. “The more familiar I become with these options, the better I can assist my clients. I have a desire to make this process as simple and straightforward as possible.” While Gary is definitely not a novice when it comes to Social Security benefits, it has not always been a “major focus” of his business. However, Social Security benefits end up affecting how much income individuals and couples need going into retirement — and a good financial adviser will treat them as part of the ‘big picture.’
Gary is available to discuss Social Security options with you, either as part of your annual review or as part of forming a strategy for retirement. Give our office a call today to start the conversation!
With the FAFSA right around the corner for many families, let me remind you that our office can work alongside you as you consider college funding strategies. We have recently discussed college funding options with several clients and here is a simple list we compiled:
1) Out of pocket as the expense occurs. Total donor control but no break on taxes.
2) 529 Plans—high giving limits, donor control, restricted to education.
3) Coverdale Educational Savings Account—$2000 per year limit per child
4) UTMA/UGMA—Gains taxed at children’s level but children gain unlimited control at 18.
5) Scholarships, Co-op, Free tuition due to parents’ employment status or Military
6) Strategies—Take post-secondary classes, attend local university and stay at home, enroll in online classes, work full-time and take an extra year or two to graduate, seek employment that pays for graduation
7) Roth IRAs—tax free premium withdrawals. Income level restriction.
8) Life Insurance—The cost of the insurance countered by use of tax deferral and tax free withdrawals
9) Fixed Annuities—Total control, tax deferral, unlimited premium, but taxed on gains at withdrawal.
10) Loans—Income qualification of parents
Let us talk with you about this. We’d be happy to help you build some strategies — and the earlier we start the conversation, the better.
From all of our staff, we wish you a very blessed and meaningful Christmas season!