I met my financial guru at my grandson’s little league game. He was sitting behind my son and me. We were cheering and stuff like that. Then we started talking about how it would be great if our kids could make it in the majors, so we could all retire young. Well, one thing led to another, and he told us how he had helped a bunch of people retire young—or at least youngish. He gave me his card, we met for lunch, and it went on from there.
-Andy, 66, Bluffton, S.C.

It was a recommendation. We were working with a bank for our business, and they had an arm that dealt with investments and such, so we went with them because we liked the bank a lot. We met with a real nice lady and she organized our finances and told us what we should be doing to plan for the future. She got us into various financial instruments and the like. Then, after about 10 years, she went into business for herself, so we followed her to her new location. We’ve been very happy.
-Jim, 61, Madison, Conn.

We had worked with someone for years who we really liked. He was a senior himself so he knew how to talk to us, knew our priorities. When he retired in ’08–all of his clients were really sad about that–his son took over the business, and it’s all been fine. We weren’t sure at first how that was going to go, but [our advisor] reassured us that he would still be very much involved and that if we ever felt uncomfortable about anything or had a question, we could still call him and talk to him and he would take care of us.Our plan was pretty much laid out at that point anyway, so we haven’t had to change much.
-Sandy, 64, Fresno, Calif.

I belong to the Rotary Club, so whenever I need a professional for something, I always check with the club first to see if there is a fellow Rotarian who offers the services I seek. Well, when my wife and I finally got to the place where we had a little money to invest, I found out that a guy I had known for a long time who had been a stock analyst or something like that was going to expand into financial planning. So we met with him a few times to see what he had to offer.
-Al, 70, Fort Myers, Fla.