After nearly a decade of helping hundreds of families step confidently into retirement, there are many mornings I reflect on just how I was able to put myself in a position to be afforded the honor of doing so.
How I got here is very easy to map out with the benefit of hindsight.
Yet I dare say that without my why, I wouldn’t be in the field of retirement planning at all.
I grew up as an only child during the ‘90s in the middle-class suburb of Mukilteo, Washington.
My formative years were spent riding my bicycle a mile up the road to “shag” golf balls from the woods at Harbour Pointe Golf Course to then sell those balls back to the golfers at the range at a discount; while my friends’ parents were driving newer, fancier luxury cars and buying bigger, fancier houses — my first car was a ’78 Cadillac Seville with a bum alternator.
Even so, my childhood was mostly ideal, and I planned to go on to attend college at Gonzaga and study medicine.
Then on May 16, 2002, my father passed away. Thank God, my dad lived below his means. On top of the loss of my dad, the family lost $100,000 in annual income, and needless to say, I wouldn’t be going to Gonzaga.
With my dad gone, I felt the need to step up and be a real partner for my mom. With this understanding, I took on two jobs in high school, and I paid my way through community college before transferring to a University on grants.