August 10, 2017

If you are going on a short trip for a weekend and maybe a longer trip for a few weeks vacation, a GPS may be useful.

Retirement GPS

If you are planning on reaching retirement and remaining retired, you need the right tools to attain your goals.  Are you wondering:  “Have I prepared well enough for retirement?” or “Do I have enough to retire?” 

On the road to retirement there are many twists and turns that many future retirees are not aware of:

  • Living longer than expected – The age that seems “old” to you in your 30’s or 40’s may not be as old as you thought.  Will your retirement fund allow you to remain retired after you reached that “old” age.  Maybe you thought you would never need long-term care.
  • Are you depending on a plan where you work supplemented by Social Security benefits? –  Pensions and market-driven employer’s plans are becoming a thing of the past.  In today’s real world, as you move through your working years, it is critical that you set aside money into an  IRA, Roth IRA, or other savings vehicle to help supplement your retirement income.
  • Are you using the right “financial tools” to reach your specific needs and goals? – Often, many people own a variety of financial instruments and have no idea why they purchased them and/or how they serve them to reach their goals.  If you want a guaranteed income stream you cannot outlive,  it is important to consider financial instruments that can help protect against market risk. 
  • What fees are you paying? – Fees can dramatically affect your potential returns and the accumulation of this cost over the years may be substantial.  What services are you receiving for the fees being paid?  It is important to know and understand the financial instruments you own….what are the costs and what are the benefits?
  • “Peace of mind” vs. portfolio risk – A simple exercise called “risk analysis” will give you and/or your advisor a feel for your tolerance to overall market risk.  Know you level of risk.  A full analysis of your financial holdings will determine how much risk your investments have.  Quite often if may be better to have “peace of mind” than the potential gains in your portfolio.  Unfortunately, potential high gains are also accompanied by potential high losses……determine your level of risk to achieve “peace of mind.”

A well-thought-out and detailed financial plan is similar to a GPS in your car.  It can provide you with the comfort of knowing exactly where you are going, where to turn, possible roadblocks, etc.  You would feel more confident driving cross country when you have a tool like that to rely upon along the way.  Likewise, have a financial firm that can provide you with a comprehensive plan that is detailed, transparent, and most important, has your best interests in mind is a vital part of allowing you to retire with confidence.

Fiduciary firms are required to always, and in every way, serve only your best interests.  You have worked too hard to begin your  journey alone and must be aware of all the best possible routes.  You deserve to have the self-assurance and comfort knowling that retirement will be exactly what you intended it to be.

Visit my website and complete the “Contact Form” and I will be in contact with you immediately.




August 9, 2017

There are those who believe annuities are sold to senior citizens who did not understand what they were buying or the contractual ramifications of their decisions.  This is not the fault of the senior citizens…it is the fault of the agent who thought more about himself instead of the needs of the client.  When I began my career in financial planning, I made myself a promise:  “Never sell a product to a client that doesn’t fit their financial needs.”  I was, and still am, true to that promise.

There are those who believe in the blanket statement that annuities should not be purchased by anyone over 70…that is HOGWASH! 

Image result for image of hogwash 

In the world of financial planning and investment advising there is a need to have safe money options regardless of age.  The key relies on the fact that the financial product should provide a solution to a financial need.

“Guarantees, including optional benefits, are backed by the claims-paying ability of the issuer, and may contain limitations, including surrender charges, which may affect policy values.

Annuities by their name are designed to be income producing financial instruments.  They may also be very effective as estate planning tools. Unfortunately, bureaucratic regulators have limited the purchase of annuities for senior adults approaching or exceeding eighty years old.  Why wouldn’t someone in their eighties not be able on their own or with the consent of their families purchase an annuity when they want safety of principal, a higher growth potential than the local bank, a 5% to 10% bonus and all of the account value to bypass probate and go directly to their heirs with no surrenders or penalties?  The main reason is that senior citizens are discriminated against by overzealous regulators that in the name of protection have caused the door to be shut on this legitimate purpose for annuities in estate planning.

Age limiting also applies to younger individuals.  Some insurance companies pull back on benefit eligibility for younger individuals which seem to “promise too much” based on today’s interest rate environment when these benefits are extrapolated out over a younger person’s lifetime.

What is the best age?

The  most common age seems to be between 45 and 65, but it depends on the type of annuity and your planned retirement age.  Often, people in their 40’s delay making plans for their retirement…delaying those important decisions until later.  This is the age when retirement planning should be given priority in looking forward to those retirement years.  However, it is most common for any formal retirement planning to begin 1-15 years prior to retirement.  Annuities excel at keeping retirement dollars safe and secure while providing growth for retirement income.  The reasons for future retirees considering annuities for their income foundation or “if they cannot afford to lose principal” or if they “do not have time to recover from losses in riskier financial choices” —then annuities are always prudent alternative for consideration.

If you don’t have a financial profession, search for one that will listen to your needs and then work with you to find proper solutions.  The decisions you make on what to do with your dollars are ultimately your decisions.  Work with someone who has your goals in mind and you have a much better chance of meeting your retirement target.  Part of that target or goal should include remaining retired after your retirement date.

Visit me at my website and complete the contact form:









June 13, 2017

In my last blog I mentioned “putting it all  together”  in woodworking and/or building a retirement plan.  The finished retirement plan is much like the finished plan of a woodworking project.  In both cases, the outside represents the finished project.  Therefore, in order to have a successful plan, we cannot begin with the outside.  We must start and build from the inside to the outside.

Unpainted Jewelry Cabinet

When we begin “putting it all together,” we start to see how all the parts work together as we examine the framework of the plan.  As we build from the inside to the outside, can easily see that more work is needed to develop the plan.  In the case of a woodworking plan, it is much easier to apply paint during the development stage.  It’s difficult to paint all the nooks if you wait until the project is finished.  So,  a little paint is needed before the inner parts become difficult to reach.

Painted Jewelry Cabinet

In retirement planning the development stage is called “the accumulation period.”  A woodworking plan can be finished in a short period of  time, but “giving attention to the  inside” of a retirement plan is continuous during the accumulation period until the desired retirement age is reached.  Great care and attention to the working parts of a retirement plan is  important not  only during the accumulation period, but during retirement to make sure the retiree is able to remain retired.  A retirement plan must not be so rigid that it doesn’t have the flexibility to make adjustments as economic and personal circumstances change.  I call this “liquidity management.”  This is the ability to take advantage of opportunities during the  accumulation period.

In retirement planning, many people “put off until tomorrow what they should do today.”  Procrastination is the worst enemy of the person wanting to retire some day.  Many believe that retirement will take care of itself because they will have Social Security Benefits.  Social Security Benefits are meant as supplementary income for what is accumulated through saving for retirement.  If you are depending entirely on Social Security Benefits, you need to visit my website and complete the Contact Form.  This is one of those “don’t put off until tomorrow what needs to be done today” actions that will start your plan for retirement.








June 8, 2017

My approach to retirement planning is very similar to “putting it all together” in planning a woodworking project.  First, it’s essential to have a vision…what is the goal and how do you obtain it.

Once you  have the vision, it’s time to get excited about planning for the end results.  With retirement planning, what are the current resources and what will be needed to reach retirement and remain retired.  Many people, without proper planning, reach the age of retirement and discover their retirement planning should have included a lot more “putting if all together.”  

“Putting it all together” is not a one-time thing.  From the beginning of your planning, it’s necessary to always be “putting it all together.”  This is where retirement planning and planning a woodworking project differ.  During the accumulation period of prior to retirement, it is necessary to periodically “tweak” your plan to meet your goal due to unforeseen events not considered at the onset of your plan.


The furniture project I am working on currently required a little “tweaking.”


When sanding and sizing the pieces for the drawers, I discovered that I had not followed the rule for measuring and sawing.  Out of the  32 pieces for the eight drawers, one of the drawer fronts was cut 1″ to short.  I am reminded of measure twice and cut once rule (even better is measure 3 or 4 times and cut once).  This came during the “putting it all together” phase of my project.  When working on a project without a detailed plan, it is necessary to draw my own plans.  I have found that on most projects it is better to NOT cut all the parts in the beginning.  This is an opportunity for disaster.  If, in drawing the plan, one measurement is wrong brings on a lot of heartache.

The error in my measuring and sawing mentioned above, is the reason I never use a “cookie cutter” retirement plan….once plan fits all.  When there are no provisions for a change in goals and circumstances, with the flexibility to allow “tweaking,” makes the plan subject to disaster and a short-fall when the age of retirement comes.  It may be necessary to delay retirement and/or find a source of supplemental income.

My goal for clients is to assist them in reaching their retirement goals and being able to remain retired.

visit me website and complete the “Contact” form and I will contact you immediately







March 7, 2017

Two of the things I enjoy a great deal are developing retirement plans for clients and woodworking projects for some very special people.  Don’t misunderstand me…my clients are all very special people too.  I’ve been developing retirement plans and woodworking for many years now and am always excited when doing both.

The approach is the same for both endeavors.  In developing retirement plans, there are no “cookie cutter” plans.  No one plan fits each client and must be developed with the flexibility to make adjustments during the accumulation phase of the plan.  Without a well-planned accumulation phase, the retirement goals in most cases will never be reached.  With flexibility and continuous review, it may be necessary to “tweak” the plan as retirement funds are accumulated to the time of retirement.  A successful retirement plan eliminates the “shock” of arriving at your selected retirement age and realizing your retirement date must be postponed or you won’t be able to “stay” retirement and need to get a job to supplement your retirement funds.  Social Security retirement benefits, while included in your planning, will in most cases be insufficient to fund the retirement you’ve dreamed about for many years.

One very important thing in being successful on a woodworking project is measure twice and cut once.  I am conservative in both retirement planning and woodworking.  I allow the flexibility to “tweak” and retirement plan and I often measure three or four times before making a cut in woodworking.  After making the cut, it’s very difficult to attempt to “tweak” for a board that was cut too short.  The result often leads to a waste in very expensive lumber and a pile of scraps that may be used in another project…or unfit for future use.


I have started a new project for my wife and I want it to be perfect when completed.  I will be showing the progress in future blogs if you want to follow to find out what the project is.  Let’s hope my scrap pile doesn’t grow or there will be no necessity for “tweaking” as I continue to measure, measure, and measure and make each cut successfully.

If you are interested in developing a successful retirement plan or “tweaking” the plan  that you already have…or maybe even making adjustments after you have retired to make certain you may remain retired…visit my website and complete the “contact” information and receive a prompt reply:



I have also discovered the hard way that following God’s plan for me requires a great deal of “tweaking” to the  plans that I have for my life.  It’s a great feeling when I make adjustments in my plans to agree with the plans God has for me.


February 26, 2017


January 13, 2017

Retirement and/or remaining retired doesn’t just happen.  The people looking ahead to  retirement have a major challenge on their hands.   Not only do they have to convince all those affected, but they have to plan the  whole process.

For many years the  following acronym has helped people to think through their plans whenever a major challenge or  opportunity approaches:

  • P – Predetermine your course of action.
  • L – Lay out  your  goals.
  • A – Adjust your priorities.
  • N – Notify all concerned.
  • A – Allow time for acceptance. 
  • H – Head into action.
  • E – Expect problems.
  • A – Always point to your  successes.
  • D – Daily review your progress.

As an investor, one of your main goals is, of course, building a nest egg for your future.  This will involve not only making difficult decisions at times, but  also learning a bit about  investing itself so that you can make those decisions wisely.

You, as an investor, must develop your philosophy as an investor and act consistently as a investor and not as a speculator.  The goal of speculating is to  achieve a large gain in  a short amount of  time.  Speculation involves a large risk in nearly all circumstances because, as we always say, if  something seems too good to be true, it probably is.  That’s not to say that speculating can’t pay off; it can, but the trade-off for potential large, quick gains is usually a considerable risk of loss.

By contract, investors commit to a long-term strategy based on sound investment principles.  An investor also seeks to gain  money, of  course!  But the focus is on the long view, not the short-term, fast gains.

Future retirees and those who are already retired need to put in place a team that will work to achieve the goals desired.  This team should include the individual as well as a financial advisor, a CPA, and an attorney.  This will accomplish the planning ahead that is necessary and also aid in the continuing monitoring  of the process of  reaching retirement.

Burrows Financial works every day in planning and monitoring retirement plans for individuals who want a plan that works.  We strive to eliminate the risks to ascertain that the retirement goals are achieved.  If you don’t have a team in place, I can be of assistance in forming a team for you.  It is never too late or too early to ease yourself of the worries and concerns by setting goals for your retirement.

It is time to take charge and visit my website and complete the contact form information  and  I will be in contact with you immediately:


My website contains news updates, articles, and blogs about retirement.


Exodus:  5:1

No question about it, Moses had a major challenge on his hands.  Not only did he have to convince everyone…including Pharaoh…to let him lead the Hebrew slaves out of Egypt, but he had to plan the whole process.  To mobilize his countrymen he first had to organize them.  That required shrewd planning.  He had to plan ahead…not  lead from behind.

Have a great day!




January 4, 2017

Reaching the goals in financial planning for an individual or family is not a matter of presenting a predetermined package and assuming it will provide for the needs and goals of the  retirement plan.  A financial advisor needs to  respond to individuals based on their needs rather their lack of having a formal retirement plan.  Not having a retirement plan sometimes causes an advisor to concentrate on this fault of the individual and not the needs and goals of that individual.

A predetermined package is not the way to lead the individual in developing a plan for retirement plan.  The advisor must size up every situation and discern what must happen to  reach the desired goal.  Like a quarterback who reads the defense, then calls an audible from the line of scrimmage, good advisors remain flexible and may change their response, based not on what a person deserves, but on what they need to succeed.  Good advisors follow this path in difficult situations:

  • They need:  They aren’t afraid to admit they need to listen and get understanding.
  • They read:  They evaluate what has happened and what steps are the best to take.
  • They feed:  They communicate what they’ve observed to the key players.
  • They heed:  They act on the basis of their discovery, even if it means change.
  • They lead:  They provide direction to those involved.

The advisor leads only after they have determined the need,  read the situation, feed to the individuals through communication, and heed by acting on their discovery, even if changes are to be made.

When meeting with a prospective client about developing a retirement plan and there is not formal plan, it is not time to concentrate on the “fault.”  Most people don’t want to be criticized by pointing out the fault of not having a plan.  It is never too early nor too late to develop a plan that will meet the needs and goals of the individual.  It is time for the advisor to be a leader and provide encouragement and expertise in the development of a plan.



Proverbs 25:21,22

Leaders need to respond to individuals based on their needs rather than their faults.  Proverbs 25:21,22 encourages us to see what others need…even our enemies…and respond accordingly.

Have a great day!




December 7, 2016

Two emotions usually follow a great achievement or growth in your retirement funds:  first, a sigh  of relief and celebration; and second, a sense of…not what?

Have you been there?  How did you handle it?  How we handle this tells us a  lot about our character:  The period following a success can become a dangerous time.  Sometimes we feel tempted toward complacency, especially if we lack another goal.  We can become satisfied and let down  our guard.  Momentum leaks.

The moment of success is a crucial time for retirement investor and the financial advisor they depend on.  Each must be able to change…or face a transitional problem.  The transitional problem occurs when each one does not know how adapt to changing with the times.

Proper retirement planning requires the character and ability to adapt to the changing times.  The investor and advisor, to be successful, must not be tempted toward being complacent and discontinuing to set new goals to achieve the best results to make certain that reaching retirement and being able to remain retired can be attained.

Two Types of Requirement by Retiree and Advisor

1.  Catalyst:  Gets it going             1.  Consolidator:  Keeps it going

2.  Designer:  Thinks it up             2.  Developer:  Follows it up

3.  Motivator:  Encourages            3.  Manager:  Organizes

4.  Entrepreneur:  Relies on self    4.  Executive:  Relies on others

Successful retirement planning requires a partnership between the future or present retiree and the advisor.  The initial goal of retiring should always be accompanied by recognizing the needs for remaining retired.

Please visit my website and complete the contact information and I will answer your questions and/or assist you in developing a plan that will suit your needs.  Many people only think about before tax (qualified) funds to reach their retirement goal.  A better retirement plan will also include after-tax (unqualified) funds.  By using both  types of funds your retirement will have the flexibility and liquidity to meet the unforeseen needs that may arise.




November 18, 2016

After many years of financial planning, I find that many times people come to me that have not heeded the alarm bells for many years.  Retirement planning involves a team.  The players in this team are the person looking to retirement, an attorney, a CPA, and a financial advisor.  Why do you need all  of these?  Each of them, including the future retiree, should be accountable to the  team to sound the alarm bells at the right time to reach the goals of the retiree.

In retirement planning you can’t “pull a fast one” on the future needs for retiring and remaining retired with sufficient funds to enjoy your retirement.  A good financial advisor will sound the alarm bells when appropriate and hold you accountable for the ongoing needs of your plan.  You should also hold the financial advisor accountable with your own alarm bells. 

It’s really fun to enjoy the fruits of  your  labor during your earning years, but the fun ceases when you approach retirement and finally hear the alarm bells and begin to doubt whether you will be able to retire.  You may even begin to be concerned about whether you may remain retired.

When you approach retirement age and begin to faintly hear the alarm bells, you will most likely realize you could have done many things different (like starting a retirement plan).  It’s not comfortable to realize what could have been when the game is in the ninth inning and you are behind.

These are some of  the things you need in developing and maintaining a retirement plan:

  • Do you have an ongoing relationship with your financial advisor to sound the alarm bells?
  • Are you keeping  your  priorities straight?
  • Are you asking yourself the hard questions?
  • Are you being accountable?
  • Are you over-concerned with current wants and needs while ignoring retirement?
  • Are you putting more stock in “events” rather than the  “process?”
  • Are you being too much of a  “loner” in your planning?
  • Are you planning on relying only on Social Security Benefits to take care of  your needs?

If this blog post causes you to hear the alarm bells, it’s time to take the first step and call me or visit my website and complete the “contact” form and I will contact you immediately:



Galatians 6:7-10

We can’t pull a fast one on God.  He sees all and  cannot be deceived.  He notices our shortcuts and also our efforts when we do well.  To ensure that we live by this truth, seek others to hold you accountable and act as your “Alarm Bells.”

  • Is my personal walk with God up-to-date?
  • Am I keeping my principles straight?
  • Am I asking myself the hard questions?
  • Am I accountable to someone in authority?
  • Am I sensitive to what God is saying to the whole body of Christ?
  • Am I over-concerned with building my image?
  • Do I put more stock in “events” rather than “process?”
  • Am I a loner in my leadership and personal life?
  • Am I aware and  honest about my weaknesses?
  • Is my calling constantly before me?

Have a great day!