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“RETIREMENT: PLAN AHEAD”

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:

http://burrowsfinancial.thebetterretirementplan.com

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!

 

 

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“RETIREMENT: CHANGING WITH THE TIMES”

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.

http://burrowsfinancial.thebetterretirementplan.com

*****

“THE IRONY OF SPIRITUAL LEADERSHIP: GET UNDERSTANDING BUT DON’T LEAN ON IT.”

December 3, 2015

I enjoy the reading of Proverbs each day.  Beginning on the first day of the month, I read Proverbs 1.  I also like to read the same Proverbs in the  Maxwell Leadership Bible, which has some very good lessons in  Christian leadership.

I try to apply these lesson in my personal and business life and find that it serves me well in both.

Proverbs 2 and 3 poses an  apparent paradox in spiritual leadership.  We are to get wisdom and understanding (2:1-5), yet we are not to lean on  it  apart from the Lord (3:5,6).  Even good wisdom divorced from God can become a snare.  So how are godly leaders to think?

  1.  Godly leaders think big:  They realize God’s vision is usually bigger than theirs.
  2. Godly leaders think other people:  They always include others in the mix.
  3. Godly leaders think continually:  They’re not satisfied with today’s answers.
  4. Godly leaders think bottom line:  They want to see results and fruit.
  5. Godly leaders think continual growth:  They want to keep improving.
  6. Godly leaders think without lines:  They let God outside of the box.
  7. Godly leaders think victory:  They want to see God’s rule come to earth.
  8. Godly leaders think intuitively:  They have a sense of what will work.
  9. Godly leaders think servanthood:  They want to serve and add value to people.
  10. Godly leaders think quickly:  They evaluate quickly and see possible answer.

http://burrowsfinancial.thebetterretirementplan.com

 

 

 

“A CHANGE OF SEASONS”

March 12, 2015

This world would be boring without the change of seasons. During the cold Winter season, we begin to look forward to Spring.  Then we begin to anticipate the warm (or hot) temperatures that comes with Summer.  We can find time for vacations and other activities that Summer makes available.  During the heat of Summer, we begin to  look forward to the Fall season with  cooler temperatures and the many colors provided by the leaves as the trees prepare for winter.  Then we are back in  the winter season and a full year has passed.

On March 8 of this year it was time to set our clocks to Daily Saving Time.  I just recently discovered Saving is not SavingS.  Most people use the S when referring to Daily Saving Time.

It may be exciting to save time each year and have the opportunity for activities provided by extended daylight hours in the  evening, but there are other things to get excited about.

One thing we should get excited about is saving for our retirement.  I meet with many people who, for the most part, wish they had started saving while they were younger.  If you fall into that category, the best advice I can give is:  “DON’T PUT OFF UNTIL TOMORROW WHAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN DONE DAY BEFORE YESTERDAY!”

Saving for retirement also has its seasons.  The first is the planning season, where retirement goals are determined.  The next season is that of  accumulation, when we begin to set aside the necessary funds to reach the goals of retirement.  The last season is retirement and being thankful the funds you accumulated allows you to retire and remain retired.

There is one more season many people ignore.  During the accumulation season it is necessary to periodically review and/or adjust your goals to take care of the changes that have occurred since your retirement plan was established.  This is your “financial checkup.”  You don’t go through  life without “physical checkups,” so don’t ignore a periodic “financial checkup.”  This is necessary to make sure your retirement funds will live longer than you.  This is how you will be able  to retire and remain retired.

If you have already gone through the accumulation period and are retired, there are ways to make sure your retirement funds outlive you.

http://burrowsfinancial.thebetterretirementplan.com

*****

The God of all creation is the provider of our seasons each year.  He understood our needs in the very beginning and He knows our needs each day.  I am thankful He knows my needs and is the provider of all things good.  I know that He watches over each of us and wants only the very best for us.

Have a great day!

“DON’T GRIPE…BE THANKFUL!”

November 11, 2014

Some things that should be simple are often very confusing and alarming.  Pam and I usually go to town in late afternoon each Sunday, get a blizzard, and stop at the city park to eat our health food and watch people on the walking path around the lake.  This time of year our late afternoon really becomes early evening, so it is dark when we finish our treat and head home.

This past Sunday evening, we started to leave the park and drove a few yards and all of the lights on the information panel of the Escalade began flashing.  It is a little alarming when your truck’s headlights begin shining and then not shining, and the information panel tells you that the battery is not charging, check your air bag, your traction is not working, fasten safety belts, check your tire pressure, etc.  We stopped and turned the ignition key off and restarted the engine hoping we just had a computer glitch and everything would automatically reset.  Wrong!

We decided to attempt to get home while we still had engine power.  The lights blinked a few times and then failed to work.  We continued on, hoping everything would begin working correctly.  That didn’t happen, so we pulled into a parking lot to settle our panic and decide what to do.  Pam suggested turning on the emergency blinkers.  That sounded like a good idea and I began looking for the button that would turn the blinkers on.  I remembered the button was on the steering column somewhere.  With no lights, I managed to find the button by the “feeling and touch method” and the slashers started to work.  So, we pulled back on the  highway and began our four-mile journey with no headlights.  Now, we have darkness, all  the lights flashing on the information, and the  emergency flashers working.  I don’t know what drivers in the cars we met thought about a vehicle meeting them with  nothing but flashers blinking at them in the darkness.  We made it home okay even though it was difficult to see the highway.  The cars we met could see the road much better than us.  It would have been much worse if we weren’t traveling on a road we had traveled for years.

I am no mechanic or computer whiz and have been thankful that my Escalade will tell me when I need to check air pressure, seat belts, battery, etc.  This has worked well for many years.  But, in this situation, I don’t know what to do when the information panel tells me to check everything except where my hands are located on the steering wheel.  This was a situation where I was getting too much information.  I really only needed to know what the immediate problem was.

When we arrived in our driveway, it was not a time the gripe, but be thankful.  First, I was thankful we arrived home safely.  Then, I was thankful we were not on a trip and forced to deal with our problem on a strange highway and/or town.  Even worse, we could have been far from any town and stranded on the highway.  I was thankful we were safe at home and we could deal with the  problem the  next day.

*****
I always begin my day by reading the Bible and then having a little visit with God.  I know that He desires us to begin our day with Him.  We do that because it pleases Him.  The  morning after our information  panel experience, I began my prayers with a thankful  heart.  Many times, probably most times, we focus our prayers on things we want and I realized this was being a little selfish.  My prayers that morning did not include requests for anything.  I began to give thanks for what God had done for me in the  past, being thankful the current day that God has provided, and being thankful and excited about all the tomorrows to come.  That morning  was not a morning to gripe about any difficulties of yesterday.  It was a time to be thankful for God’s presence in all situations.  He has promised never to leave us and that is truly something to be thankful for.  We can remember His presence in the past, have faith  of His presence today and all of  our tomorrows.

“GREAT ACCOMPLISHMENTS”

April 16, 2014

What are great accomplishments?

Faithful  completion of mundane tasks is a great accomplishment.  There are mundane tasks involved in each and every endeavor.

I am a Longhorn Baseball fan and have thought of all the various components of being on a baseball team.

Texas baseball offseason performance program

To me this would be one of those mundane tasks.  I see nothing exciting about working out in the gym during offseason.  But, I know it is important for each member of the  team.  A baseball team includes those who earn a starting position, pitchers who earn a spot on the regular rotation, and players who must be ready to play when called on.  There are catchers with only the responsibility of working with the pitchers in the bullpen.  The team also includes  players who may never play in a game.  Each team member  is important and must be physically and mentally ready when called on by the  coach.  If you are unable to accomplish the mundane, you will not be ready when your particular skills are needed.

Batting Practice

What is exciting about batting practice?  What is exciting about hitting ball after ball after ball?  To me it seems mundane.  If you are not willing to participate in batting practice with patience and diligence, you will most likely not be ready when the coach calls your number…that one particular moment in a game when the team needs you.

“Warming up” in the bullpen

How many times will a pitcher go through the process of “warming up” and being ready for his  number to be called and the circumstances of the game change and he  is not needed?  He may be needed for  only one inning or even just one batter.  He may spend game after game in the bullpen and never be called.  Is he important?  Yes, he  is just as important as the pitcher who earns a spot in  the regular rotation.  He may be a “lefty” or a “righty.” or he may have that one very special pitch that makes a difference in the outcome  of  the game.  Yes, he is  important and the catchers who work the bullpen are just as important.  They are all members of the team.  If the team wins, they all win.  If the team loses, they all lose.

Bunting

The Longhorns spend a lot  of time practicing the bunt.  This year they lead the nation in sacrificing.  You may be the “home run” hitter for the team, but if the  coach tells you it is time  to bunt….it is time to bunt!  How are you successful in accomplishing the bunt?  You practice the mundane task of sacrificing to accomplish the game plan at the moment.  By practicing, the bunt has become an art to you.  It is not something that feels strange to you, it is something you are confident in doing.  Doing the mundane leads to a great accomplishment. 

When you have done your job and your sacrifice has accomplished your part of the game plan, you receive “high-fives” from the team when you go back  to the dugout.  Why?  You have just experienced a great accomplishment…a productive out!

Coach Augie explains the plan

When Augie calls a meeting with the batter at the plate and the batter on deck, Pam loves to pull out her binoculars and see the expressions on their faces.  If the players don’t know the plan, how will they make that great accomplishment?  While Pam and I are trying to figure out what the plan is, the opposing coach and players are also trying to figure out what Augie is up to.  Maybe it’s a bunt to get a base runner in scoring position.  Maybe it’s a long fly ball to drive in the runner at third.  Maybe it’s a hit and run play.  These are the reasons the game of baseball is so exciting to me.  It’s not about the excitement of seeing home runs…it’s about achieving great accomplishments the team achieves by practicing and doing the mundane tasks.

*****

Proverb 21:5

The plans of the diligent lead to  profit

   as surely as haste leads to poverty.

This proverb reminds us that if something sounds too good to be true, it usually is.  There are many voices that call out  to us with get rich schemes, but the Bible does not condone that type of mentality.  It is the diligent application of planning and work that brings us to true abundance.  The path of diligence may not be as flashy, but it has a greater chance of getting u to the actual goal.

Faithful completion  of mundane tasks is a great accomplishment.  Such work is patiently carried out according to a plan.  Diligence does not come naturally to most people.  It is a result of strong character.  Don’t look for quick and easy answers.  Be a diligent servant of God.

The greatest accomplishment of all is what God can do through us as we diligently and faithfully complete the mundane tasks we are assigned in God’s plan.

                                                                                                                                                                                                       

“36TH ANNIVERSARY”

March 18, 2014

Wow!!!  What a journey! 

Bride & Groom

March 18, 1978

What a beautiful bride on our wedding day.  The day began, for me, with discovering the shoes I purchased for our wedding were a mismatch.  One shoe was size 10 1/2 and the other was a 9 1/2.  I was in College Station and the wedding was taking place in Houston.  Pam was already in Houston and I was getting ready  to travel to the wedding site to marry the love of my life.  It was scramble  time when I discovered the “shoe” problem.  The shoe store didn’t have a matched pair of the same shoe style.  (Someone else was going to  discover they had the same problem.)  So, after selecting a different style, getting ready in my wedding outfit, I traveled to Houston to begin a wonderful adventure.

Things do not always go according to our plans.  The preacher was late, but I will always remember the beginning of the ceremony.  I had been waiting patiently to see my bride and when she entered the room, I saw the most beautiful bride I have ever seen.  We spent the night at the hotel near the airport and left early the next morning for The Bahamas.

Bahamas

The Bahamas

No adventure in life is without problems.  We were in The Bahamas for 5 days and Pam’s luggage didn’t arrive until the day we were leaving.  We came down the  elevator to check out and they informed us her luggage had arrived…just in time for us to load it for the return trip home.  We had a memorable time and adjusted our plans for the missing luggage.

As I look back, I have a real understanding of the wedding vows we took on our wedding day.

“I take you to have and to hold from  this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and  to cherish; from  this day forward until death do us part.”

These vows can only be accomplished under the watchful eye of God.  During this adventure we have traveled to the mountain tops and the valleys.  We have experienced everything, except death, included in  the vows we took that day.  During our journey, Pam was diagnosed with an incurable disease.  That was one of the valleys of our journey.  During this time, God spoke to Pam and told her, “give Me this day!”  Since that time we have tried to do exactly that knowing that God was with us and He has promised never to  leave us.  If you want to read more of this part of our  journey, you may find it in  the  archives titled “THE STORY OF A MIRACLE.”  (begin with part 1)

To be joined together as husband and wife was our greatest blessing.  Second to that was the blessing of being joined together as father and mother to Lyndsey.

Pam & Jerry2

Now, after all  those years

How can it be that Pam gets younger and more beautiful?  As you can see from  the pictures above, she is still young beautiful and have aged and my hair is gray.  I always tell Lyndsey that it is “BL.”  (Before Lyndsey) 

 

“WHAT WERE THE GOOD OLD DAYS?”

March 13, 2014

For many years I have seen some people who wish “the good old days” were back.  Then there are those who believed they were now living in “the good old days.”  “The good old days” mean different things for each generation…I believe.  When times are good, the generation of that day believes they are living in the  best of times.  To them, “the good old days” were not so great.  Maybe the  standard of living was not as good or there were too many hard times.  To the older generation, “the good old days” may have been when the standard of living was not considered as good as the present time, but the quality of living was much better…truth and morality were a way of life.

Think what you may.  The “good old days” to me may be a little different from you.

These were some of my “good old days:”

I lived on a farm and we ate from  the crops grown in the field.  We ate biscuits and  cornbread and we would really get excited when mom or  dad brought home what we call “light bread.”  Baked in a commercial bakery and  already sliced.  It was a thrill to take a fresh slice of bread, fold it, take a bite out of the crease, and make a round hole in  it took look at your brother through.  That was a good time.

Every once in a while, a trip to the grocery store resulted in a small jar of olives.  That was a real treat and  I always thought  I  could eat the whole jar.  But, I had to share.

What fun I had on a rainy day!  I would get an empty thread spool, a bar of soap, and a saucer and catch a little rain in the saucer.  Then  I could wet the spool, rub the end of the spool on the soap until it had a thin film of soapy water over the hole.  This works much like the  bubble kits kids buy at the store today.  Then I could blow through the end of the spool until a bubble formed.  If I had a friend with me, we could have a contests.  Who could blow the largest bubble?  Who blow a bubble and send it out  into the rain and see how far it would go before a raindrop popped it.

It was a real adventure to climb up a sycamore tree and take my pocket knife and carve my initials in  the  bark.  Sycamore trees are really great for carving in the soft, smooth bark.

I remember the family ate all  their meals at the same time and at the table.  We had no television, so there was no option  to watch TV while eating a meal.  My dad believed when it was meal time it was time for the family to be together.  The meal began when all the family was seated at the table. There were exceptions to this rule, but the reason must be a good one.

Teachers taught us in school and sent us home with “homework.”  We were not sent home for our parents to do the teaching…it was actually done in class and parents were not expected to do the teaching.

After arriving home  from school, it was not a time for leisure.  There were chores to do and then homework.  The incentive for finishing homework was the “free” time afterwards.  These were good days.

When I look back at the relationships with others during my “good old days,” people seemed to care more about each other than in  the current days.  Today I watch the news and read the newspapers and I see a lot of meanness in  this world.  It might help if the media would get excited about the good things of the day and report them.  Contrary to popular belief, I believe more news would be watched on TV and more newspapers sold.  Just my opinion.

*****

God brought Israel out of Egypt and led them to the promised land.  He protected them on their journey.  He was always present and when He  performed miracles, the Israelites would build a rock altar as a reminder of what God did at that place.  These were Spiritual markers for Israel.  When times were bad, they could remember what God had done for them in the  past and know that  He would be with them during their hardships.

Each of us today have experienced God’s presence in time  of need.  These are our  Spiritual markers.  When we face difficulties on today’s life journey, we should remember God’s presence in the past and be confident He is watching over us today.

Have great day!

Each day:  “Cry a little,  laugh a little, and meditate a lot.”  You will feel much better.

“DON’T GO IN THE ROUGH!”

March 12, 2014

A number of years ago, we went with a group to Horseshoe Bay Golf Resort for a weekend of fun and golf.  There were six couples on  the trip.  The women either played golf or went shopping.  I don’t remember which activity was number one on the women’s agenda.  Either way, the men played together and the women shopped or  golfed.

There were three golf courses at that time…Slick Rock, Applerock, and Ram  Rock.  We  played all three of them during  the weekend.  Slick Rock is down in the valley.  Applerock and Ram Rock were up in the hills.  The first day we played SlickRock and ventured to the hills the next morning to play Applerock.

We arrived on  the number one tee and the course marshall gave us instructions on playing Applerock.  Part of our instructions were about playing from the rough.  He said we could play from  the rough if we could find the ball.  He also told us they had killed a rattlesnake in the rough the day before…the first of  the golf season.  It didn’t take us long to decide to play the ball if we could see if from the fairway and could determine if there were any snakes in  the immediate area.  If the ball landed deep in the rough, it was just “lost ball.”

Slick Rock is the easiest course and Applerock is much more difficult.  Ram Rock is very difficult and when you tee off, you don’t see civilization until you finish on #18.  This was early in the development and there were not many houses built on this course.  We saw many deer during our golf round on Ram Rock. It is probably more populated today.

*****

When we stay on the path God has planned for us, there may be difficulties but our Protector is always there to keep us safe.  When Israel was delivered from Egypt, God was there twenty-four / seven.  He provided a cloud by day for their protection and fire by night to guide them.  When they drifted into the  rough (disobedience), they were in danger.  God was always  there to guide them back to safety.  We must always follow the path where God is leading us and stay out of the dangerous rough.  He is ever faithful and  wants only the very best for those who truly love Him.

Have a great day!

“IT’S TIME FOR A CHANGE”

March 11, 2014

I have been struggling today for a subject for this blog.  I asked Pam what would be a good subject to write about.  She said she wasn’t my inspiration for blog-writing.  She recommended (told me) to get my coffee and sit on the deck for a few minutes.  I thought that would be a good idea…maybe God could give me inspiration.

I have to  confess about missing the Texas Longhorn vs. Hawaii Warriors baseball games this past weekend.  SxSW is in  Austin and my regular hotel was booked.  Lyndsey offered to have us as her guests, but we opted out.  I don’t regret it because the baseball stadium can be really cold when the temperature is in the  40s and 50s.  It was also raining for Saturday’s double-header.  It was much warmer listening on the computer at home.  We miss very few week-end home stands.  If the Longhorns are at home, we are there.

Back to the deck and  inspiration.  It is a beautiful afternoon and I believe that is really the sun shining.  It has been pretty cloudy, foggy, and overcast for quite some time.  While enjoying my coffee, I looked over by the  sunroom and this is what I saw:

photo (15)

No for a closer look:

photo (16)

So, what is so inspirational about this.  It’s a little interesting to me.  The clock has been wrong since the time change last fall.  I have been meaning to take it down and set it to the correct time.  I am a man of patience and I guess I thought if I were patient, the clock would show the correct time in the spring.  And it does!  No, that’s not what I thought.  I just kept putting it off.

One thing I didn’t forget this year was a schedule of picking up  the millions of leaves and pine straw that cover our property every fall and winter.  This year, I kept up with the  job and  the yard has looked pretty good all winter.  Pam even gave me a new Stihl leaf blower for my birthday in  January.  My old one had either gone on strike or just quit on me.  This new blower is a jim-dandy and a few weeks ago, when the leaves dried out a little, I had a “blowing” good time.

Now that my clock is back to the  correct time without requiring me to take it down  from the wall and make the proper adjustment, maybe I won’t have a blog-writing block.

It will soon be time for yard mowing again.  My fruit trees are beginning to have buds and the grass will be turning green soon.  This is the first year that my lawn has been brown due to the lengthy cold weather we have experienced.

It’s baseball season and I have to schedule my yard work to not interfere with the games.  So, it’s time for a change in my schedule to accomplish.  It was and has been time for a change for my patio clock since CDT changed and became CST.

  If you want to be a huge help, make a comment and give me a subject that would be of  interest.

****

It is just as well we all get accustomed to changes.  When we strive to walk the  path God has planned for us, it will always be a time  for change.  We plan our lives and are happy and  satisfied with those plans.  At the time, we believe we got everything solved and never think “it’s time  for a  change.”  With changing times and a changing world, we must always be ready for change in order to stay on the right path.  We must continually listen for God to point out the changes necessary to bring glory to Him.  When we are not willing to make changes, our relationship with God suffers.  God created us with a void that only He can fill.  True peace and  happiness is when that void is filled by Him.

So, let’s be willing to make changes.

Have a great day!