October 25, 2016

I have mentioned in prior posts that the person looking forward to retirement and/or the person already in retirement needs a “Retirement Team.”  (Retiree, attorney, CPA, and financial advisor)  This team must possess good decision-making skills and work together to achieve the goals of retirement.  This is an  ongoing process in developing a retirement plan with the flexibility to make adjustments to assure the goals are met and the retiree will be able to remained retired.

The following are a few of the decision-making skills:

  • Maintain a vision of the big picture.
  • Gather all the information possible.
  • Listen to those closest to the situation.
  • Narrow the best options.
  • Imagine the outcome of the best options.
  • Note the ramifications to the decision.
  • Make choices based on the following criteria:

* Which best achieves the goals?

* Which benefits all people involved?

* Which aligns itself with the mission to be accomplished?

Retirement doesn’t just happen!  If goals are not determined and formalized into a plan, it is very improbable to realize when and if they are achieved.  There are no “cookie-cutter” plans to adopt to achieve the results you desire.

Put your team together and be able monitor the progress as you look forward to retiring and remaining retired.  During this monitoring process you will be able to make the necessary adjustments due to changes in circumstances and the “ups and downs” of the  economy.

Visit my website listed below and complete the “contact” information.



(Jeremiah 40:5-41:2)

The Babylonians appointed Gedaliah the governor of Judah and put him in charge of the poor who had not been taken into exile.  But the man failed to develop good decision-making skills.  In fact, he  made one disastrous decision because he neglected to process available information.

What could Gedaliah have done to better approach the decisions before him?

  1. Maintain a vision of the big picture.
  2. Gather all the information possible.
  3. Listen to those closest to the situation.
  4. Narrow the best options.
  5. Imagine the outcome of each option.
  6. Note the moral and  spiritual ramifications to the decisions.
  7. Make choices based on the following criteria:

* Which best reflects the mind of God?

* Which  benefits the whole of the people?

* Which aligns itself with the mission you are to accomplish?

Have a great day!



October 20, 2016

Developing a retirement plan that will accomplish the goals of the retiree requires leadership.  Leadership must seek wisdom and understanding.  The leadership I speak of is the leadership of the retirement team.

Who are the members of this “retirement team?”  The leader of the team is the person who is planning for their retirement.  The leader’s responsibility is to put together the rest of the team.  The professionals needed are:  Legal, Accounting, and Financial Advisor.

After selecting the legal and accounting professionals, the financial advisor you should select should have the following qualities:

  1. Think bigThe plan must provide for funding, retirement, and remaining retired.
  2. Think other people:  Bring the family and other professionals into the planning.
  3. Think continually:  Don’t discontinue planning and be satisfied with today’s answers.
  4. Think bottom line:  Always be flexible to achieve and see the results of the planning.
  5. Think continual growth:  Always adjust to the current conditions and make improvements to the plan.
  6. Think without lines:  Always be willing to think outside the box to accomplish the goal.
  7. Think victory:  Look forward to the retiree reaching the goal and enjoying the fruits of  the planning process.
  8. Think intuitively:  By experience, have the sense of what will work.
  9. Think servanthood:  Realize the value and pleasure of serving and adding value to the retiree.
  10. Think quickly:  Evaluate quickly the needs of the retirement plan as it relates to the current economic conditions see possible answers available in the marketplace.

If you haven’t selected your team, visit me at my website and complete the contact information.



The Irony of Spiritual Leadership:  Get Understanding but Don’t Lean On it.      (Proverbs 3:5,6)

Proverbs poses an apparent paradox in spiritual leadership.  We are to get wisdom and understanding, yet we are not to lean on it apart from the Lord.  Even  good wisdom divorced from God can become a snare.  So how are Godly leaders to think?

  1. Godly leaders think bigThey realize God’s vision is usually bigger than theirs.
  2. Godly leaders think othersThey 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 answers.

Have a great day!


October 19, 2016

Retirement planning must include our personal vision and passion extended far beyond our own lifetime.  It includes long-range planning and preparation for the development of  a retirement plan that not only provides for retirement, but requires for provisions for remaining retired.

Why should it extend far beyond our own lifetime?  The retiree must include in the plan for the subsequent needs of the spouse.  This requires the contingencies that must be considered that may occur regarding age, health, and unforeseen emergencies, etc.

One of the  worst enemies of retirement planning is the frustration of not knowing where to  start.  Procrastination can take control and cause us to “not do today what we can do tomorrow.”  Many times tomorrow never comes and we arrive at retirement without reaching the goals we only thought about.  Thinking about these goals doesn’t go very far without action on our part.

So, how do we get startOne of the  worst enemies of retirement planning is the frustration of not knowing where to  start.  Procrastination can take control and cause us to “not do today what we can do tomorrow.”  Many times tomorrow never comes and we arrive at retirement without reaching the goals we only thought about.  Thinking about these goals doesn’t go very far without action on our part.ed?

  • Employ the services of an attorney for the preparation of your will.
  • Obtain the services of a Certified Public Account for getting your “financial house”   in  order.
  • Consult with a reputable financial advisor to begin developing a retirement plan detailing your retirement goals.

At this point, are you through with the  process?  NO!  You have only begun, but you are way ahead of many people today.  You may be ahead of  the majority of the people.  As you travel through the years to retirement, you will face many changes and this requires having a retirement plan that is flexible and provides for the ability to make adjustments not only before retirement, but after retirement, and yes, even after death.

You are not the only one needed on your retirement team.  You need the professionals listed above, and most importantly, you need your spouse.  You may want to include your children in order to keep them informed of your retirement goals.


When is the last time your had a call from your financial advisor?  When is the last time you had a review of your financial condition?  What changes need to be made in your  will?

Is your team functioning?  If not, some changes may be in order.  If you have an old plan that hasn’t been reviewed late, you may need some very important changes.  If you are retired and don’t see how you can remain retired, you definitely need some changes (you need to remain retired).

Your must assume the role of leader and see that your retirement team is in place and functioning.

Help is available.  Visit the website below and complete that contact information.



1 Chronicles 22:1-19

King David’s personal vision and passion extended far beyond his own lifetime.  He could see the bigger picture.  Although he knew Solomon would build the temple, he did some long-range planning and preparation for its construction.

David organized the team to make preparations for the construction of the temple.  He appointed stone cutters, gathered cedar logs, acquired mounds of iron for the nails, and even gave Solomon a solemn charge to finish the job.  This is the kind of thing that separates leaders from followers.  Leaders see…

  • Beyond Others:  The look past their own future to the generations that follow.
  • Before Others:  They see what must happen long before others are ready.
  • Bigger Than Others:  They have a larger than usual vision of what can happen.

David not only prepared the materials for the construction of the temple and challenged his son to faithfully build the Lord’s house, but he also commanded all the leaders of Israel to help Solomon complete the task.

Worthy visions outlast those who cast them.

Have a great day!



January 28, 2016

“Boomers'” are facing many different problems that the generations before them.

Clashes About Retirement in Two-Career Couples.  Today’s norm of two-career couples in the boomer generation, have resulted in retirement issues becoming sticky.

Retirement today is a complex subject, rife with  issues that can’t be resolved by pushing buttons on the remote or “cookie cutter” plans that are like today’s socks…”one size fits all.”

A main reason for the complication is the  predominance of two-career couples.  Instead of adapting to one lifestyle in a household brought on by a single retirement–traditionally the  husband’s–spouses now must confront two separate retirements.  These events rarely occur at the same time, making for extended periods of  adjustments (“He Quits, She Doesn’t”).

Boomers’ Impending Financial Squeeze

Despite the prevalence of two-career couples and growth of retirement plan assets, boomers should not assume existing assets and planned investments will be sufficient to see them through their long retirement period.  It is very important that the goal of a retirement plan is make certain that the retiree does not outlive the retirement funds.

Until the advent of the individual retirement account (IRA), 401(k) plan, and profit-sharing employer plan, most retirees depended on  a steady and predictable income from  their employer-funded benefit plans.  In the 21st century, defined benefit plans have been replaced by defined contribution retirement systems so that individual employees and  self-employed persons bear the brunt of  selecting and managing their retirement investments as well as supplementing any employer-provided plans with savings and private investments.  Some supplements boomers have elected–such as inheritances and cashing out appreciated home values–may prove insufficient as well.

Amount of Savings

Much research has investigated the savings habits of boomers compared with other generations of Americans.  In addition to the traditional “threelegged stool” of Social Security, employer pensions, and private savings as retirement income sources, many believe that retirees will increasingly require a  fourth leg:  earnings.  With the wild stock market swings in  2007 through the present, those earnings may evaporate.

Ever-Later Age for Receiving Full Social Security Benefits

Although workers may start to receive Social Security benefits as early as age 62, the benefit level is significantly lower until they reach their “normal retirement age.”  (There are also changes in Social Security benefit options which become effective May 1, 2016).  Boomers born at the end of their generation (1960 or later) must wait an entire year longer–till age 67–to reach that normal retirement age and claim full Social Security benefits than do boomers born before 1955, according to the Social Security Administration (SSA).  The SSA’s website (www.socialsecurity.gov) warns workers to consider their family’s average lifespan and consider waiting to claim full benefits in case the retirees outlive other pensions or annuities.

Layoffs and salary stagnation during the Great Recession affected accumulation of  earnings that determines Social Security benefits.  Nevertheless, the SSA Office of Retirement and Disability Policy reported a drop in the share of early boomers who  were not retired as of 2010.  This was despite the statistics that 70 percent of high-wealth boomers experienced a loss of real wealth during those years.

Shaky Retirement Plan Benefits

Fewer workers today–just 21 percent–are enrolled in a defined benefit plan to which employers alone contribute.  (And even pensions can terminate.)  The majority of employees bear more investment risk in managing their own retirement dollars in an array of  mutual funds offered in 401(k) and similar defined contribution plans.  Not only must employees learn about the pros and cons of the mutual fund flavors but workers now must contribute some of their own  wages to be “matched” to some degree by their employers.  Thus, not only the risk has shifted to employees, but so has their retirement funding!

Retirement fund debacles such as Enron’s employee stock plan do little to ease workers’ concerns.  Despite the fact that reforms have improved workers’ rights in  avoiding over investments in their companies’ stock, many employees remain unable to make educated choices among retirement investment vehicles.  Even if retirement savings survive intact until an individual retires, some of  the investment decisions that arise can be daunting: 

  • Should the individual take a lump-sum payout (a safer bet if the worker doubts the long-term health of his or her employer)?
  • Should the individual roll over retirement assets into diversified investments and  assume the reins of managing those stocks, bonds, and mutual funds?
  • Should the individual convert the lump-sum retirement payout into one  of the  growing numbers of annuity types (immediate or variable, fixed or equity-indexed, with flavors such as immediate-annuities-with-IRAs and mutual funds wrapped with an  annuity)?

Burrows Financial take much of the worry and difficulty in making the difficult decisions in planning and management of your retirement funds to improve your chances of outliving those assets.  We have the knowledge and expertise of many years of experience to provide a long-term relationship with our clients.  Whether you have already retired or planning for your retirement, now is  the time to review your retirement plan and/or goals to  make the necessary “tweaks” to achieve maximum results.  Today is not the time for just patience, it is the time for action.  We are committed to your success!



Commitment:  How to Beat Your Problems (Nehemiah 4:1-5:13)

One of the great tests of leadership is  how you handle opposition.  Nehemiah faced the  usual tactics of the opposition:  ridicule, resistance, and rumor.  Nehemiah modeled the  right response to all three of  these challenges.  He…

  • Relied on  God
  • Respected the opposition
  • Reinforced his  weak points
  • Reassured the people
  • Refused to quit
  • Renewed the people’s strength continually

While Nehemiah 4 concerns problems from without, chapter 5 deals with problems from within–disputes about food, property, and taxes.

Persistence is the ultimate gauge of our  leadership; the  secret is to outlast our critics.  Nehemiah taught us this lesson by staying committed to his ultimate calling.

Have a great day!

“Principle-Centered Leadership”

January 6, 2016

John Maxwell Leadership Bible:  (Proverbs 4:20–27)

Leaders who last do not merely react to their culture; they base their leadership on timeless and universal principles. They remain relevant because they marry cultural context to timeless truth. Proverbs 4 encourages leaders to become principle centered. Verses 20–27 teach us that God’s principles give us three crucial tools:

1. They are a guide; they help us stay on the right path.

2. They are a guard; they keep our hearts and bodies protected.

3. They are a gauge; they enable us to evaluate where we are.

These principles build our character, direct our decisions, and correct our lifestyles. Every leader ought to consume God’s Word, then put the truths he or she discovers in the form of principles that can guide, guard, and gauge his or her life.


As a financial advisor I strive to base my relationship with clients on timeless and universal principles.  When dealing with my clients’ retirement and savings assets, each decision is based on guide, guard, and gauge. 

The guiding principle helps to stay on the right path to accumulating retirement funds to make sure retirement goals are met.

The guarding principle can be applied during the accumulation period in preparation for  retirement and making certain there will sufficient funds for  retirement, making sure the funds will outlive the retiree, and  having sufficient liquidity to me unforeseen needs.

The gauging principle is used for evaluating the progress of preparing for retirement, living in retirement, and providing for family.

By strictly adhering to these principles, my relationship with clients is enhanced and relieves them from the stress that can be experienced on the way to retirement and afterword.

Have a great day!







December 22, 2015

John Maxwell Leadership Bible:  (Proverbs 22:6)

God calls parents to lead their children.  He tells them that if they train up a child in the way he should go, when he is old he will not depart from it (Prov. 22.6).  And just how does a parent become a good leader for a child?  Partly by focusing on three key words:

  1. Modeling:  Abraham Lincoln said, “There is but one way to train up a child in the way he should go, and that is to travel it yourself.”  A good example is worth a thousand sermons.  What you do has more impact on your child than all the lectures you could ever give.
  2. Management:  Good management is the ability to discern the uniqueness of a child and teach him or her accordingly.  We are to train up a child in the way he should go.  This may mean we will have to adapt our style, depending on the child’s temperament and wiring.
  3. Memories:  Parents should create memories.  Why?  Because memories are more important than things.  Note that the verse says, “When he is old, he  will not depart…”  This implies that the child retains some memories of his early experiences and embraces them later in  life.


 It matters not whether you are young or old, there are many words of wisdom contained in the Book of Proverbs.  Modeling.  Management.  Memories.  Each of the words of the above lesson should be used as we live our lives and plan for our future.

In my profession I use each of these in dealing with clients in planning for their retirement developing models, managing those models, and  using memories to accomplish the goals for retiring and remaining retired.  It is exciting for my clients to look  forward to retirement and the years spent in retirement.  Each retirement plan is different and must meet the needs of the  retiree.

A retiree faces many things upon retirement.  Being able to remain comfortably retired and making provisions for any “bumps in the road” must be considered.  In  order to accomplish this there needs to be a great deal of flexibility, because circumstances change during the retirement years.  The retiree is not the only one involved in  these plans.  The spouse must be  considered as well as the final disposition of retirement funds after the life of  the retiree.  I could  go on and on about all of the circumstances during those years.  Because there are no “cookie cutter” plans that one fits all, it is necessary to design and manage a plan that will take  care of each individuals goals and desires.

Have a great day!



December 21, 2015

John Maxwell Leadership Bible:  (Proverbs 21:1)

Leaders can and should make their plans, but they must never forget that it is God who controls the future.  “The king’s heart is in the  hand of the Lord,” says  the Bible.  “Like the rivers of water; He turns it where wherever He wishes” (Prov. 21:1)  Successful leaders remember this and therefore know the difference between being in  charge and being in  control.

We kid ourselves if we think we are in  control.  We may have charge of a group, but the best we can  do  is  remain under control.  God is the Ultimate Leader; and He is forever in  control.  It has been rightly said:  “We don’t know what the future h0lds, but we  do know the One who  holds the  future.”


The reality in retirement planning is the client and I both know one thing:  “We don’t know what the future holds.” 

This does not mean we shouldn’t make plans.  Just like lesson above, we can’t be in control of the future, but when can be under control in our planning.  We may be in  charge of our planning efforts, but  we  are  not in control of the results.

Does this mean we should not determine your real tolerance for risk?  Your tolerance changes as we approach retirement and it might not be a good idea to continue risking the principle in your retirement account.

Withdrawal strategies may change after retirement, but they should always  be considered as you accumulate your retirement savings.  Qualified retirement funds (before tax dollars) are 100% taxable as withdrawals are made.  Non-qualified funds (after tax dollars) and taxed only to the extent of earnings and  not the  principle.  Where you choose to take your withdrawals from should be done to minimum your tax burden.  Your withdrawal strategies and retirement funds should have the greatest flexibility possible to make certain that your retirement out lives you.

There are other things to  consider as you develop a retirement plan.  What are you going to do all day?  Have you established an estate plan?

Have a great day!





December 18, 2015

John Maxwell Leadership Bible:  (Proverbs 18:21)

Few muscles in a body wield more power than the little one inside the  mouth.  The Bible says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and  those who love it will eat its fruit” (Prov. 18:21).  Leaders who understand this greatly increase their influence.

Our understanding of leadership has evolved over the last five or six decade.  The way people expect leaders to lead has changed.  Many have said our culture has witnessed four styles of leadership since 1950:

  1. The Military Commander:  Leaders came of  the  army and expected unquestioning obedience from subordinates.  Many of  our presidents had military backgrounds.
  2. The Chief Executive Officer:  Most leaders migrated to a different style driven by vision and shared by everyone.  Yet it was still top down and possibly very narrow in scope.
  3.  The Coach:  Leaders moved toward a coach model where they saw employees as players on a team.  This produced even better results, but  still limited the  possibilities to the  vision of the coach.
  4. The Poet and Gardener:  Today, leaders see the need to express the heart of the  team, as a poet gives words to the heart of readers.  They develop players using encouragement and direction.  They recognize the power of  words and use them wisely.


As a financial advisor, I don’t want or believe clients should give unquestioned obedience in the development of a retirement plan.  I am not the  CEO type of advisor that believes the vision I have to achieve the client’s retirement goals.  I believe in coaching clients in planning for their retirement but do not consider them only as a players on the team.

As I develop a relationship with the clients, we begin to express the heart of the aims and goals in development of  a plan to reach retirement and ascertain that their retirement funds will  outlive them.   It is quite a shock when a person reaches retirement and finds great enjoyment only to discover during their retirement years that they will outlive their retirement funds. 

My goal with each client is working with them to provide for their retirement and they can remain retired rather than seeking additional funds to meet their needs.

Have a great day!



December 17, 2015

John Maxwell Leadership Bible:  (Proverbs 17:2)

Our influence has less to do  with our position or title than it does with the life we live.  It’s not about position, but production.  It is not the education we get, but the empowerment we give, that makes a difference to others.

The key word is credibility.  We gain credibility when our life matches our talk and when both add value to others.  In the words of Proverbs 17:2, it’s better to be a wise slave than a foolish son.  Answer the  following vital questions:

  1. Consistency:  Are you the same person no  matter who’s with you?
  2. Choices:  Do you make decisions based on  how they benefit you or others?
  3. Credit:  Are you quick to recognize others for their efforts when you succeed?
  4. Character:  Do you work harder at your image or your integrity?
  5. Credibility:  Have you recognized that credibility is a victory, not a gift?


This Proverb speaks to my goals for living both my personal and business life.  I strive for consistency  in dealing with people and they goals they have in mind.

My choices in dealing with clients and their retirement plans are made to benefit the client, and in doing so, I am greatly benefited.  My benefit is secondary to the benefits received by clients.

Most of the credit for the success of retirement planning is the result of participation from the client in sharing the necessary information required to achieve that plan.

I strive to develop character each day with the goal of maintaining integrity.  Image is important and it is achieved by first developing integrity.

I recognized long ago that credibility is not a gift, it is a victory over obstacles that need to be overcome in order to gives clients the best service possible.  Clients should expect that and accept nothing less.

Have a great day!



December 16, 2015

John Maxwell Leadership Bible:  (Proverbs 16:1-3)

Effective leaders practice the Law of Navigation.  Proverbs 16 opens with these words:  “The preparations of the heart  belong to man, but the answer of  the tongue is  from  the Lord.  All the ways  of a man are pure in his own  eyes, but the Lord weighs the spirits.  Commit your works  to the Lord, and  your thoughts will be established.”  (v. 1-3)

These verses teach  us to:

  • check the  source of our wisdom
  • check our motives
  • check the outcome we are pursuing

Consider the  five key words to understanding how God helps leaders to navigate their way through life:

  1. Process:  God’s plan usually unfolds over time.  What is He revealing progressively?
  2. Purpose:  God wants to accomplish His purposes.  Why were you created?
  3. Potential:  God will use your gifts and passion.  Does this goal fit who you are?
  4. Prioritize:  God will ask you to adjust your time and  energy.  What steps must you take?
  5. Proceed:  God will eventually require you to act.  When should you start?


I read in the Book of Proverbs each morning.  On the first day of the month I begin the Proverbs 1 to find wisdom for the day.  In this manner I can complete the book by the last day of the month (if the month  has 31 days).  The I get the privilege of beginning again on the first day of the next month.  I have read the book many times but each day there is a gem of wisdom to carry me through the day both personally and  in business.

All during this day I will be challenged to check the source of my wisdom, my motives, and the outcome I am pursuing.  I will be challenged to apply  this to myself as well as to clients and prospective clients.

I have learned from many years dealing with clients, that as we develop a relationship, our motives and the outcome we are pursing become beneficial for each of us.  It is from wisdom and experience that I will develop the plans that the outcome being pursued will become a reality.

I encourage clients to set retirement goals that, when reached, will be sufficient for not only retiring but remaining retired for many years.  There is usually much more included in a plan  of  retirement than just income.  Other things to consider are:  spouse, family, the possibility of needing long-term care, and unforeseen needs.  These are only a few of the items to be included in a workable retirement plan.

It would be nice if each person could just adopt a plan that fits someone else and the goals they have.  Unfortunately, that does not always work because each of us have different goals and needs.

Have a great day!