I retired in January 2021. LIfe is good!
Financial planning is my third career. My first career was in the corporate world, mostly with Honeywell Information Systems in Human Resources. In my second career, I was lucky to be able to stay home with the kids (2 boys) and do all sorts of volunteer work. Aside from having kids, the most exciting thing I did during that period was to organize a group from my church to build houses with Habitat for Humanity in Guatemala.
I started my own financial planning practice in 1999 and became fee-only about a year after that. I call myself the Accidental Entrepreneur because I never intended to start a business. I thought someone would hire me to do financial planning. After working for 2 different "financial planners" I realized that the only way to do real financial planning was to do it on my own. I am thankful to the Garrett Planning Network for helping me to get started on my own, and to ACP for helping me to become successful.
One thing that caught me by surprise was how quickly (once I joined ACP) I had to switch gears from marketing like crazy to get new clients, to realizing that I needed an exit strategy for retirement. Since I never intended to build a large practice or have employees, I decided to "shrink to retirement". I no longer take on new clients, I don't replace clients who leave, and I find easier ways to support retired clients who no longer need the retainer model. I anticipate that I could work for several more years at a reduced work load, and would enjoy it. However, most newer advisors today are not "accidental entrepreneurs", so my advice would be to "start with the end in mind". Are you building a job or are you building an onging enterprise? Your strategy will be very different and needs to be recognized from the beginning.
I've been married to Bill Scott since 1978. We have two sons, Greg and Jonathan. Greg and his wife just had their first child (December 2015), so we became grandparents for the 1st time. What fun! Jonathan and his fiance have set a wedding date for September 2016. Bill and I are enjoying being emptynesters and having the time to enjoy our expanding family, go on long bicycle rides and do some traveling.
Updated January 2016