I’ve been in a reflective mood lately. You see, my oldest son turns 21 next month. When he was born, I had a few wishes for his childhood. I prayed that he would be healthy and happy, and I even recall telling my infant son that I hoped he would one day see the Red Sox win it all!
As every parent knows, the birth of your first child is a time of great transition. This was certainly true for my wife and me. We had been married for about 5 years before our first was born and during that time, I had started a career in banking and had quickly advanced to Vice President of Commercial Lending. But in 1991, not only was I about to transition into fatherhood, I was also about to transition into a different career. You see, a month before my wife’s due date, my boss called me into his office and dropped a bomb; the large regional bank for which I worked was having a layoff and I was among the many who were being let go. Now what?
Things in 1991 weren’t a lot different from thing in 2008 -- Banks were failing, home prices were in a free-fall, and unemployment was climbing. It was not a good time to be out of work. So, what’s a soon-to-be father to do? I ended up selling life insurance as a commissioned salesman and commuted 40 miles to Boston each morning and worked a lot of nights making phone calls in hopes of landing an appointment. I remember making one my very first sales -- to a friend who still worked at the bank. He was older and looked at me as a young kid, with a pregnant wife and mortgage. I knew he bought the policy because he felt sorry for me – it was the least he could do. It was a humbling experience to call on a friend with the hopes that he might buy something from me. I didn’t feel very good about it, and it made me wonder if this new career was something I would ever enjoy.
Then, something happened. My friend died unexpectedly while playing basketball in his weekly pickup league. He left a wife and two children under ten years of age. His income stopped, the bills kept coming and yet his family would be financially okay because the life insurance I had sold would pay the mortgage, supplement his wife’s income and even fund the children’s college education; it was a lasting and loving legacy left by their father. This sad event had a transformational affect on my career. I saw the real and lasting good that financial planning could accomplish.
Helping clients over the past 21 years has been both financially and psychologically rewarding. I enjoy what I do and appreciate the opportunity so many have given me to serve their families. Sadly there have been times when life insurance death benefits have been paid, but there are obviously other happier financial accomplishments. College tuitions have been paid. Retirement plans have been funded. And most exciting of all, clients are enjoying retirement.
Looking back, getting laid off the month before my wife’s due date seemed like an almost insurmountable problem. Similarly, over the past two decades, there have been times when recessions, market declines and difficult life events have seemed daunting. But despite these setbacks, life goes on. Our children grow up. Our retirement gets nearer and nearer. For some, retirement dreams have already become a reality. Heck, even the Red Sox won the World Series. Can you believe it?
When my son was born, my mom and dad warned that time would pass quickly and boy, were they right! Yes, time marches on. If your children are still young, know that college is just around the corner. If you’re not yet retired, know that the day is coming fast. If you haven’t done so before, or if you haven’t done so in a while, plan to sit down with a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ for guidance with your investment, insurance and financial plans.
About this column: Steve Davis is a local CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ who has been helping clients in Mansfield, Foxboro, Easton and other local communities for more than twenty years. You can find out more about Steve and his company, Davis Financial at www.talkwithdavis.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/davisfinancial
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. Securities offered through LPL Financial Member FINRA/SIPC