PTF Episode #114 – Tony Hixon – Retirement Stepping Stones

“My mom had plans to retire first. She was experiencing severe burnout in her role as the Director of Hospice Care at a nearby facility. She had a heart for helping others, but the daily wear and tear of agency bureaucracy and changing regulations was becoming a challenge. She was ecstatic when both myself and her original advisor gave her the all-clear. Like many of my clients, she was just excited to take that next step in her life.

Quickly after my mom retired, my family and I started to see a change in her. Anxiety and depression took root quickly, and she was plagued with a constant feeling that she no longer served a purpose. Soon after, she started obsessing over their money and spending. Despite frequent reassurances from my dad, myself, and my sister, nothing could convince her otherwise that retirement was anything but a road to financial and emotional ruin.

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In 2011, six months after retiring, she took her own life.

As a son, I was devastated. She had been the light of my life, and of the lives of so many. She was immensely missed, and her absence has been a constant reminder of everything that might have been had things gone differently.

As an advisor, my entire world was upside down. One of my personal strengths is planning and focusing on the analytical side of finance. I’m investment-focused, and I had always thrived in my role as a technical financial specialist on our team. Now, however, it became clear to me that financial planning was much more than numbers in a software program. I knew I needed to change my approach.

Now, I approach financial advice in a different way. I firmly believe that our clients aren’t served when we only look at the numbers. Our whole team focuses on a holistic approach when working with our pre-retiree and retiree clients because we’ve seen firsthand the effects of not having a plan to live a goals and values-based life beyond your career. If finances are the only thing we consider, we overlook the wellbeing of our clients and the long-term satisfaction they’ll receive from having a financial plan in place.

My wife, Keri, and I have two daughters, Eliana and Kya, and one son, Everett. My family means the world to me, and I love the life we’ve built together. When I’m not spending time with them or working, I’m involved in my church’s music ministry. I also enjoy competing in Triathlons and have completed many Olympic and Sprint distance races.

I love watching sports and movies, reading books on leadership and personal development, and focusing on staying up to date with the world of investing and financial planning through podcasts.’