Certified Retirement Income SpecialistExecutive Producer | Author | Speaker | Educator
I liken my professional journey as being similar to the mountain climb that many retirees make as they strive toward their goal of retirement.
For years, I worked for Fortune 500 Companies and followed traditional retirement advice by saving money in company sponsored 401(k) plans, accruing stock option contracts & stock grants all while building a custom portfolio of hand picked stocks. I became interested in investments and retirement planning at a time of significant market growth in the mid 1990s and it seemed like everyone was making money in the stock market. About that same time I moved to Austin, Texas to begin a new career and my fiancée started working for a start up company by the name of Dell Computer. Dell had a unique business model that offered consumers customized machines built to order. Dell provided quality products and the demand for custom personal computers was soaring. During a 9 year period from April 10, 1992 to March 8, 1999 Dell's stock split 7 times...YES you read that right it split 7 times in 7 years creating thousands of "Dell-ionaires" as the company rode the wave of the Tech Stock Bubble.
I watched the value of my investments over the years go up (1990-1999 Tech Bubble) and down (2000-2010 Tech Bubble & Great Financial Crisis) with the ebb and flow of stock market bubbles but I never once heard anyone in the media or my inner circle discuss the best way to effectively exit the volatility within the investment world for strategies that carry less risk, less stress & guarantees. Guarantees to safely and productively grow money for retirement purposes while hedging against the most dangerous retirement risks of our time. And as I look back, I suppose many aspiring retirees who decided to stop working and officially retire in 2000 or 2008 or again in 2022 as a new bubble unwinds are asking themselves the same questions about where is the best place to put my money.
When should we get off the roller coaster and how can it be done in a manner that funds our retirement and ensures an income to maintain a lifestyle that we can never outlive?
So, in 2018 I decided to climb yet again, and begin a new journey to learn from many different financial planning perspectives with the idea that when I finally hit my "mountain top" I would be well prepared to offer quality planning concepts that could be accounted for mathematically and not rely on hypothetical market projections or illustrations. My goal was and remains to provide retirement planning insights with confidence backed by fact not fiction, secured by guarantees not opinion or theory. As I researched these concepts I began to uncover a whole new world of possibilities and innovative strategies I had never been exposed to previously through my stock market advisor, the main street media, or formal schooling. During this process, I discovered three fundamental flaws most Americans are making when planning for retirement which prevents them from accumulating tremendous wealth over their lifetime (a case built thoroughly in my movie...The Baby Boomer Dilemma). The combined threats of 1) Bad markets, 2) Runaway national & personal debt levels, along with 3) Future tax law changes (which will be necessary due to changing demographics of the US population and a $31.5 Trillion US debt) demand a fresh approach to building wealth where the status quo is intentionally challenged for its glaring failures. Most of us will earn more than enough money over our lifetime but the question is how much will we keep and efficiently pass onto future generations.
After much analysis & soul searching I began to learn a specialized type of planning within the retirement industry known as retirement income planning. Income planning is simply the mathematical sequencing of accounts to create a predictable income. With income planning, the objective is to ensure your money does what you want it to do and lasts as long as you do! This is easier said than done, especially when considering retirement may span a 30 to 40 year period with new & always evolving risks. Additionally, as I learned more about how most of us save for retirement in tax deferred accounts like 401(k)s, 403(b)s & IRAs, I began to understand how IRS rules have created a ticking tax time bomb called “Required Minimum Distributions” (RMD's). This led me to specialize in proactive retirement tax planning with an understanding of future taxation and where wealth should be stored and grown which is why our firm’s tagline is, "Protecting Your Financial Independence". And that is how Freedom Financial was born...with a vision to help our clients thrive and prosper by achieving the highest levels of Freedom in all areas of their life!
Darrin is a graduate of Fort Lewis College, with a degree in Business Administration and Marketing. He was the first member of his family to graduate from college and is a 3rd generation Colorado native. He is a member of the Fort Lewis College Athletic Hall of Fame (Men's Basketball) and was the 3rd all-time leading scorer in school history and the first Academic All-American in school history. Prior to transitioning to a career in financial services Darrin held several leadership positions with Fortune 500 companies in the healthcare field. Darrin has completed extensive coursework from The American College of Financial Services and has earned the professional designation of RICP - Retirement Income Certified Professional. What is an RICP? He is also a certified NSSA - National Social Security Advisor. Darrin is the Executive Producer of the first Hollywood movie ever created on the subject of retirement income planning called, "The Baby Boomer Dilemma”, released in October, 2021.