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Chuck Bigbie, CLU, ChFC, CFP • Tulsa, OK
Woodland Wealth Management • Geneos Wealth Management Inc.

I have been an instructor teaching the retirement-planning class at Tulsa Community College for over 20 years. Providing financial literacy to the greater community is a passion of mine. It also is an effective way to be seen as a retirement-planning thought leader across the demographic we are trying to reach.

These six-hour courses, presented in two sessions, are called Modern Retirement Planning. They address the latest concepts for structuring a successful retirement plan. There are six major campus locations around the Tulsa County area. We rotate to each of those campuses to provide easy access to the course for the people living in those areas. We like to teach 12 classes a year, grouped two together at the six locations.

Who do we believe should attend the classes? Anyone who has questions about their financial future and how they will effectively produce income for a comfortable and satisfying retirement. Attendees typically fall between the ages of 50 and 70.

Modern Retirement Planning is designed to help individuals comprehend the principles for successful retirement. Participants will learn how to set reasonable goals based on their personal means. A primary objective will be to explain the concepts and terminology that are so frustrating to individuals approaching retirement age. The course is not biased toward any company or product, but rather focuses on the concepts needed to make informed decisions. Goal-setting techniques and creative strategies designed to maintain control and flexibility—as well as managing risk—are common themes for the course.

Some of the specific topic areas addressed in the eight sections of the course include the following:

  • Simplifying complex financial concepts and strategies.
  • Setting realistic goals.
  • Addressing inflation.
  • Avoiding common mistakes.
  • Assessing investments.
  • Managing risk.
  • Lowering taxes.
  • Efficient estate planning.

I believe the Modern Retirement Planning classes are both entertaining and informative. We bring years of experience and real-life stories to the classroom as we teach the course. An interactive lecture style encourages students to ask questions and benefit from group discussions.

For the retirement-planning classes, I use many of the concepts and mental images delivered in my Amazon best-selling book, “The Retirement GPS: How to Avoid the Roadblocks and Detours on Your Retirement Journey.”

I ask those attending the class to imagine their retirement being like a road trip from Tulsa, Oklahoma, to Seattle, Washington. Most retirement journeys last over 25 years, so clients need to think about and plan for a long road trip. I ask them to consider the following: potential breakdowns; road and weather hazards or detours; the amount of gas, food, and lodging they will need; how fast they will be driving; and the stops they will be making. It is going to take a lot of planning to successfully complete this trip.

Similarly, retirement planning has to take into consideration numerous risk factors and potentially changing circumstances. This theme carries through to many of the practical concepts presented in the eight modules of the class.

Related Article: ‘Believable’ misinformation is a danger to long-term retirement goals

Feedback on the classes has been very positive over the years. Participants receive an easy-to-understand textbook that serves as a valuable reference tool during the classes and for years to come. Each attendee can bring a spouse or guest at no additional cost, and the fees for the course are very reasonable.

Participants also have the opportunity to set up a personal consultation with our firm at a later date, at no cost and with no further obligation. We are gratified that many people over the years have taken advantage of this consultation—and a good portion of those have ultimately become valued clients of our firm.

Securities offered through Geneos Wealth Management Inc. Member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services offered through Geneos Wealth Management Inc., a registered investment advisor.

Modern Retirement Planning is a trademark of Foresight Education LLC. Chartered Life Underwriter, CLU, Chartered Financial Consultant, and ChFC are registered trademarks of the American College of Financial Services. CFP and Certified Financial Planner are registered trademarks of the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. (CFP Board).

Photography by: Shane Bevel