His company’s retirement portal was frustrating.


His company’s retirement portal was frustrating.

Cassius and Valerie had saved and planned for their future, but as the time grew near, the company’s online retirement calculator just wasn’t cutting it. They needed to know if their retirement goals were really possible. Could they actually travel to exotic locations and visit their grandchildren frequently while maintaining a fun-loving, comfortable lifestyle?

Before they made the decision to retire, Cassius had built a 32-year career in information technology and Valerie had served as a stay-at-home mom and graphic artist. They were encouraged by their son to explore volunteering as Christian missionaries, the Smiths began to envision their next area of service together — missionaries for Trans World Radio. The global media organization uses radio broadcasts, online streaming, and various platforms to spread Christian principles.

To get the right answers, Cassius and Valerie met with a financial planner to talk face to face about their dreams. They explained how they wanted to retire early and serve full time in the mission field. Their advisor ran the numbers and showed them how to make it all come together and work. Working with their advisor gave them the confidence they needed that their next steps were the right steps.

“Retiring early was an incredible feeling,” Cassius said. “We wanted to retire while we still had plenty of energy and could use the skills and talents that God has poured into us to reach the world for Christ.”

The Smiths have now been missionaries for seven years. Cassius is a deputy for Trans World Radio, and Valerie is a ministry assistant. She also is a producer of the English version of Women of Hope, Project Hannah’s radio program. They relied on their financial advisor’s expertise to make their goals of becoming world travelers, active grandparents, and self-funded missionaries a reality.

“We make media contextually relevant in 230 languages and for 160 countries. We’ve been very busy but we love being part of this organization. We even relocated to be close to the TWR offices,” Cassius said.

In addition, relying on the expertise of a trusted financial advisor, the couple had more suggestions for those considering retiring early. They recommended reading “Half Time” and “Game Plan” by Bob Buford. “We had to consider our spending patterns and prioritize our expectations for giving, travel, and investments. We definitely had homework,” Cassius added.

The Smiths are living their dream of impacting the world while maintaining a comfortable lifestyle that includes frequent visits with their grandchildren and world travel. In 2015 they celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary in France. Their lives are great examples of the freedom that can come with foresight and planning to use each day with purpose.

Actual performance and results may vary. This example does not constitute a recommendation as to the suitability of any investment for any person or persons having circumstances similar to those portrayed, and a financial advisor should be consulted for your specific situation.

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