Jason interviews Bob about his journey into and through retirement.
Bob and his wife Sandra currently participate in church activities and manage their non-profit charitable fund providing financial support for several worthy causes in North Kitsap. Over the years he has served on citizen committees for community improvement, housing authority activities and is now serving as committee chairman for a Boy Scout troop. Fun activities include stock outboard hydro and runabout competition in the NW region. He is the oldest active racer in the region.
Bob and Sandra spend time with their children, grand-children and have adopted another family in all their activities. They say life is good and they have no regrets of the past and feel very lucky that they have been semi-retired and retired since 1993.
Below is the full transcript:
Announcer: Welcome back America to Sound Retirement Radio, where we bring you concepts, ideas, and strategies designed to help you achieve clarity, confidence, and freedom as you prepare for and transition through retirement. Now here is your host, Jason Parker.
Jason: America, welcome back to another round of Sound Retirement Radio. So glad to have you tuning in this morning. You’re listening to episode 130. If you’re driving down the road this morning in Seattle listening to the radio show, by all means, we want you to know this program is archived for your listening enjoyment. You can find it online at soundretirementplanning.com.
This is episode number 130. I think our listeners are really going to enjoy this. I know many of you have said over the years that you like the shows where we bring real people on and just let them tell their story, and so that’s what we’re going to be doing today, just talking about really a cool guy that has a lot that he is going to be able to share with our listeners.
But before we get started, I like to start the morning right by renewing our mind, and there’s one verse in particular that I’ve really been thinking a lot about lately. I wanted to share this with you. This is Romans 5:8. It says, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this. While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Then of course, if you’re going to be going to visit the grandkids this weekend, we want to give you a joke. There’s nothing better than grandma or grandpa laying one of these corny jokes on the kids and just seeing that look of bewilderment in their eyes, but this is a joke for you. What do you call a fly without wings? A walk. Okay, and then we’ll get started.
Episode 130. It’s my good fortune to have … You know, one of the things I want to say, I feel so blessed. I get to meet some amazing people all over the country as they’re preparing for and transitioning into and through retirement, so our guest today is one of these people I’ve had the good fortune to have a relationship with over the years, somebody that I’ve learned from. His name is Bob. He’s retired, and well, if you call this a retirement. I don’t know. Some people might say he’s busier now than he’s ever been, but Bob, welcome to Sound Retirement Radio.
Bob: Thank you. I appreciate the opportunity.
Jason: Oh, thank you. I appreciate the opportunity. Bob, I wanted to start out, because the reason this show came about actually, you had called and we were talking about you had just had a birthday. Your wife got you something really cool for your birthday, so I was hoping you might start out just by sharing that story.
Bob: Certainly. Throughout my life, music has played an important part. Started off with clarinet and later on guitar, and a rock and roll band, and I sang folk songs, and songs and blues. In the service, I performed on stage in front of 4,000 troops and stuff. Then later on, I did dinner theater, dinners and weddings, and played classical and flamenco guitar. Anyhow, music is an important part of my life, but I set it aside and didn’t fully expand it, but I’ve always had the dream to conduct an orchestra. I told her that, so she called the Bremerton Symphony and asked if that was a possibility for my 75th birthday present. The 22nd is the concert at the Bremerton Performing Arts Center, and I have been practicing with the conductor and the orchestra. This is Thursday. I have another rehearsal Thursday night, Friday night, Saturday morning, and then the concert Saturday night.
Bob: I will be performing as the guest conductor for the first piece of music, and it’ll be Finlandia, Opus 26.
Jason: Wow. You know, that is-
Bob: People know-
Jason: Oh, go ahead.
Bob: Yeah. Finlandia, the melody of it, is very popular. I think there are at least eight Christian religions that have taken the melody and applied their own lyrics to that song. It’s a very, very moving piece of music.
Jason: One of the things we talk about a lot is understanding, as you’re making this transition into retirement, just having a big why. Why are you going to retire? What’s it going to look like? What are the things on your bucket list, the things you’ve always wanted to do, and now you’ve got this opportunity in life where you own your time and to be able to start marking those things off? So when you told me that story, I was like, “Man, how cool is that?” On his 75th birthday, his wife figures out a way for him to live a part of his dream and to be able to conduct an orchestra. I am so excited for you, Bob. That’s really, really cool.
Bob: It’s becoming a great experience. The first time I lifted the baton and felt the power of the wand in front of 40 members of the orchestra, I felt a sense of power, but then immediately thereafter, I realized that these individuals are all working together in unison and I am a part of the team and the group, and that we are working together to create true synergy, something that’s beautiful and marvelous. I have a great sense of respect for the people who spend their life and hours and hours learning how to present music that uplifts people.
Jason: Yeah, absolutely. I want to take you back in time, so really put on your thinking cap here. Think back to your childhood. What is your earliest memory of money?
Bob: Several. I had a unique life. My father had an eighth grade education, loved people, and worked very well with them. On my sixth birthday, we poured a foundation to a service station, a garage, and a body shop, and an apartment building in our little community here in Kingston. I changed my first flat tire when I was six years old, and I pumped gasoline. It was a family store, family business, and we lived above the business.
Then later on, on Sunday afternoons, the ferry traffic would pass the service station in the summertime. He says, “Bobby, it’s time you learned how to sell Coke. We’ll get you a red wagon, two wooden crates of Coca-Cola.” He says, “Now put the … Take two cases of Coke out of the machine, pour ice over it, and water. Go up and down the ferry line, and yell out, ‘Ice cold Coke.'” Sold it for 15 cents. Then it was a dime in the machine. If they returned the bottle, you’d give them a nickel back. Well, they would throw the bottles in the ditch. Next morning, I’d pick up the bottles in the ditch, so on a Sunday afternoon, evening, and Monday morning, I would make about $15 net.
Bob: [inaudible 00:06:56] wages at the time for a mechanic was $1.65 an hour. That was one little business.
Bob: Then he managed to find bicycle parts, a supplier for parts. I cleaned them up, painted them, and assembled the bikes. I’m about 10, 10 years old, something like that, and sell the bikes. Then he said, “Well, I’m going to sell you the pop business. $5 a week for $95 for 2 machines and the inventory.” He says, “You got to deal with the distributor. You make the phone calls, place the orders, and you pay him.” That is how I learned. We worked around the service station, my sister and I, and I was Master Smiley. Everyone was, “Yes, sir,” and “Yes, ma’am.” We were raised, both of us, we were raised in an adult world as kids. That is how I learned how to do business.
Jason: Yes, sir [crosstalk 00:07:54] and yes, ma’am, huh?
Bob: Yes, sir, and yes, ma’am. You bet.
Jason: You know, I-
Jason: For the young people out there that might be listening to this show, I’ll tell you. You don’t hear a lot of that out here on the West Coast these days, Bob, but when you go back to the East Coast, you actually hear that quite a bit. But there’s a young man that goes to my son’s school, and when he addresses you, he addresses you, “Yes, sir,” or, “Yes, ma’am.” I have to tell you, if you want to score some points, for you young kids out there, if you start saying, “Yes, sir,” and “Yes, ma’am,” I’ll tell you, things will start looking better for you.
Bob: Another pearl of wisdom is to teach your children how to shake hands, none of this fishy hand stuff, but a firm, comfortable grip and look straight in the eye when you greet a person. That goes a long ways in life.
Jason: Bob, what was your takeaway? You know, having these early childhood experiences of being an entrepreneur, having to sell Coke and change tires and pump gas at such an early age. How do you think that influenced or shaped you?
Bob: Well, tremendously so. The other thing I learned is how to work and deal with people. Another good example, dad would see a homeless person going up the street and they figured they needed some money. It would be springtime. He said, “Bobby, get a couple shovels. It’s time to turn over the garden and work with this man.” I’d work with him for about two or three hours, and not only did I learn how to work, but I learned his story because he would talk. So you learned the consequences of life decisions throughout life at an early age, and so he taught me how to read and learn about the adult world at an early age.
Jason: Wow. I want to transition now from this childhood experience to retirement, because I want our listeners to understand. You are retired now, but was that a hard transition for you, having starting working so early in your life and obviously enjoying being an entrepreneur? Has it been hard for you to transition into retirement? What are some of the things you’ve learned as you’ve made that transition?
Bob: Early in life, you have to have a plan, and then you live your plan. There will be obstacles that will come in your way, but what you do is you don’t bump into the obstacle. You know, irresistible force, immovable object kind of thing. You go around it. You change your plan and take another direction and proceed forward to grow upward. Yeah, I had a childhood dream at around 13 to build an airplane. I had an experience, a personal religious experience, that put me on a search for a decade, and there are some basic principles you learn in that lifestyle that can go a long ways to making you be a successful person.
That sets a path and a direction. You need to learn how to create a plan, develop a goal and an objective, and then tasks to complete the objectives, and figure out the costs and time required. Then you figure out how much resources you have and personal time, finances, and how much you must sacrifice to achieve that. If the two don’t meet, then you make adjustments one way or the other.
Jason: You talk about-
Bob: Well, I would-
Jason: Oh, go ahead.
Bob: I would teach young children how to build a life plan and to follow it. Transitioning into retirement, I knew I wanted to get involved in investments. That was on my list. But I also wanted to learn how to run businesses and work with people. I slowly transitioned. I empowered the employees in 1993. I would meet in the morning for business meetings and then monthly for an overall meeting, but I empowered them to make decisions. However, I was readily available if they had any questions to ask. I spent six years building an airplane in semi-retirement. It was a slow transfer. Then in retirement, I was busy doing a lot of volunteer service in my church and other activities. You keep busy and try and stay [inaudible 00:12:30] to other people.
Jason: I wanted to back up there just a minute, because you talked about this decade-long look or a search, seeking, that you went on, trying to understand faith and how that shaped you. What would you say has been a takeaway for you? How has faith influenced your journey through life, and has that been an easy walk for you?
Bob: Yeah. Yeah, it has been. Basically, faith precedes the action. You have a belief that something’s going to happen, so you work towards it because it seems to be a worthwhile goal. I always took my sister to Sunday school and church, and I would sing in church and stuff, but at about 12 or 13, probably puberty, everyone starts questioning things. I couldn’t accept everything, and so I searched independently, living on a farm, milking the cow, pondering, walking in the woods. I had an experience too confidential for me to explain, but I think those listeners who understand that have their own experiences, but it took me 10 years to find a truth that I felt comfortable with. My questions were answered, if you will, so to speak. It seemed pretty clear, but I was continually searching while going through life and college and military service, and then it happened.
Jason: As you think about the experiences that you’ve had, and we have this opportunity to kind of share your story, and one of the things I wanted to let our listeners know, there’s a lot of questions I want to ask Bob here today. I know for the people driving down the road listening to the radio show, we only get 25 minutes to share his story, but Bob has agreed to extend his time with us so that I can ask him more of these questions. For our listeners who are podcast listeners, this is going to be a bonus episode. It’s going to be longer than our normal 25 minute show just so I can ask him some more of these questions. For the folks driving down the road, if you are interested in hearing the entire interview, remember you can visit us online at soundretirementplanning.com. Bob, what’s the most important thing you hope to relay to other people listening to this show?
Bob: I think it’s important if you want a secure retirement, one of the best things you can do is teach your children and teach your grandchildren how to realize their dreams, feed their dreams, support them, give them opportunities to expand, learn, and grow, and teach them how to work harmoniously in the family, and teach them that making money is not an end result. Money is a tool to be used to provide for your comfort and happiness and joy for you and for others. It’s through that attitude where you work to live and not live to work, because if you get out of balance and live to work, you probably won’t find any joy and happiness in your life, or events will occur that will interfere with you achieving that goal.
Jason: That’s good. As you think about your financial life, what have been some of the biggest financial mistakes you’ve made? If you could go back in time and start from scratch, what would you do different?
Bob: Yes. I made money in real estate, and I was a land use planner working for government in both Kitsap and Pierce counties, and so it was a natural, logical extension to do so. I did very well in real estate. I took those courses, you know, the seminar things. You pay 700 bucks or 1,000, or 2,000, or 3,000. I figured if you get one good idea out of it, it’s worth the money. I was very successful in that, and I had a plan.
Then I wanted to do stocks and such. After we sold one of our businesses, I had a lot of money, and I was pretty excited so I went to school to learn how to do options and stuff like that. I was making some great money, got pretty heady about it, and was making 30, 40, 50, 60. One month, I made 92 grand controlling the equivalent of $32 million worth of supply. Then got greedy, and then I froze in the headlights. I lost 300,000 in a weekend.
Jason: $300,000 loss [crosstalk 00:17:23] in a weekend.
Bob: A weekend, yeah. I was trying to create a large endowment fund to do good works in the community. Four months later, we came back and made more money and lost another 300. In the 14 months of this activity, I was only down net 35,000, so I told my wife. I said, “We got to change our goal. We can’t create a big endowment like that. Let’s make it smaller and let’s just make enough to meet our needs and maintain our estate value.” Changing the goal to a more realistic approach was a very good thing.
Another mistake is don’t give too much to your children. You should be concerned about securing your retirement, but what you give to your children is tools and ideas and support to help them help themselves. If you establish this relationship, your children will return the favor to you in later years.
Jason: Bob, how did you feel, how did your wife feel, how did she respond when you lost $300,000 in a weekend?
Bob: Yeah. It’s amazing. That’s another important decision that children need to learn is how to choose the mother or father of your children, which is totally different than what we mostly do. We look for a husband or a wife, because it has a long-term effect for generations to come. I had a shopping list. This is my second marriage. I had a shopping list of characteristics that I was searching for, and it was on a T sheet. The left side was positive qualities. The left side was characteristics that I wanted to avoid. With that shopping list, I went shopping. Through a dating process, after about three dates, you make a score on a rank order, one to 10 for each of those characteristics, then a summary statement, then move on.
Jason: Bob [crosstalk 00:19:37], as you’re sharing that story, man, that just cracks me up. I mean, you’re so analytical that you take this to your relationships. I can just see some of the ladies driving down the road out there thinking, “Oh boy, he puts me on some spreadsheet, trying to …” But go ahead.
Bob: Yeah, that’s true.
Jason: I’m sorry. It just cracks me up.
Bob: Last year, I gave a talk at the end of the year for New Year’s resolutions called Do It Now, and I told this. I said, “Kids, teenagers, pay attention to this. This is really important.” I told them and I said, “And then you rank order them.” Anyhow, she was number six, and I felt I went where no man had gone before, like James Tiberius Kirk and the starship Enterprise.
Jason: Man, I don’t know. This interview is cracking me up here. She was number six, huh? We better not let her listen to this show. She’s not going to be very happy about that.
Bob: Oh, no, no, no. You see, I confessed to her what I’d done, and I asked her if she’d score herself. She said [inaudible 00:20:34]. Here’s the interesting thing about it. The scores were no more than one point apart or two points at most, seven and eight, eight and eight, eight, nine, 10, 10, or eight and six. It was amazing. It wasn’t rose-colored glasses. It was the real thing, and it was a few days later I proposed. I told these kids about that, and then they’re all running around in church, and they’re, “I think I’ll make a shopping list.” I also told them, I says, “Now, while you’re doing that with them, you need to do a personal self-evaluation of yourself, both ways, because she’ll be looking at you, and this is how your children will become.” That’s the second most important decision in your life.
Jason: Well, I appreciate you sharing that. As you think about the most important principle that you would hope your children would learn about money, what’s the one thing you would really want to teach them? What’s the most important thing to teach them about money?
Bob: It’s not an end. It’s a means to an end. Life should bring you happiness and joy. Money is a tool to accomplish that. Don’t spend your life, resources, energy, and your body on making money for the sake of making money. You need a purpose in your life, and you use the money to accomplish that purpose. That’s the way I would point it out. Also, live within your means. When you get that next promotion, you don’t spend it. You save it for the future, for your retirement or a long-range plan or goal. The more often you can do that, you’ll be better off in later years.
Jason: I think that’s really wise. If you’re listening to the show, I just want to remind our listeners. You’re listening to episode 130. I get the opportunity to meet with amazing people all over the country and hear their stories, and sometimes they … I learn more about people sometimes than I think maybe even their own kids know about them. Occasionally, we just want to bring people on, and we want them to share their story about what’s worked for them and what they’ve learned. So it’s my good fortune to have Bob on the program today. You can listen to these programs archived online at soundretirementplanning.com. Bob, we’re almost out of time for the interview here on the radio. I’ve got maybe about a minute for you, but standing at your funeral, listening to people as they remember your life, how would you like to be remembered? What have you contributed?
Bob: I was generous with my family, building memories that they will never forget, that we … There will probably some confidential acts of kindness where we supported distressed people in various difficulties. That probably will come forth. One who is faithful and in church associations, contributing time, talents, and resources. We served the mission. A successful, honest business man who was generous and fair in dealing with others [crosstalk 00:23:59].
Jason: Bob, I hate to cut you off there. We’ll bring it back for our podcast listeners, but we got to finish up. Thank you for being a guest on the radio show.
Bob: Thank you for the privilege. I appreciate it. Have a good day.
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Jason: Okay, Bob, we’re back for our podcast listeners. Thank you so far for the interview that you’ve been willing to provide for us.
Jason: I cut you off at such an important question, but I had to cut you off there just from a time standpoint but-
Jason: The question was we’re standing at your funeral, and obviously you’re not standing there, but family and friends are gathering around remembering your life. The two questions are, how will you be remembered and what have you contributed? I kind of had to cut you off there, but were there any final thoughts on that question?
Bob: Sure. The other thing is I’ve always tried to teach people to plan for their life, and with the experience that I’ve had as a land use planner for many years, that was a talent that I was willing to share. I think also people will remember me because of the way my parents raised me. I had an individual compliment me that I was the first Renaissance man they ever met, and that surprised me, but yeah, working both with your hands and your mind. I have helped other people doing that, and-
Jason: What do you suppose that guy called you a Renaissance man?
Bob: Well, he’s a very intelligent person, and I take it seriously, because I could work with both my hands and my mind, and with people and with business. I had developed a great skill in trading options and working with futures, and being very analytical, and working on not necessarily a technical basis, but a statistical, analytical basis for investments. I think that’s probably why. We had interesting conversations. That’s probably the reason why.
Jason: So the Renaissance-
Bob: I attribute it to-
Jason: The Renaissance comment, you think it was attributed to your financial acumen. What about some of these other life pursuits though? Like the music or building the boats and those types of things.
Bob: Yeah. Yeah. I race outboard hydroplane still. I’m the oldest racer in our three-state region, active racer. Yeah, I built an airplane and model airplanes. Built two businesses, did real estate transactions, developed several comprehensive plans. Here in Kitsap County, I was involved in the Trident Impact Plan that shaped the shape of our county, the location of the roads and such. I was trained as an architect and went to graduate school, and knew town planning, and worked in the housing authority as a development manager and stuff like that. I was involved in politics too.
Jason: So when you talk about planning [crosstalk 00:28:07] and helping people put together plans, because we do a lot of planning. We help people with planning, planning for retirement. Is there anything that you’ve learned over the years that’s important when putting together a plan?
Bob: Yes. You have to know where you’re going or where you want to go, and then you write a goal statement which is a general statement that you can’t quantify or put a value on. You only know when you’ve achieved it. For example, you want to have joy in your life. How do you measure that? But what you can do, I teach them how to write a goal, and then objectives, multiple objectives, that are more defined, like get a college education or whatever. Then you take each objective and then break it down into tasks which are specifically defined in terms of how much time it will take and how much it will cost. Now you can take and stretch that out on a timeline. It’s the same thing you do when you develop a retirement plan. You do an inventory of your assets and put them together, and where do you want to go, and then you project it out over time with an inflation cost thing. You do a life plan the same way.
Jason: Let me ask you this when it comes to planning. I’ve been thinking a lot about David, King David from the Bible. Early on, he’s anointed as a kid. He’s this great warrior, this giant killer. He’s this warrior for King Saul. King Saul becomes jealous of him, and so David has to flee. Even though he probably could have taken him, we know that he could have taken King Saul out, he decides he’s not going to do that. He’s going to honor that relationship, and so he runs and he hides in caves. Here’s the story of a guy that’s doing everything right. He’s following the plan, and then something bad comes against him. How do you deal with those types of times in your life, Bob, when you didn’t do anything wrong but for some reason, the plan’s not working out? How do you address it? How do you pivot?
Bob: Well, like I said, I’m on my second marriage. I was working very hard in business. I had a plan to acquire real estate and such, but I was not equally yoked. Eventually it fell apart, and so that plan had to be scrapped. I had to drop back 10 and punt, and so I’d take another direction. That’s why I mentioned when an irresistible force meets an immovable object, you don’t do the stupid thing by repeating the same process. You got to do something different. A polite plan is meant to work for you, and you don’t work for the plan. You make adjustments and changes, so an annual review is appropriate. You do that with your clients. You do the same thing on your life plan. You change direction. You might have a health issue that prevents you from doing something, so you do something different but never give up. Just keep progressing. Keep going along, going two steps forward, one step backward.
Jason: I want to ask you kind of some maybe some more technical questions about actually money management, how you think about that in retirement now that you’re really not working anymore. What types of investments do you prefer, and what type of investments do you avoid?
Bob: Okay. I like dividend stocks. That gives you some income. I prefer to have all stocks that you can have options on, and this is what I do. Money is a tool, okay? I consider them soldiers or workers. I put the workers to work. I’ve managed employees, so your nest egg is your employee. You put it to work. All the money in your account should be working, and this is how I do it.
Jason: Now wait a second.
Bob: I buy stock-
Jason: As we start to get into this, we don’t want to give any specific recommendations to people on-
Jason: From an investment standpoint. You know, that could get people into trouble, but give us just the high level overview of the philosophy maybe.
Bob: Yeah, the philosophy is I like to buy stocks that I own. I prefer dividend stocks, and I want the stocks also to be optionable. What I do is I will sell puts to buy stocks, so if it gets put to me as a stock and I already want to buy, now I’ve bought it at a discount. What does this mean? I’m renting out my money. I’m renting out my money. The market comes down. I buy the stock. I want the stock anyway. I ended up buying it at a discount. This is what I do, so now my money is working a return on investment, because I’m selling an obligation to buy. Okay? That’s called a cash-secured put.
Then once I own the stock, I sell covered calls, so now I’m renting the stock and I’m collecting a premium on the stock. If it gets put away, taken away from me, it’s not a bad thing. Yeah, I lost a little bit there on the upside, but how many times do we lose on the downside? This way, the stock is working for me. There’s growth and there’s income. The cash is working for me, because I’m collecting rent on it to buy the stock. I don’t care if I own the stock or not. I’m putting the whole account to work by selling options and selling covered calls, or selling puts and [inaudible 00:33:49].
Jason: Just as a word of warning out there to folks, Bob is very sophisticated. Personally I’ve seen people get into a lot of trouble with options.
Jason: Bob, you’ve shared your own story earlier about how you lost $300,000 in a matter of days, so you know, this may not be the appropriate approach for people. I just wanted you to kind of share what you’ve enjoyed, but we certainly want people to be careful out there. What kind of investments do you avoid?
Bob: Well, I’ve used hedge fund managers and futures traders, and don’t do it. Don’t do it. They’re not looking out for you, and I never made money on them. I went to school and I learned how to do it, and I sell puts and calls on the E-mini S&P 500 Future. Again, this is risky for the unsophisticated people, but I’ve been able to do very well, averaging between-
Jason: Let’s not-
Bob: … 10 and 40-
Jason: Let’s not even get into return talk there, because I-
Jason: I don’t want people chasing after something that they probably-
Jason: … that I feel they probably shouldn’t be chasing after. Just wanted to remind you, I’m just asking for Bob for his kind of big picture overview on what he likes. Next I want to ask you about, from a financial standpoint, Bob, is insurance. What are your thoughts about insurance? What insurances do you carry? What do you try to stay away from?
Bob: Okay. I carry automobile and home insurance, and carry an umbrella policy. Earlier when I was employed and had family, I had a lot of life insurance and I had business insurance. When we sold the businesses, we were financially independent, and we dropped the life insurance because our estate planning was such that we could do that. We are self-insured in terms of life insurance. We did not get into long-term care insurance, and I don’t know why, but as an employer, we didn’t do IRAs or anything like that with the employees so I didn’t get involved in IRAs either. We poured our assets into the business, and the business did well for us. The question is open on long-term care, but we do have sufficient to cover our long-term care. The children are willing to work with us in the end game, and we have already taken care of our children, so we’re not worried about the estate.
Jason: When it comes to helping young people today, because you know, as I see the world, there’s so much opportunity, but at the same time, you see so many people struggling. Bob, what kind of tips would you give to people to capture some of the opportunity that’s available today?
Bob: I think they ought to live within their means and search for ideas. There’s new ideas every day. There’s new businesses and ideas being created every day. If you have a passion for something, pursue it and don’t give up. Invest the time and minimal resources to test out the water. I would say that a lot of people will say, “You’ve got to go to college and get a college degree,” but I know of a lot of people who didn’t go to college and they’re very successful because they had an idea and it worked. Don’t go into debt to start a business. Don’t go into debt for a college degree unless you are assured that it’s going to give you a decent return on your money. Live within your means. Seek counsel from those individuals who are successful. Avoid the naysayers. There are people who always tell you don’t do it, but keep pursuing your dream. Make a to do list, what’s the positives and the negatives, and go forward from there.
Jason: There’s a verse in Philippians that says, “I have learned to be content.” Will you speak for a moment? Have you learned to be content, or what have you learned about becoming content? Any thoughts about living and being content?
Bob: Most definitely. When I developed my plan, I pursued it, and it was accomplished. My wife says, “Why don’t you continue on?” I said, “It’s not necessary. I want to have an enjoyable life. We have enough to take care of ourselves for the rest of our life. There’s no need for me to continue pursuing increasing wealth.” That’s a story. You remember the story of the rich man who came to the Savior and asked him, “What shall I do?” The Savior said, you know, “Give all your wealth to the poor and come follow me,” and he couldn’t do that for he was a rich man. Well, the moral of the story as I interpret it is that he didn’t have the riches. The riches had possession of him. He did not see the opportunity offered to him there, because he couldn’t give up his wealth.
Jason: Mm-hmm (affirmative). That’s good. What are some of the resources you like to plug into? Are there podcasts you listen to, magazines you read, websites you visit? What are some of the places you go to learn?
Bob: Well, basically it’s the internet. I’m pretty content with my modus operandi right now. I’m spending less time managing the investments and more time helping my family build a house and things like that. But I used to read a lot of articles, but the problem is, once you get a plan and a program that works, anything else you start reading and that starts cluttering your mind and confusing you. Then you start to wonder. If you got a system that works, stay with it.
Bob: I’m simplifying.
Jason: Simplifying, I like that. This here’s my last question for you. You know, there can be a lot of fear in the world today. There’s no shortage of bad news. You turn on the TV and there’s political unrest. The stock market’s expensive. Bonds are expensive. There’s bad stuff happening all over the world. Bob, are you optimistic about the future?
Bob: Yes, and the reason why is we’re here in this world to learn and grow and progress. I ask you the question, what do you want to put into your mind? You only have control over those that you can influence. That’s your family and immediate friends. I would recommend that everybody just be concerned about their own world that you create and that you have an opportunity to influence. Don’t pay attention to the news. Don’t read the newspapers. Listen to good music. Listen to your friends. Practice your faith or whatever it is that rings your bell. Live a good life and let the world take care of itself.
Jason: Bob, I appreciate you taking time out of your busy retirement schedule here with all the stuff you’re doing, conducting orchestras, racing boats, building airplanes, building houses for the family, managing your investments. Thank you for taking time to be a guest and share some of what you’ve learned over the years.
Bob: Thank you. I appreciate the opportunity. This has been an interesting experience.
Bob: I hope it will help some people.
Jason: Yeah. I’m sure it will. I’m sure it’s going to be appreciated. Thanks Bob.
Bob: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Have a good day.
Jason: Thanks. Take care.