Donate $30 and receive a copy of the highly-acclaimed book, The Art of Retirement (with foreword by Ronnie Lott). One hundred percent of the profits from the sales of The Art of Retirement will be divided among four charities.
The Art of Retirement uses the story of Michelangelo's life and art to facilitate the creation of your masterpiece"”a resilient,
well-crafted portfolio along with a fulfilling life and legacy. This unique book serves as a life guide"” helping you understand the art of investment management and financial planning while also providing an insightful perspective on life and retirement.
The profits from the sales of The Art of Retirement will be divided among four charities:
· 33% - The Brigance Brigade Foundation; ALS-related
· 33% - Augie's Quest; ALS-related
· 17% - MD SPCA; animal welfare related
· 17% - Y of Central Maryland; specifically to help disadvantaged youth attend summer camps
More details of these charities can be found inside the book. Thank you for supporting these worthy causes.
I am confident that we will find a cure for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, in my lifetime; this book's profits will help to reach that goal. Below, you will find the "behind-the-scenes" background of why I wrote The Art of Retirement.
The idea of writing a book has long been on my bucket list. As a professional who deals with issues surrounding money, lifestyle, and values, I knew that I possessed helpful, worthwhile advice. But with my everyday workload and family priorities a book wasn't on the horizon, and the need to act on a bucket list was even more distant. Writing a book like The Art of Retirement did not seem urgent, not until I had the proper motivation. Coaxing me out of a world of numbers, landing me in a maze of words and emotion was my serendipitous connection to four men. Together these men shared a devastating diagnosis and an inspirational bond. Bruce Anderson, Augustine (Augie) Nieto, Eric Scoggins, and NFL great, OJ Brigance, were all diagnosed with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. Their passion for life in the face of death was my bold catalyst for doing more than offering sympathy, prayer, and pocket change to affect the cause.
Bruce Anderson was my father-in-law, a man that I knew to be active and full of life, someone who'd soldiered on through illness and surgeries before ever being diagnosed with ALS. When I wed Lee, Bruce's daughter, not only did I marry the crown jewel of the Anderson clan, but I received the unexpected richness of an extended family. In 2007, the landscape of our lives changed dramatically with my father-in-law's diagnosis. In sharing the news with me, Bruce said, "It's not good, Gary." At the time, I didn't know anything about ALS, and maybe I didn't even want to hear the definition of "not good." It was all inevitable, as I soon learned that ALS is quite often a death sentence with a typical life expectancy of 3-5 years after diagnosis.
Despite his illness, I'd spend the next year watching Bruce make a valiant effort to live life to its fullest. At the same time I had no conscious idea that, I too, was undergoing a metamorphosis. Here was a man that was very active prior to his illness. Bruce was the President of First Republic Bank's Trust company and continued to work well into his fight against ALS. He was athletic and fit; he played squash and swam regularly, well into his 60s. He even took up hiking. When he was no longer capable of pursuing those activities, my father-in-law lifted weights and did yoga as long as his body allowed. Watching Bruce's battle with ALS was tough. Every moment was precious for him. His wonderful life was slipping away like sand through a sieve. In 2008, Bruce Anderson succumbed to ALS. And for the first time, I understood the true depth of the questions I'd been asking my clients for years"”"How do you want to spend your time? What's important to you, and what type of legacy do you want to leave?"
It might have ended there, with a deeper introspection about my job, a keener insight to what I, Gary Williams"”the CEO of Williams Asset Management"”could offer clients in terms of financial success and peace of mind, particularly when it came to retirement. But it didn't. In truth, I was only at the threshold of my metamorphosis. During the last year of Bruce's life, I had an opportunity to meet others afflicted and involved with ALS, including Augustine (Augie) Nieto and Eric Scoggins. Augie was a prominent leader in the fitness industry and Eric a professional football player and successful businessman, both diagnosed with ALS. The point of a road trip to San Diego was Augie's Quest, an annual beach bash charity ball. Its purpose is to raise money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association's (MDA) ALS research initiative"“an aggressive, cure-driven effort focused on finding treatments and cures for ALS. Eric's emotional struggle was nearly as significant as his physical one, and my father-in-law did not hesitate to offer support and a friendly ear, even in the wake of his own plight. This further inspired me, as I was profoundly moved by Bruce's generosity and the generosity of those around us. Also in attendance at Augie's Quest, lending their support, were football legends, Ronnie Lott and Marcus Allen, as well as Ronnie's former San Francisco 49er's teammate Keena Turner. I vividly recall the event's most powerful personal moment, when Ronnie Lott made a touching presentation about making the most of life, or as Lott put it, "exhausting life." I watched from the crowd as my childhood football heroes lifted my father-in-law's failing body from his wheelchair, hoisting him to a victorious and independent position. The impact was incredible. That experience might have been enough to inspire me, forging the connection between my expertise and how I might better serve an array of ALS efforts. But only days later, I learned that fate wasn't done providing me with insight and outlets.
The Complementary Colors:
After visiting the West Coast and Augie's Quest, I happened across an article in the Baltimore Sun. It was about O.J. Brigance. I'd never heard of O.J. Brigance and, in turn, I was certain O.J. Brigance had never heard of me. O.J. was a 12-year pro football veteran with an extensive resume that included the CFL and NFL. He is one of a few players to have won both a CFL and NFL championship and the only player in the history of both leagues to win those championships for the same city"“Baltimore. Coincidentally, O. J. Brigance also suffers from ALS. With that one point in common, I decided to call O.J., who invited me to lunch at the Ravens headquarters. As time moved forward, we stayed in touch, seeing each other at the Johns Hopkins Packard Center's annual Fiesta 5k race where O.J. was the honorary chair. In 2012, O.J. invited me to serve on the board of the Brigance Brigade Foundation. We worked closely together on projects for the Foundation, allowing me personal access to O.J.'s everyday life. I saw a man who looked at his situation and his adversities as a challenge. He's never allowed it to beat him or ruin his life. Instead, at present, he remains focused on living the best life he can. I am continuously awed at O.J.'s selflessness, as he works tirelessly through the Brigance Brigade Foundation to help as many people with ALS live the most fulfilling life possible.
The former football great inspires not only through his actions, but through his ability to persevere. Even though O.J. can only move his eyes and relies on machines, equipment and people to help him breathe, speak, eat, and get from place to place, he still works full time. Sadly, as I have learned, one of the cruelest aspects of ALS is that the victim's mental faculties are typically unaffected by the bodily degeneration. I always tell people: think Stephen Hawkings. Despite any physical impairment, O.J. Brigance runs his foundation with the highest level of effectiveness, professionalism, and charisma; he also vacations with family and, overall, lives a full life regardless of circumstance.
The Finished Work:
With these four men in my memory and my future, the only problem was the realization of how I could make the greatest impact via my able-bodied presence. I thought endlessly about the many ALS related events I'd attended. People, many of them famous, continually offer generous support through their time and talents. What could I contribute beyond my everyday efforts? That's when I did the math and discovered the answer was as obvious as 2+2. Without arrogance or ego, I will tell you that I'm very good at my job. And if my job is to handle your money, your investments, your retirement, I believe a touch of confidence backed up by result is a good thing. In my head are the tried and true formulas, the paths for outstanding retirement savings. It isn't a Billboard Hot 100 song and the numbers most closely associated with me won't ever make an NFL record book. But within my personal resources is the key to retirement savings, the kind of money the majority of people will, one day, need. Upon that realization, my bucket list became my present-day passion, and I decided to write The Art of Retirement.
In a world of numbers, I chose to let creativity be my guide. I designed the book using Michelangelo's life as my scaffolding for retirement success, drawing analogies and insight from the world of art. Where the Great Master employed artistic techniques, I used financial prowess. In many respects, I see life as art. The visual is unique to each one of us, and like a sculpture, finances can be molded and changed. I transferred my expertise onto the canvas of this book, explaining, in detail, how the average person can reach the goal of a prosperous and worry-free retirement. The Art of Retirement is poised to help anyone who wants to make the investment and pay attention, but the profit is all about helping those most closely associated with ALS, as well as other charitable causes. They include the Maryland SPCA and Y of Central Maryland. On the horizon of ALS research are new therapies, techniques, and medications to combat the disease. In the meantime, I've checked one goal off my bucket list, creating a new profit margin in the win column of a devastating disease.
By donating $30 to this Go Fund Me project, The Art of Retirement (with foreword by Ronnie Lott) will be on its way to you.
Praise of The Art of Retirement
"As a Certified Financial Plannerâ„¢ practitioner, I have read many financial planning books for individuals over the past 20 years. Unfortunately, most are either too light on important data or too analytical and complex for most nonprofessional readers. In The Art of Retirement, Gary not only addresses the important elements of retirement planning, but he does so in clear and entertaining manner. This is definitely a book that I will recommend my clients read!"
"”Brad Levin, CFP®, AIF®
President and Founder, Legacy Wealth Partners
"Most books on retirement focus only on planning financially for the event. The Art of Retirement illustrates how retirement isn't just about how you will live your life years from now, but how you live your life now, as you build your legacy. Gary Williams' book is both inspiring and informative."
Vice President of Information Technology, Sourcefire, Inc.
"Gary Williams has successfully tackled a daunting task in his book The Art of Retirement. In an easy-to-understand way, he addresses the significant financial issues many of us will face as we go through life into retirement and equally important, how to enjoy the quality of life that truly counts. It is both as simple as anyone could ask for, and through many cross-references, as sophisticated as anyone could want. This is a terrific resource told in a very reader-friendly, yet powerful, storytelling way!"
President and CEO, JM Family Enterprises, Inc.
"I have read many good books on investing, and I have read many good books on the psychology of achieving personal happiness in life, but I have never before read a book that marries these two topics together as brilliantly as Gary Williams does in The Art of Retirement. Creating personal wealth is a paradox in that it does not in itself create happiness, but when combined with personal wisdom, wealth can create a brilliant life full of joy, value, and love. In The Art of Retirement, Gary Williams weaves together a tapestry of knowledge, wisdom, experience, and guidance that will allow the reader to create an investment strategy that will lead to not only wealth, but more importantly to true happiness."
"”R. Daniel Richardson, CFP®
President, Pantheon Real Estate Services
"This book artfully combines many aspects of planning for your future. Gary does a wonderful job bringing together, and making sense of, the many components that will create your retirement plan: discovering what you want out of retirement, understanding investment concepts, and developing a plan to get there."
"”David Weaver, CFA
President and Portfolio Manager, The Adams Express Company
"Where you stand is a function of where you sit. Do you know where you stand on your readiness for retirement? Sit, read, and learn where you stand. A must-read for anyone contemplating retirement."
Chairman and CEO, JPB Partners
"The Art of Retirement gives you more than a blueprint for creating a portfolio masterpiece. Gary Williams wrote the book for anyone who wants to build a legacy of responsibility and independence."
Professor of Personal Finance, Bauer College of Business, University of Houston
"Gary has absolutely nailed it in his book, The Art of Retirement. I loved the stories, analogies, and sage wisdom and felt challenged to refresh my own retirement strategies. If you read this book you will be more prepared both financially and emotionally for your best retirement."
"”John Ledford, CFP®
President, Ledford Financial
Best-Selling Author of Win and The Only Business Book You Will Ever Need
"Gary Williams has painted a masterpiece with The Art of Retirement"”an exceptionally well-written and easy-to-comprehend balance of investment advice, emotional guidance, and life planning. A must-read for understanding the essential issues to focus on in order to ensure a successful and gratifying retirement."
CEO, Commonwealth Financial Network
"Gary Williams provides a wealth of practical information on retirement, ranging from advice on preparing a nonfinancial legacy of personal values, to examining technical matters, such as investment strategies. I recommend The Art of Retirement for anyone interested in understanding the scope of services offered by a competent wealth manager."
"”Guy Maseritz, Esq.
"Books on investing are, like leadership books, often written from the perspective of a single individual and that person's idiosyncratic point of view. In The Art of Retirement, Gary Williams steps back and asks the reader to think more broadly about his or her life, and how retirement and one's financial goals fit into a larger whole. He then takes that broader perspective and walks you through an analytical framework that makes sense and clarifies what can often be a confusing set of choices."
"”John K. Hoey
President and CEO, Y of Central Maryland
"This is a wonderful book, and so much more than a typical financial planning book. Gary's initial topic of focusing on the role of money in determining one's happiness is extremely thought provoking for anyone trying to balance being a good parent while providing one's family with financial security. The book then asks the reader to think of retirement in a holistic manner considering many things, including finances, time management, and the importance of one's legacy. Lastly the book is able to explain, in a simple and effective manner, a wide selection of technical financial planning theories. Gary's personal experience will force you to reevaluate your understanding not only of money but what is true success. Gary's professional experience is demonstrated in the wide breadth of topics that are discussed, and it is a truly insightful book that will provide you with a roadmap to achieve a successful retirement."
"”Matthew K. Buckley, CPA
Board Member, Private Equity CFO Association
"Gary brings a fresh perspective to The Art of Retirement. He's written a tremendous resource that is a must-read for every professional in America."
President/Partner, Kalix Communications, LLC
"Gary Williams takes the challenging subject of financial planning and creates a thought-provoking, easy-to-understand, and incredibly enjoyable reading experience. This is a book that would live as comfortably in the motivational section of a bookstore as the business section. Gary's unique anecdotes, based on his family's experiences, help us understand how to find both financial security and personal happiness. For anyone who believes financial planning is daunting, this book will take them on a rewarding journey through the process of creating a financial legacy. With a smile."
Chief Operating Officer, Claar Advisors LLC
"The Art of Retirement is a must-read for anyone over 40! As a 30-year veteran in the industry, I will put to use many of the principles immediately."
President and CEO, Altegris Investments
"I highly recommend this book as an enjoyable journey in understanding The Art of Retirement, written by a passionate financial services industry expert. The connections between Michelangelo and Gary's personal experience provide a comprehensive review of the investment process in an easy-to-follow format that can be valuable at all stages of an individual's financial life, from beginner to expert. We will utilize Gary's book for our corporate retirement planning course to help guide employees seeking a successful investment plan."
"”James Gibeaut, CPA
Controller, Enterprise Holdings
"I never thought living with ALS would be part of my retirement. I have learned there is an art to life, as well as an art to retirement. Gary has mastered both!"
Chief Inspirational Officer, Augie's Quest
Co-founder and former president of Life Fitness
Chairman, Octane Fitness
"The great thing about life, just like this book, once one chapter ends, another one begins"
Former NFL Player, Hall of Famer and Founder of All Stars Helping Kids Foundation
About the Author
Gary S. Williams, CFP® is a Certified Financial Plannerâ„¢ practitioner, President and Founder of Williams Asset Management, a wealth management firm based in Maryland. Because of his expertise and experience in retirement planning, Gary's insight is regularly sought out by local and national publications and websites.
For inquiries from the press, please contact:
Nissen Public Relations
18 Bank St. - Suite 101
Summit, NJ 07901
P: (908) [phone redacted]
© 2013 Williams Asset Management. All rights reserved.
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