Cover image for attorney-focused financial white paper

Before the Sun Goes Down: Will You Be Ready to Retire? (Financial)

About the project


Joe Delaney, California-based financial advisor and managing director of Lifeguard Wealth, recognized that he had a number of attorneys among his friends, acquaintances, and clientele. He felt he understood the challenges unique to the attorney space and identified it as a niche he wanted to focus on.

What he needed was a way to showcase his expertise while demonstrating his commitment to serving attorneys. The answer was high-value, niche-specific content inspired by attorneys and written for the benefit of attorneys. He reached out to me (we had worked together on blog content for about two years) to discuss the idea that would eventually lead to the development of a white paper.


Joe had already planned to conduct a series of interviews with the attorneys in his sphere. I helped him craft interview questions that would give us the raw material for a kind of attorney-informed financial guide. We didn’t get more specific than that in the beginning, because we wanted the interviewees to help guide us toward the kind of content that would be most useful to the niche.

After several months of interviews, Joe shared his notes with me. He and I saw some consistent themes. Most of them tied back to a single, overarching concern: retirement. We identified six obstacles attorneys face to retiring when they want to (or ever), and six action steps they can take to address each one:

  1. Time Management
  2. Spending & Saving Worries
  3. Managing Debt
  4. Financial Regrets
  5. Coping with Stress
  6. Keeping Up with Money Management

I put together a draft of the copy with notes on where I thought infographics would be helpful. Data came from Joe, our interviewees and my own research on attorney student loan debt and mental health issues. We turned everything over to our design partner, Spotted Monkey Marketing, who produced a beautiful PDF (link below).


Joe has successfully used this white paper as an outreach tool when making contact with attorneys and in a presentation where he offered a printed version to attendees. But more importantly to Joe, he offers it as a valuable resource to his friends and clients who practice law.

Before the Sun Goes Down is available as part of Lifeguard Wealth’s library of resources under the website’s “Learn” tab, existing both as a text-only blog post and downloadable PDF. It remains a useful relationship-building and educational tool for Joe. And it is an enduring product of Lifeguard Wealth’s thought leadership among top fiduciaries serving attorneys and other advanced professionals.

Link to blog post & downloadable PDF:

Hanging Out with the Other “Ole No. 7” (Financial)

(PrimeTrust Federal Credit Union, June 2016)

Sometimes you think you’re going to work in a hospital when you graduate … and end up becoming a country singer/watchmaker/cell phone salesman instead.

That’s what happened to Zach Welch.

Venture off campus some evening to hole-in-the wall biker haunts and townie favorites like The Village Inn on Muncie’s east side or Monty’s Lounge in Chesterfield to find Lee Whiteman & The Ole No. 7 Band.

As you’re singing along to tales of heartbreak and loss, look for the young guy on the right with the slick haircut and trim beard on backup guitar and vocals. That’s Zach.

“I’ve been with the band for four years,” Zach said. “It wasn’t exactly my favorite genre at first, but I have a lot of fun.”

The band gets its name from a favorite rehearsal beverage among the group’s founders, Jack Daniel’s Old Number 7. Craft beer is more Zach’s thing, though. He likes to hang out at Scotty’s and Brothers in the Village, and Thr3e Wise Men downtown.

By day Zach manages a Sprint store in Noblesville. Ask someone how they got from studying healthcare at Ball State to building a successful career as a retail store manager, and they might tell you it’s a long story.

Not Zach. He makes it sound pretty simple.

“I wasn’t sure healthcare was going to be for me, but I was so close I decided to finish the program. A friend from high school told me there was a position available. I was always interested in technology.”

So he took the job as a sales rep. Three years later he was promoted to manager.

His hobby is in a technology that’s been around a lot longer than cell phones. He’s been working on his antique watch collection for about four years.

“It started out with me collecting a few pieces that I liked. Now I buy and sell a bit, and I’m starting to build my own stuff from stock parts.”

Zach’s been a PrimeTrust member since 2007 when he graduated from high school. Credit unions have always been a family thing to him. His grandfather was a credit union member. So were his parents.

“You can put your trust in it like a family,” he said. “We’ve all had good experiences. Little things come up sometimes, but I’ve always been able to get it taken care of. It can be intimidating with a big corporation to get issues resolved. Here I have no apprehension.”

The credit union experience is different for him than it was for his grandfather. Between work, band practice, watch collecting and spending time with his fiancée (when she’s not in nursing classes at Ball State), Zach doesn’t always have time to walk into branches and do his banking face to face.

“The mobile app is my best friend. Just knowing how much I have in my accounts and being able to transfer between checking and savings is great. Paying on my personal loan is super easy, too.”

Zach appreciates that the spirit of credit union membership hasn’t changed. Even if he’s not in the branches that often, he still feels valued like a family member.

He gets a nice little reminder of how valued he is once a year … his member dividend check.

“It’s cool to me that they give a little bit back in that bonus for your membership. It makes you feel like you’re an important part of the organization,” Zach said.

The next time you need a cell phone, you’re in the market for a handcrafted watch or you’re in the mood for some country/Southern rock, go find Zach Welch and give him a high five.

Tell him his PrimeTrust Federal Credit Union family sent you.

Want to find out more about what it means to be a credit union member? Check out our resources for the next generation of higher-ed students and professionals, Go CU! at, or reach out on Facebook (@primetrustgocu) and Twitter (@letsgocu).

Visit PrimeTrust at

Or go old school and call us: 765-289-2148

When the Stock Market Dips, Who Should Be Nervous? (Financial)

Image Copyright: rawpixel / 123RF Stock Photo

(Lifeguard Wealth, August 2015)

I’ll answer the above question right away so you don’t have to bite your fingernails all the way through this post. The only people who should be nervous are those who (A) don’t know much about the stock market, and (B) don’t work with anyone who understands it better than they do.

You may have read that U.S. stocks recently had the biggest one-week dip in almost four years. That may seem like cause for concern at first glance, but those of us who work in wealth management are more apt to shrug our shoulders than bite our fingernails.

Why? Because, as we consistently remind our clients, sound investments are those that minimize risk and maximize return over the long term. It’s when novice investors strike out without this basic principle in mind that the August dip appears to be a crisis rather than a relatively minor bump in the road.

Financial Wisdom Fact of the Day: Fear is a short-term phenomenon; confidence is long-term.

There are a host of factors that caused the August dip, according to financial analysts. ABC News summed them up nicely: a slow-down in Chinese manufacturing, the inflexibility of the FED’s sustained 0% interest rate, continued uncertainty in the Greek economy, devaluation of currency in China and Kazakhstan, and lows in U.S. crude oil.

Though none of these factors is a surprise to investment professionals – all have been reported regularly in the news – when market reports reveal short-term changes, those who were depending upon short-term rewards react. Fear happens fast, and it’s not a sustainable emotion. To deal with it, novice investors will either raise the stakes on another risky portfolio or cut their losses and walk out with whatever cash they have left. That’s one way to live.

There is another option in response to fear. We can remember that financial markets level out and thrive because of the confidence they have earned from performance over decades. Financial advisors understand that when the headline reads “Worst Day in 4 Years”, investors can take solace in the confidence inspired by a review of long-term portfolio health.

Investing should never feel like rolling dice in the casino. If you have questions or concerns about recent financial news and would like to better understand how active financial management can protect your wealth over the long term, feel free to contact us. Taking the fear out of financial planning is our passion, one relationship at a time.