Employee Spotlight:Gary Vawter
Questions Gary gets asked most often:
When will you retire?
This year marks the 35th year of being in the financial services profession and 28th since starting VF. I’m following my own advice, I picked age 55 to be when I wanted to continue working to become “optional”. That happened a couple of years ago so now I’m working purely because I thoroughly enjoy what I do, who I do it with and the people/clients that give me the opportunity to share their journey.
Realistically, perhaps another 15 years, health permitting, would be a good time to further reduce my schedule. I’ve met a lot of really great people as clients of VF and I look forward to many more years of meeting new, great people that we can help get to their goals. Having watched my dad struggle with dementia reminds me that often it’s the people who are active and work longer that tend to stay mentally sharper, longer.
What would you retire to?
We always tell clients they should retire TO something, not FROM something. Things that now compete for my time are enjoying family time, traveling, golfing, skiing, hiking, dog walks, working out, charity work, sudoku, playing the piano, lots of reading, cooking, attending concerts/sporting events and serving on various boards. On any given day, any and all of those activities fill my days – I go to work for a break! I can relate to people that tell me “I’m busier in retirement than when I was working…do not know how I ever found time for that!”
Will you be in fewer client meetings?
With the growth of VF, it’s become inevitable that I won't be able to be in every client meeting. I’ve also reduced the amount of time I’m in the office (see competing activities above) but stay well connected via phone, email and text messaging. I couldn’t be more pleased with how others at VF have stepped in to take care of our clients, often with better results than when the “old guy” (that’s me) is in the meeting.
What’s your beverage of choice?
I drink more water than anything else, no coffee or soda. When I’m looking for something with more flavor, that’s an India Pale Ale, small-batch bourbon, single malt scotch or a (summertime) gin martini.