My name is Coty Barker, and I'd like to welcome you to the blog.
I wanted to start with some background on myself, explain why I'm beginning this series, and let you know who it's for. I served as a Police Radio Dispatcher with the Memphis Police Department from 2015-2018. I began my career in financial services in October 2018 and fell in love with it. I now serve as a full-time Police Officer in MS and this firm's Chief Executive Officer. I'm here to educate first responders on financial wellness so they can afford to live comfortably after serving the public for decades.
Unfortunately, I have seen firsthand the consequences and importance of early financial planning for first responders. I've watched people with twenty-five and even thirty years of service crippled by their finances because of simple mistakes that could have been avoided in their early careers. Retirement is either by choice or necessity due to unforeseen circumstances and can be a huge lifestyle change that requires a lot of consideration and thorough planning years in advance. The trend nowadays is to post a countdown clock on social media, cross your fingers that you did it right, and sign the dotted line on your retirement papers when the clock strikes zero. A few years go by, and half a million bucks spent later, you're broke and living on a fixed income. Inflation takes over, no significant cost of living adjustments happen within your pension, bills go up, things break, and you're stuck. Folks, If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.
No one can predict the future, including a financial advisor, so having a financial plan that can adapt to your life and career changes is critical. Financial planning is more than just retiring from work. For one, it allows you to enjoy more years of leisure and travel while you are still young and healthy. It also allows you to pursue your passions without the constraints of a full-time job. Retiring earlier can help avoid burnout and stress from a long public service career. Early planning requires careful consideration and a good relationship with a financial planner. Working with a firm like ours can help ensure your financial plan is actually tailored to your needs and no one else. Planning for early retirement is vital for anyone who wants to enjoy a more fulfilling and stress-free life.
That is why we are geared towards helping people with the highest-stress careers: Police Officers, Firefighters, Nurses, and EMS.
First responders have demanding and high-pressure jobs that can lead to significant stress and emotional, marital, and mental strain. We are the people who are the first to arrive at the scene of an emergency. We provide life-saving support, protect the public, and maintain order in chaotic situations. Our job comes with enormous responsibility and pressure that can significantly impact our financial, physical, and mental health because of the nature of our work.
A great day can turn into a nightmare in seconds. Yet, we know it and still show up because that's who we are. We face life-threatening situations and witness traumatic events like accidents, violence, and natural disasters. These experiences can significantly affect mental health, leading to anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Some first responders work long hours, some are often on call, and may miss out on many personal and family events, increasing stress levels even more. We make quick decisions and try our best to provide the best care under immense pressure. Unfortunately, if something goes wrong, the public is often quick to place blame at the feet of the helpers, causing further stress and anxiety. But we still show up. We still serve.
My point is... First responders are vital members of our society, working tirelessly to protect the innocent, often at their own expense. This is why we must recognize their contributions and support them in any way possible. The route I chose is the financial realm and social media. A few years ago, I created a Facebook group that has roughly 2,500 people in it today, primarily first responders and other public service members. I often share other people's businesses that offer access to services like counseling, equipment, and other services that benefit us.
I try my best only to share companies and people that genuinely care about first responders and aren't just in it to make a quick buck. If you've made it this far in, thank you for listening, and I'm happy you're here. I don't have a cool catchphrase or slogan, so I'll leave you with a quote from Dean Cain:
"Real heroes don't wear capes. Real superheroes wear uniforms and badges, and stethoscopes! Real superheroes are members of our military, law enforcement, and first responders. Pretend superheroes wear capes!"
Until next time, Coty Barker, Chief Executive Officer