Matthew McConaughey writes about the concept of catching green lights and cruising to our destination without stopping or even slowing; it’s a matter of everything lining up – timing, the stars, hard work – when life, or the universe, says “yes” to our destiny and we glide into our dream.
Kevin and Tamara have been catching green lights for years, probably because they are decent human beings with an abundance of love, good sense, and internal drive. Catching green lights has led them to their Ideal Life on a 36-acre ranch near Telluride, CO. Once their retirement dream, living a slower, more meaningful life rooted to the earth is now their reality at 46 years of age, and their children are still young enough to learn their own life lessons from watching their parents work hard, save harder, and take a leap of faith toward their vision. They have a son in the fifth grade and a daughter who is a freshman in high school.
Kevin and Tamara are the epitome of the all-American couple doing life and their finances right and allowing our team at BW to serve them along the way. I couldn’t be more impressed with or happy for them. They mean a great deal to me personally and we’ve built an incredible friendship in the nearly five years we’ve partnered together.
Tamara initially sat in on her mother, Diann’s, Discovery meeting with me after Diann was referred by one of BW’s long-time trusted CPA partners (Diann also became a BW client!!). Tamara was earnest in learning more about BW and our passionate approach to helping clients discover their True Wealth: the things money can’t buy, and death can’t take away.
Tamara later shared with me that she went to Diann’s Discovery meeting to make sure her mom was making a good decision by investing with BW. Tamara was impressed with our attitude of caring and our natural drive to focus on people as whole human beings, helping them pursue their dreams.
When Tamara shared BW’s financial philosophy with Kevin, they recognized BW as the advisory firm for them. Kevin especially liked the specialty services we provide, such as access to alternative investments and our interest in learning more about cryptocurrency before it went mainstream. In fact, Kevin brought us into the cryptocurrency space and we’re so happy he gave us that gentle push. Back in 2015, he invested in bitcoin when it was valued at just $322, just to see how the process worked, and he has watched as the value of one bitcoin has climbed to nearly $50,000. To win Kevin as our client, it also helped that our BW team loves the Huskers. Although Kevin grew up in Colorado, he was recruited to the dive team at Nebraska and became a life-long Huskers fan.
When I first met Kevin and Tamara, I knew immediately there was something special about this couple/family, mainly because they were already aspiring to True Wealth by the very fact they were living life by their design, not by default. They were doing things to live life on purpose while creating memories. Simply put, Kevin and Tamara were living a life of no regret, making sure every moment was cherished and captured.
Kevin was born in Lafayette, Indiana, and at five his family moved around a lot, including California, Santa Fe, Houston, and Denver, where Kevin spent his middle and high school years. With his degree in marketing and communications, Kevin followed his sister to San Diego and got a marketing role at Qualcomm one week after graduating. He remained with Qualcomm for 20 years to the day, advancing to Senior Director of Business Development. Because of turnover and the departure of his mentors, Kevin decided to retire early in October 2018 and join a group of former Qualcomm executives as Head of Business Development at XCom, a new company they were forming.
Before starting his new job, though, Kevin and his family took time to travel, kite surfing in Hawaii and going on a 30-day, 6,000-mile road trip to 16 states to see sights such as Yellowstone, Devil’s Tower, the Badlands, Sedona, Telluride, and a family reunion at a lake in Indiana.
Kevin told me his father gave him excellent advice when he started his career at Qualcomm:
· Max out his 401K and other retirement accounts
· Participate in stock option programs
· Sock away earnings
· Live off what’s left
And that’s exactly what Kevin did.
Tamara grew up in San Diego and started working at Qualcomm in 1997 while in college. Within her 13-yearstenor, she worked her way up from admin role to HR specialties, where she built a recognition program for the company and worked on the company’s employment branding. Her work was instrumental in Qualcomm being recognized as a Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For. Tamara always wanted to start her own business and when she was pregnant with their first child and about to resign to become a stay-at-home mom, the executive of Investor Relations and Marketing suggested that she continue to help the company as a consultant. Her business, which offers niche recognition programs to corporations, had Qualcomm as its first client. Not many entrepreneurs receive such trust and support from an employer. Tamara has proved trustworthy and realized success with her company, Recognition3, Inc. Over the last 13 years, she has worked with more than 30 clients, including General Mills, Texas Health Resources, and PulteGroup.
Tamara told me her mother, Diann, taught her to never carry a balance on credit cards and never spend more money than you have. From an early age, Tamara has always sought to build a security blanket.
It thrills me to see that as a young family they are making bold moves to position their life to be financially smart and prepare their legacy. They recently sold their home in San Diego and purchased that ranch outside of Telluride, taking advantage of the post-Covid world that changed so many lives. Tamara said she doesn’t think the ranch would have happened without Covid. Their children were attending school online, so the family decided to make a three-week “Virtual Learning Road Trip” to the towns where they were considering building a retirement home. That’s when they discovered the ranch with its large log cabin home for sale by a small realtor in nearby Montrose, CO. “The ranch wasn’t even marketed in Telluride,” Kevin told me.
Their first offer on the ranch was declined, and another buyer stepped in, but that transaction fell through, and the seller came back to Kevin and Tamara, who had more bargaining power. When they declined a new offer from the seller, and watched as another buyer backed out, they had even more leverage to lower their price when the seller returned to them. Bottom line, they paid much less than asking price for the property and cemented their retirement home; an existing log cabin, saving them from having to comply with complex and restrictive building regulations around Telluride.
Kevin tells me they got through the process by staying in touch with me and my team. We enjoyed being with them all the way, exploring different strategies and finding ways they could afford the new ranch. I told them what I love to tell clients: “Go live your dream,” and “You can do this.”
At first, they kept their home in San Diego with the intention of living in two places, and Kevin would travel there one week a month to work at XCom. But what they discovered on the ranch was a slower pace of life, the ability to ski every day through winter, carve new trails, mend fences, and enjoy their kids before their daughter leaves for college in four years. The kids were making great friends and getting to be kids in nature. It was their daughter who said, “Let’s live in Telluride full time.” And so they sold the house in San Diego, which had doubled in value, and now get to live completely present in their new mountain life.
When I think about Kevin and Tamara, the choices they make around money, how they live, and how committed they are to sharing life as it should be lived, it inspires me to help all our clients on their pursuit to True Wealth. I’m grateful for their trust and confidence in BW as they continue to live life fully and abundantly while adhering to our advice.
Oh, and Diann has followed her dreams, too! She sold her house in Palm Springs and stayed with Kevin and Tamara in San Diego during the pandemic. She found her ideal home place in a Del Webb community in Buckeye, outside of Phoenix, and just moved into her new, custom home in September.
When I look at what Kevin and Tamara have made happen, their timing has been perfect in real estate moves, jobs, and even crypto currency. Life has said “yes” and helped them time all those green lights perfectly.