Join us today for the Saturday Night Special with Tony Hixon author of Retirement Stepping Stones: Find Meaning, Live with Purpose, and Leave a Legacy...

In this episode Tony Hixon and I talk with you about why retirement is about way more than the money...

In tonight’s Saturday Night Special I interview Tony Hixon.  I ask Tony about his journey to writing Retirement Stepping Stones.  Tony also shares a deeply personal story about faith and his journey with his mother’s transition to retirement.  Tony also shares what you should do if you or a family member wants to be ready for retirement both financially and emotionally.

Join in on the Chat below.

SNS 170: Saturday Night Special - Interview with Tony Hixon Author of Retirement Stepping Stones: Find Meaning, Live with Purpose, and Leave a Legacy

[00:00:00] Scott Maderer: Welcome to tonight's Saturday Night special episode 170.

[00:00:05] Tony Hixon: I'm Tony Hickson. I've challenged you to invest in yourself, invest in others, develop your influence and impact the world by using your time, your talent, and your treasures to live out your calling. Having the ability to develop a true retirement plan that defines your dreams is key, and one way to be inspired to do that is to listen to.

[00:00:28] The Inspired Stewardship podcast with my friend Scott Maderer.

[00:00:32] We are, we're the most connected society in the world through our social media platforms, but yet we're the most lonely. If we're truly struggling, the last place to go is a place where too many opinions, oftentimes in the wrong direction, are shared. The first place to go in my opinion is is to prayer.

[00:00:51] Scott Maderer: Welcome and thank you for joining us on the Inspired Stewardship Podcast. If you truly desire to become the person who [00:01:00] God wants you to be, then you must learn to use your time, your talent, and your treasures for your true calling. In the Inspired Stewardship Podcast, you'll learn to invest in yourself, invest in others, and develop your influence so that you can impact the world.

[00:01:18] And tonight's Saturday Night special, I interview Tony Hickson. I asked Tony about his journey to writing retirement stepping stones. Tony also shares a deeply personal story about faith and his journey with his mother's transition to retirement. And Tony shares what you should do if you are a family member, wants to be ready for retirement, not only financially, but emotion.

[00:01:42] One area that a lot of folks need some help with is around the area of productivity. Getting not just more things done, but actually getting the right things done can be really tough. I've got a [00:02:00] course called Productivity for Your Passion that's designed to help you do this and then to hold you accountable and walk with you so that you can tailor productivity, not just to be getting more done, but actually getting the right things done.

[00:02:17] What's more, we take the approach of looking at your personality and how you actually look at things in the world and tailor the productivity system to your person. Because the truth is, a lot of the systems that are out there are written really well for somebody with a particular personality type. But if you have a different approach to things, they just don't work.

[00:02:39] But there's tools and techniques and approaches that you can take that will work for anyone, and we help you do that and productivity for your passion. Check it out slash launch. Tony Hickson is a co-founder and chief operating officer at Hickson Zercher Capital [00:03:00] Management.

[00:03:00] He has been providing financial advice to his firm's clients since 2003 after having tragically lost his mom. He approaches financial advice in a different way. He firmly believes that his clients aren't served. When we only look at the numbers he. The entire Hicks Anderer team focuses on a holistic approach when working with pre-retiree clients because they've seen firsthand the effects of not having a plan to live a values based life through retirement.

[00:03:30] Tony says, If finances are the only thing we consider, we overlook the wellbeing of our clients and the satisfaction they'll receive from having a financial plan in place. Today we're talking about his new book, Retirement Stepping Stones Finding. Live with purpose and leave a legacy. Welcome to the show, Tony.

[00:03:51] Hi Scott. How are you? I am doing great. I am doing great. I look forward to sharing a little bit about your journey and your story with a [00:04:00] listener today. We talked a little bit about some of your history in the book, in the intro, but what really brought you to writing this book? What's the story behind writing this book?

[00:04:14] Tony Hixon: Yeah. It's quite a painful story to share, but it's one that that I have to be able to get through in order to tell you the why behind the book. And before I launch into the story, let me first say thank you for the opportunity to share with you and your listeners, and I am hopeful that we are able to provide some value for those who might be tuning.

[00:04:32] As you stated, my name's Tony Hickson. I'm a financial advisor here in northwest Ohio, little town called Finley. Our claim to fame is hometown of Ben Ruthless Berger. So if you know the retired Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback yeah, that's, that puts us on the map. So other than that grew up in my childhood with my dad as a farmer and a factory worker, and my mom as a registered nurse.

[00:04:57] And when she first started into [00:05:00] nursing, she worked at a local hospital and those local hospital swing shift hours just were not conducive to raising a young family. So when they had my sister and I my mom started to look for employment that would have more regular business hours and she'd be able to be there for us in the morning and also be home for us when we got off the bus from school.

[00:05:21] So she found a job at a home health agency here locally, and she did that for quite a few years and often. And then around that time is when hospice began to be a thing. And for those, I think it's a familiar term, but just to provide some definitions there it's really when the healthcare industry has exhausted all of its All of its options.

[00:05:44] For the patient, and they really just want that patient to go home so that they can be surrounded by loved ones and familiar surroundings. And it was around that time that my mom really became interested in that field and all roads [00:06:00] led to her ultimately becoming an executive director of a local hospice.

[00:06:05] And it was in that field, in that career that she found her her deepest passion, her deepest reward, her deepest significance as she sat bedside of these patients, made friends with their family, held their hands as they transitioned from this life. To the next. And she would attend the funeral and then rinse and repeat and do it all over again.

[00:06:28] So as you can imagine it was very rewarding, but very relationally taxing as well. If you add on top of this the fact that electronic medical records. We're becoming a thing. So mid two thousands electronic medical records were becoming to be a regulation for the healthcare industry.

[00:06:49] And the last thing that my mo mom wanted to be is behind a desk. She wanted to be bedside providing care for her patients, and she found herself more and more [00:07:00] having to do computer work instead of patient care. So late two thousands she began to become intrigued with the idea of seeing if she could retire.

[00:07:11] I started my business with my business partner, Adam Zer. We were in business and starting in 2002. So I'd been in the business 6, 7, 8 years. And one of the good things about. How we handled family and business. I was not my mom's primary financial advisor. She was somebody else. And that was great.

[00:07:30] We separated family and business. So she went to her primary financial advisor along with my dad. And this primary financial advisor whipped out her software, her experience, her credentialing. Checked all of the financial boxes. And gave my mom a green light to retire and said that you're gonna be okay.

[00:07:49] That's you. You've been able to say congratulations. My mom did obviously know who I am and what I do for a living, and so she showed me the respect and honor and allowed me to give a second opinion. [00:08:00] So I took a peak under the hood of her financial situation, and I too, without my experience, my software.

[00:08:07] My credentialing and I gave her the green light to retire as well, and that's what she did. In the fall of 2010, she pulled the trigger to retire and what happened next was something that none of us quite expected. It was shortly thereafter that retirement became her biggest regret. She lost purpose.

[00:08:29] She lost significance. The very career that she felt was her best calling had burnt her out, ended up being the thing that she wanted back. And as she navigated this new road to retirement, she knew exactly what she was retiring from, but had no idea what she was retiring to. True. She had enough money to sleep at night, but not enough purpose to get up in the.

[00:08:56] Six months into retirement on March 22nd, 2011. [00:09:00] My mom, Pam Hickson She chose to take her life. The ripple effects of that decision are still felt to this day. I had two young daughters at the time. My wife and I, ages three and five, and they have very faint memories Of Mama Pam.

[00:09:17] My wife was seven months pregnant with what would've been my mom's first grandson. And in the line at visitation of my mom's funeral. I couldn't help but wonder if she could have just held on for a couple more months to meet her first grandson, if that might have helped. But nonetheless, the decision was made and the learnings of what's happened from that began to change the trajectory of my life.

[00:09:42] I could have onboarded so much guilt and shame. I gave her the green light. Scott, I was one of the financial advisors that said, Do. In it in such a tragedy, but I refuse to let that tragedy to define me, turn this tragedy into triumph and the stumbling block and the [00:10:00] stepping stones. And 10 years later, I decided to put the learnings from this experience into book form and released retirement stepping stones.

[00:10:08] Scott Maderer: So you know that the thing that I think is important too, that to call out, is it. Strictly a financial decision. In, in, in terms of, in other words, both the decision to retire and even the decision that your mom made. After the fact. It wasn't a financial decision. It was deeper than that.

[00:10:32] Why do you think retirement can be such a triggering event? Cuz your mom's not alone in this. It can be, I. Talk to other folks that after retirement, you know, my, my grandparent after retirement six months later had passed away. And it, I feel that part of that was they just I don't have any reason to live anymore.

[00:10:54] I'm done. Why do you think it's such a trigger for so many

[00:10:57] Tony Hixon: people? Yeah I can't help but [00:11:00] think of the term that's been in vogue lately as life quakes. We go through earthquakes, we go through life quakes. It's those events that just can cause us some anxiety and some just jarring feelings that we have within our heart.

[00:11:15] That can be a job change. It can be having a baby, it can be getting married, graduating from college, and one of those largest life wakes that I think we go through is retirement. And a lot of times that reason is because we have found such significance and purpose in our work, in our career. We were made on purpose for a purpose, and we oftentimes can express that in the careers that we've chosen.

[00:11:40] But our mindset, especially in American culture, is that retirement is the destination and it's one big long vacation and it's golfing and trips and all that kind of stuff. And while that is very true The stats don't lie. The stats are that 40% of [00:12:00] retirees experience a significant battle with depression within the first six months of retirement.

[00:12:05] It is also a statistic that the divorce rate amongst retirees within the first two years after retirement are higher than national averages. So retirement can be a very jarring circumstance, and it's one. Quite honestly, the financial industry doesn't take seriously enough from a non-financial aspect.

[00:12:26] Scott Maderer: So if someone, let's say that they're in that stage now where they're dealing with some of those concerns. I'm talking now about a retiree who's thinking about is depressed, is a, feels like they have no purpose anymore. What are some of the resources or some of. Ideas. What would you recommend?

[00:12:49] Who can they reach out to? What are some of the steps they need to.

[00:12:52] Tony Hixon: Yeah to the extent that I can easily tell you what not to do, right? The first thing [00:13:00] not to do is log on Facebook or TikTok or Snapchat and try to find help. We are, we're the most connected society in the world through our social media platforms, but yet we're the most.

[00:13:11] We said behind a screen and expect those to be our quote friends. If we're truly struggling, the last place to go is a place where too many opinions oftentimes in the wrong direction are shared. The first place to go in my opinion is is to prayer. And so if you are a person of faith, if you're not only Christian or another faith, another religion, I think just pausing, regrouping and calling to a higher power is certainly a step in the right direction.

[00:13:44] Secondly, If you are married, I think having those honest conversations with your spouse are very appropriate because they, you may have been hiding it well enough that your spouse is unaware, and so having those deep and honest conversations with your spouse can often [00:14:00] help. Beyond that, a spiritual counselor, a pastor, a faith advisor, or someone in your circle of friends, perhaps a sibling that you're best friends with or a or another friend that you might be able to entrust.

[00:14:13] This these stories too, I think can be very helpful in these times. You mentioned earlier that you think this is an overlooked area when people are planning for retirement. Especially in the financial industry. Why do you think this isn't an area that more people pay attention to?

[00:14:32] Yeah. Financial advisors are notoriously numbers people, right? And we deal with one side of the brain and the other side doesn't work as well. And sometimes re relationships, frustrations, anxiety and depression in our clients is not something that we're want to get involved in.

[00:14:54] It's messy or are, nor are we skilled to get involved in it. I think the statistic [00:15:00] is that there's the 90 10 rule. So prior to retirement, the retirees will spend 90% of their time really focused on the financial side, the financial impact. Have I saved enough? Do I have the right accounts, you the right account types am I going to outlive my money?

[00:15:15] And all the financial boxes are checked and that's. That's very appropriate. But only 10% of the time is really focused on what's next for me. I think it's just assumed. It'll be fun. It'll be golf, it'll be vacations. But oftentimes, Scott, those things start to run out. And you're just stuck with a lot of time on your hands after retirement, that ratio flips and 10% of the time is now focused on financial stuff.

[00:15:39] All that's been solved and 90% of the time is now spent on the. Who am I? Why am I here? Why do I exist? What's next for me? What purpose do I serve? Because all of those things have often been stripped. So the reason I think that it's overlooked in our industry is that we're simply not educated in our colleges and in our [00:16:00] credentialing.

[00:16:00] But my book and my business and my passion is to change that conversation and change that narrative in our industry. I think In some ways, I think this is a larger issue too, in that, especially in the western culture, we have a tendency to and I'm gonna use my language here, but to conflate calling with career or vaca vocation with career.

[00:16:25] Scott Maderer: And to me those are actually not the same way words vocation comes from vocal, it's calling. Purpose that's deeper and broader than just what I happen to do. For me the career is an assignment. It's just what you're doing at this moment, and that can change and does change sometimes moment to moment.

[00:16:45] Much less life stage to life stage. Where calling a lot of times is deeper than that and can last longer than that and can show up in different ways throughout your life as your phases change, do you think is some of this, that [00:17:00] idea of conflating, what's your opinion on what I just said?

[00:17:05] Does that make sense? Does that resonate with what you've

[00:17:07] Tony Hixon: found? Certainly does. And I think it's, it was it's often lived out and. In many retirement retirees lives as you're building that career, you may volunteer on a non-profit that does pull on your heartstrings.

[00:17:23] But you're unable to find the time to be able to really fully commit to those causes and to those callings. Because you need to pay the mortgage and you need to send your kids off to college, right? So tho those and little things

[00:17:37] like eating there's little things like eating putting gas in the car which happens to be very expensive nowadays.

[00:17:42] Yeah. So oftentimes what we start with our clients is to identify your values and by identifying our values, we can start to peel back the layers on what is important to Scott. What is it that really drives his heart, drives his passion, that if he [00:18:00] weren't working 40 to 50 hours a week, climbing the corporate.

[00:18:04] And putting food on the table, what would he spend his time doing? And upon retirement it is we check the box of being able to retire to something instead of just from something. think that idea of retiring to something, Is so important. Otherwise you don't have a destination.

[00:18:22] Scott Maderer: It's hard to do much of anything. Let's say somebody is younger listening. Now they're many years from retirement. Maybe they're in their thirties, maybe even their twenties. Yeah, retirement seems a long way away, and I will tell you as I get older, it's that whole conversation gets much closer.

[00:18:42] Yeah. But I remember being 20 and being like I, what are you talking about? Retirement is so far away. I've got plenty of time. What are some of the things that maybe that younger person needs to hear from this or start thinking

[00:18:55] Tony Hixon: about? Yeah. I would be fir I would be quick to say and it's obvious, I don't wanna [00:19:00] state the obvious, but I think I have to, Not every retirement ends in suicide, right?

[00:19:05] Retirement can be a super fulfilling, super fun. Time of life. So to begin to plan for that stage now is really appropriate and not only from a financial aspect, where making sure that you're maxing out your 401k, taking advantage of the match that your employer contributes to you getting your Roth IRA funded and your kids' college in.

[00:19:31] Those things are very appropriate. But instead of that 90 10 ratio that I gave you before it's also taking taking into account that age old question of who am I? Why do I exist? And really start thinking through, even though I might be working for this employer, I really have a passion point of what's next for me.

[00:19:52] So in retirement, it's living out that calling, living out those purposes, living out. Values that you've identified but maybe just haven't had the time [00:20:00] to fulfill during your career. So let's flip that on its head. Let's say somebody is, retirement is a little closer than being in your twenties or thirties.

[00:20:08] Scott Maderer: Maybe you're in your fifties or even sixties, or maybe you've even reached retirement age. Sure. What are some of the things that they need to think about as they're making that transition?

[00:20:19] Tony Hixon: Yeah. One of the, one of the key aspects that. I don't think many retirees are prepared for is the loss of social connections.

[00:20:28] So during your 20, 25, 30 year career at a place you you have your office friends, you have built in social connections that you're with 40 plus hours per week. And while a lot of those people may end up annoying you, and going, heading into retirement is actually a welcome respite.

[00:20:49] Oftentimes if you haven't planned for those social connections to, to remain whether that be establishing new friendships, whether that be engaging with. A bridge, a local bridge club, or [00:21:00] golfing with some friends, or connecting with local faith community. Having those social connections is super important.

[00:21:06] As we learn during the pandemic, social connections are the way that human beings survive and thrive. And if we don't have those in place upon retirement that can be very jarring to, to a person.

[00:21:19] Scott Maderer: That's one of the things that I, I heard others say, but I was. As well during the pandemic is we needed to stop calling it social distancing and start calling it physical distancing , because you needed social connection.

[00:21:33] Even if you were standing six feet away from someone it's I need. I need people. That's right. And yes, a zoom call is nice, but it also doesn't take the place from going and having a cup of coffee with somebody and just having a conversation sitting across the table.

[00:21:50] From somebody as well.

[00:21:53] Tony Hixon: What too. Yeah. I'm sorry. I think too, for those. So the situation that you're speaking of [00:22:00] where you're in your late fifties or sixties contemplating retirement very close to it. I think it's very appropriate to really think through a plan B. I think it's taboo to think I'm gonna retire.

[00:22:10] I'm gonna be there for 30 years and I'm gonna gut it out no matter what. But what if you end up in retirement and you don't? That's okay. Having a plan B. I think the current terminology is you can Tom Brady, you can unretire, right? Having that plan B in your back pocket, if things just don't work out, if you're just not finding fulfillment and purpose, the house projects ran out.

[00:22:32] The grandkids are a bit more too annoying for you,

[00:22:36] Scott Maderer: despite popular belief. You've played as much golf as you wanna play .

[00:22:40] Tony Hixon: That's great. And by the way, those expen those vacations that were on your radar are actually very expensive and may destroy your financial plan. It's okay to be able to get back to work, to get back to a setting where you're able to find meaning and purpose.

[00:22:54] It's okay to have a plan B and to unretired and I also think too, it's. [00:23:00] There are hybrid things now that people do that. My, my joke is I don't plan on retiring from what I'm doing today. I just plan on doing it differently or less not necessarily stop. Sure. There will be a point where I have to stop doing it, but what I do is not.

[00:23:18] Scott Maderer: Physically demanding. It's something I can continue to do. And I know folks that are completely retired that it's I still wanna coach, but I only wanna coach three clients a month. That's it. That's all I wanna see. Instead of 12 or 15 or 20 or whatever it is that you were doing at the peak.

[00:23:36] And I think there's a lot of jobs where you can find ways to. Less, or differently, but still continue to do something.

[00:23:44] Tony Hixon: And I often think that's a better idea, that soft landing instead of having the retirement party on Friday. And waking up on Monday where your inbox used to be full of 300 emails.

[00:23:56] Now you just have two and both of them are junk. Um, It can [00:24:00] just be a very disruptive thing to do to pull the bandaid off all at once. I think the glide path into retirement is actually a better option. And with that, I think too just. On the financial side of it, it often can help your financial picture too, because you're extending some of that.

[00:24:16] Scott Maderer: So that's really, there's a financial side as well. Correct. So what are you mentioned earlier that one of the places to start is finding your values, finding what you believe and I like to joke with people, it's asking yourself that question, What do I wanna be when I grow up over and over again?

[00:24:32] Even when you're 62, What do I wanna be when I grow up? What's this next phase gonna look like? That's right. How does fitting, how do you see that connected to retirement?

[00:24:45] Tony Hixon: Yeah. I think it's back to our prior conversation and actually Scott, I'm, I don't know if your listeners are aware yet, but we, our firm, as a result of this book, we have hired a life coach on staff.

[00:24:58] And this particular life coach [00:25:00] deals with a non-financial aspect of retirement. And one of the things that he's quick to do, one of the first meetings that he has with a client is to hand them a deck of cards. Okay? 52 cards. These 52 cards. 52 values on them, and he sits across the table from the client and they start to sort through this deck of cards.

[00:25:22] And whittle ultimately whittle it down to five. And once those five have arisen to the top it's starting to have that conversation as to how can these five values really be integrated into these retirees lives, into these clients' lives. So identifying your values is it's. So it's so ethereal.

[00:25:47] It's hard to put into to terms if I just asked you to identify them, that would be hard to do. But going through a, an exercise where you're able to really sort through what those values could be and what rise rises to the [00:26:00] top can really pull back the layers on what's important to you and your spouse.

[00:26:05] It can really be engaging as you live out your purpose into your retirement.

[00:26:11] Scott Maderer: And I think too especially with couples it's interesting cuz I've had couples do similar experiences and similar exercises. Some of my coaching and I always have them do it separately and then come together and it's interesting sometimes to see what, first off, it often shocks them, how many they have in common.

[00:26:29] And then what the differences are too is an interesting conversation cuz you, they've seldom a hundred percent identical .

[00:26:36] Tony Hixon: Yeah, that's right. And yeah, what that often then leads to is just that idea of dreaming together. So you have the husband's idea of what it. Should be or is, and the wives.

[00:26:46] And once those conversations take place with a mediator or a coach, someone else across the table those aren't quite conversations that typically take place over the dinner table. But having that guide alongside you can really can really [00:27:00] spark some creative and awesome conversations between the.

[00:27:03] Scott Maderer: Let's talk a little bit more about couples what are some of the you mentioned earlier divorce rates often go up during retirement and other things. How, beyond just getting your values in sync, what are other things that couples need to pay attention to as they're preparing for retirement or making this transition?

[00:27:22] Tony Hixon: Yeah. Yeah. I think the saying I won't get this quite right, but I married you forever, but not for lunch. All of a sudden the husband or the wife were having their own life, their own career 40 hours a week. And now we're having lunch together every single day.

[00:27:38] And I hate to be overly stereotypical, but just for an example, if the husband is the one that's retired and the wife was the homemaker sometimes. The wife just wants the husband to go back away. , to go back to work, to get out of the house. It's bothersome. I was able to get stuff done.

[00:27:54] Scott Maderer: Now you're under foot , know? yeah.

[00:27:55] Tony Hixon: Now you're under foot and now I gotta clean up again after you when and so it's just [00:28:00] being able to have those those bold and honest conversations to say, You know what? I'm gonna, I'm gonna leave for a little bit. We're gonna have our art alone. We're gonna have those times where we can pray and think and listen to podcasts and read our own books, and then we'll get back together at a later time during the day.

[00:28:17] But having that alone time especially in the first part of retirement, is super critical to to engage to remain a marriage to support a marriage relationship in.

[00:28:31] Scott Maderer: I think one of the things that I actually in premarital counseling, My pastor actually told me that stuck with me and made me, I, this is how I think about it now.

[00:28:43] Is he said in, in a marriage there's actually at least three people and all of them need all of the things that people need. That's the husband, the wife, and the marriage. And he said, Yeah, they all need time together. They all need time apart. They all need [00:29:00] food. They all need shelter. They all need all of the things that you would do to feed and protect and develop and inspire yourself as an individual.

[00:29:08] The marriage also needs, but each individual also needs. And never forget that, that's right. Said, which is, Yeah, I thought that was like, I'm like, that's actually a really good way of picturing it in your head, for sure. And it stuck with you all these years later. Yeah, actually now there, there's more to the story, but that's it stuck with me because I think it was a, an interesting picture that that I took with me.

[00:29:34] I have a few questions that I like to ask every guest, but before I go there, is there anything else about the book or the work you and your firm do that, that you'd like to share with the.

[00:29:46] Tony Hixon: Yeah. Again, thank you for this opportunity. The only thing that possibly comes to mind is I'm not doing this for financial gain.

[00:29:54] Our firm is not doing this for financial gain. I wrote this book because I couldn't have one to one [00:30:00] conversations with enough people. And so this book serves the purpose to be able to get this story. To the masses and be able to help retirees really come to terms with a non-financial side of retirement.

[00:30:12] So that the idea of retirement stepping stones turning our stumbling blocks into stepping stones. I outline 10 stepping stones that that the retiree can read through and really process. There's a workbook available on online to be able to be that journal or that guide as they read through the book.

[00:30:30] All proceeds, all net proceeds from the sale of this book. I actually go to a scholarship fund that my wife and I created at a local university. And the scholarship goes to a nursing student and it's a student that distribute displays good grades and financial need. And each year the scholarship recipient is chosen.

[00:30:52] My wife and I are able to meet with them and we tell the recipient our story and what happened to. And to [00:31:00] ensure that they're aware that as they launch into their career in healthcare, that it's gonna be caring for others, and that's super appropriate.

[00:31:09] And we're so excited that people who choose that career do that. But it's a reminder to the recipient. That you have to care for yourself too. Self-care is really important. Having the mental fortitude to be able to get through a career in healthcare is it's a lot of work, and so the proceed the net proceeds from the sale of the boat go to that scholarship fund, the Pam Hickson Memorial Nursing Scholarship Fund.

[00:31:34] Scott Maderer: My, my father-in-law passed here at the house. My wife and myself and my mother-in-law live on hospice. The very work that, that your mom was doing has definitely has a place in my heart because those folks did a tremendous job of helping not just him, but helping my mother-in-law and helping my wife and my [00:32:00] son.

[00:32:00] And I deal with with the transition here at home. I'm sorry for your loss. So he my brand has inspired stewardship and I run things through that lens of stewardship, and yet that's one of those words that over the years I've discovered it means different things to different people.

[00:32:16] So for you, what does the word stewardship mean? And what do you think of when you think of that word in terms of the impact on your life?

[00:32:25] Tony Hixon: Yeah. I'm a financial advisor by trade. So my, my brain immediately goes to financially related, but I'm a person of faith and I've read the Bible long enough to know that stewardship is more than just money.

[00:32:37] It's about your time and it's about your gifts and your treasures that God has entrusted with you as well. When I think of stewardship I think the. I think of ownership and if you're at a local health club and there's a towel on the floor, most likely because you're just there and you pay a membership fee, you're gonna walk by that, you're gonna let the staff deal with it.[00:33:00]

[00:33:00] But when you're at your house and you own the house and you care about your family, the towel's in the floor, you're gonna pick it up and put it in the laundry where it goes. So it's taking that extra care, taking that ownership mentality. and stewarding it. It's owning it well, it's it's allowing your mindset to be that, of responsibility instead of it's someone else's responsibility.

[00:33:22] Scott Maderer: So this is my kind of favorite question of the show. If I invented this magic machine and I was able to pluck you from your office today and transport you into the future, a hundred to 150 years, maybe even 200 years. , but through the power of this machine, you were able to look back and see your entire life and see all of the relationships, all of the connections, all of the ripples and impacts that you've left behind.

[00:33:49] What impact do you hope you left on the world

[00:33:51] Tony Hixon: in order to go forward to the future? Do you mind if I share a story of what happened? Absolutely. When I launched out to write this book number. [00:34:00] Scott, I'm not an author , I'm a financial advisor. So it was a very daunting task for me to think through how in the world I am I going to write a book on this circumstance?

[00:34:11] And through the encouragement of friends and my business partner and my wife, I started to put pin to page late 20. And little did I know that a few months into my writing, it would be when the covid pandemic would take over, put pen to page in late 2019. And 35,000 words later, I was able to deliver my manuscript to my publisher in the fall of 2020.

[00:34:40] And when I submitted it to our publisher, they were informed me that it would go. Three rounds of edits. The first round would be a developmental edit, and the second two rounds would be more proofreading and grammar. The first round I was assigned the developmental edit, I was assigned to a [00:35:00] person.

[00:35:00] I, her name was Pam. And for fun, I looked her up on LinkedIn and I found out that she was a doctor of literary science from Harvard Univers. Oh, and I thought that's interesting. Should be fun. And about five weeks later I got my manuscript back after her developmental review. And Scott, have you ever used the track changes function on Microsoft Word?

[00:35:24] Oh yeah. Oh yeah. Very familiar with it. So you know that when there's a change, it turns it red? When I opened my manuscript from her review. I had never seen so much red in my life. And while it's comical now when I opened that I was devastated. I'm sure. I think I went through the seven stages of grief just very quickly.

[00:35:46] I threw, I was ready to throw in the towel. I'm not an author. I can't write. She destroyed my work. I cannot believe what's happening here. And if I'm, to be honest with you, I turned my eyes toward heaven, and I'm [00:36:00] like, I'm done. Why did you do this to me? I don't have the time to put in to making this right.

[00:36:05] I went down to my business partner's office and I said look what she's done. She ruined my book. I went home that night and showed my wife, Carrie look what she's done to my book. And later that evening, I looked toward heaven and I said, God, why? Why would you have done this? I wanna share this story with the world, but I'm just not good.

[00:36:24] I didn't do it right. She destroyed it. I don't want to go any further. And Scott, I don't know if you've ever had that experience. I've never heard audibly from God, but I heard it in my heart. I heard him say to me, Tony, I assigned to you a doctor of literary science from Harvard.

[00:36:42] You're welcome. And with that, I realized the blessing that I had of all the people in the face of this planet that could have done that edit. I had a doctorate of literary science do the work. For the next five weeks. I painstakingly went through my manuscript and accepted and rejected and changed the [00:37:00] things that she wanted.

[00:37:01] And the book that you see today would've been less than not near as good as what it was during that time that I had it was around February of 2020 that I was going through this pain of correcting everything. And of February of 2021, I'm sorry, I was going through the pain of correcting everything and I had a friend and he was a CEO of a large organization and this particular CEO.

[00:37:31] A really awesome business mentor for me. But he had retired the year prior and my radar is up for that type of thing when you're retiring in the fall, heading into the Ohio winter. That's exactly what happened to my mom. It can be a dark time and a cold time to be to be experiencing retirement.

[00:37:47] So I, gave him a call and asked him if you'd be willing to meet me for coffee. In February of 2021 we met at a local coffee shop. And when he entered the restaurant, he was a semblance of a man. I wanted to do. [00:38:00] I knew something was wrong, something was different. As we sat across the table I really just looked him in the eye deeply and asked him How's retirement?

[00:38:09] How are you doing? And as God would have it in that circumstance, he was vulnerable that day and he said, It's not going well. I met with my financial advisor for two years prior to pulling the trigger on retirement, and we checked all of the financial boxes and I knew I was ready. I knew I would be able to have enough money to sleep at night, but something's not right and I can't figure out what it is.

[00:38:31] Scott, I was in the middle of reviewing my book, so to know to, to say I knew my content is an understatement. I knew it really well even before the book was released. And for the next hour, I was able to deliver those stepping stones verbally to this person. And he was by he was so excited to hear the different ways that he might be able to crawl outta this depression that he was feeling.

[00:38:55] And by the time that hour was done through many tears that were. We [00:39:00] hugged, we embraced, and I saw a smile on his first for face for the very first time. Later that day, my wife came into town. We had lunch together and we were sitting at a local restaurant and I was telling her this story. Carrie, can you believe it?

[00:39:13] The story is already having an impact and it, the book hasn't even been released yet. She was excited as I was. And during that time I, I got a text from my friend and far be it for me to be that married couple that looks at your phone the whole time. So I, Carrie, can I check this text? It's from that person I met with this morning and she's Absolutely, please do.

[00:39:32] I opened I opened my text from him and it read. Tony, thank you for your time this morning. Whether you know it or not today, you quite literally saved a life. Scott, my mom was a nurse. And as such, she cared for her patients well. I'm a financial advisor and as such, I care for my client's wealth.

[00:39:57] This book unites her purpose with [00:40:00] mine, and we have a unique opportunity to make a significant impact and those life quakes and those in those times when people don't know exactly what they're retiring to offer this story. To honor my mom's legacy. And so when I'm sitting here, a hundred, 150, 200 years from now, the ripple effects that were felt upon her decision to commit suicide were vast.

[00:40:26] I wanna make sure that the larger ripple effect was the day I released this book into the. And I'm receiving story after story of lives who have been impacted of lives, who have been changed of lives, who have been saved by my mom's legacy and through the Book's Impact.

[00:40:45] Scott Maderer: And that that message, I think what you said there is important that the ripples go in multiple directions and what I mean by that? There are I if, for instance, somebody [00:41:00] has chosen to take their own life, there are ripples that go out from that event, and some of those ripples are painful and hurtful, but there's also sometimes some positive ripples that go out from that in terms of affecting someone else or helping someone else see a change.

[00:41:20] And so this book. For me, it's one of those examples of taking a very painful event and turning it into a hopeful message, a positive message, something that can affect others positively. I, that, that's a good legacy to leave not for you and for. Yeah.

[00:41:46] Tony Hixon: Thank you for those kind words.

[00:41:47] And I'm hopeful that we're able to leave that positive legacy and that those who think about my mom would have a positive view of what she's, the life she lived and the stories that she now offers to [00:42:00] others. So what's next on the roadmap as you finish out the year and look into 2023?

[00:42:07] Scott Maderer: What's next?

[00:42:10] Tony Hixon: Yeah. So I mentioned Scott, that our the financial industry is notoriously. Blind, or the conversation just isn't being activated in our industry. We know exactly what required minimum distributions are and Roth IRA conversions and all of the tax mitigation techniques, but we don't know how to deal with a client who just is unsettled with retirement.

[00:42:34] We don't know how to ask the hard questions or offer the rights on toolkit for them to be able to live a life of purpose and meaning beyond retirement. So the next few months, years, my hope is to introduce that conversation and I appreciate platforms like yours where I'm able to share that story and I'm starting to make a little bit of impact into some of the financial larger financial [00:43:00] publications that are out there.

[00:43:01] And my only hope is that the audience can only grow bigger and my mom's legacy can be honored even more. And so what's next for me is to continue to have the conversation Kindle, rekindle it, and start it in the financial industry to educate financial advisors, how to help their clients retire to a life on purpose.

[00:43:19] And that.

[00:43:21] Scott Maderer: That would be a good change to make cuz I actually have had some experience with financial advisors that tend to only wanna look at the numbers and talk about the numbers, and it's little bit more than life, than just the numbers. . And I'm a numbers guy too so you can find out more about Tony on Facebook or Twitter is Tony Hickson that's H I x o n or find out more about Tony's book.

[00:43:46] Tony You can find out more about his coaching process and what he does coaching. Of course, I'll have links to all of this over in the show [00:44:00] notes as well. Tony, is there anything else you'd like to share with the listener?

[00:44:03] Tony Hixon: And as I look at I have a TV over there, we have quite a few TVs throughout our office, and every one of them displays the bad news that's going on in life right now.

[00:44:14] There's no shortage of things that would cause us to want to pray more. Or to worry or becoming anxious or depressed. You live very close to the tragedy that occurred recently. With the shootings in Texas, the school shootings. There's a war going on in the Ukraine. Inflation is out of control.

[00:44:33] I could spend the next five minutes telling you about all the bad things, and yet, Scott, I believe, In human humanity, I believe in our power to solve things. I believe that even though there's no shortage of things to worry about, that there's never been a better time to be alive. Abundance is all around God's blessing permeates our lives and for us to step back and realize those [00:45:00] blessings, to take this, to take time out of our day, to realize the awesome beauty of God's creation and the way that he has orchestrated each one of these moments so that we can enjoy each other, can enjoy our careers, we can enjoy our retirement.

[00:45:15] We can enjoy our freedom. Those are all blessings, and for us to step back and truly embrace the fact that the best is ahead. It's something that I really encourage our, your listeners, and for myself to remember in spite of what's going on in the world today.

[00:45:34] Scott Maderer: Thanks so much for listening to the Inspired Stewardship Podcast. As a subscriber and listener, we challenge you to not just sit back and passively listen, but act on what you've heard and find a way to live your calling. If you enjoyed this, Please. Please do us a favor. Go over to inspired [00:46:00]

[00:46:02] Rate all one word iTunes rate. It'll take you through how to leave a rating and review, and how to make sure you're subscribed to the podcast so that you can get every episode as it comes out in your feed. Until next time, invest your. Your talent and your treasures. Develop your influence and impact the world.

Some of the Resources recommended in this episode: 

I make a commission for purchases made through the following link.

We’re the most connected society in the world through our social media platforms yet we’re the most lonely.  – Tony Hixon

Click to Tweet

You can connect with Tony  using the resources below:

Let Me Know What you Think Below....

About the Author Scott

Helping people to be better Stewards of God's gifts. Because Stewardship is about more than money.

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}