Although it wasn’t traditional “love at first sight,” Maria remembers the first time she met Anthony well:
“Anthony and I first met at Farm Bureau Financial Services in Gilbert, Arizona back in 2008. He had come on as a captive financial advisor with them and I was in charge of teaching one of the onboarding classes he attended.…he was the only one in class that day who wore a bright yellow shirt, had a great Tennessee accent, and was one of the happiest guys I had ever met.”
Love certainly bloomed, because they were married in 2010. At that time the company Anthony was working for made some big changes that affected the way he would be able to help his clients, so after a lot of prayer Anthony and Maria decided to start Retirement Specialty Group right in the middle of their bedroom.
“We truly do have humble beginnings,” says Maria.
With her work background, it was a natural transition for Maria to help Anthony with their fledgling business. As they grew the company together, they found themselves growing closer together as well.
In Maria’s words –
“I’ve often wondered how husbands and wives can work together all the time…and now I wonder how husband and wives could ever work apart. Anthony is truly my best friend and we share everything together.”
These days, Maria handles all of the accounting at RSG while also helping to cast vision and provide direction. She thinks of herself as a “behind the scenes” kind of girl, but the work she does can be seen plainly…even if you don’t always see the person that does it.
After working hard and wearing lots of hats as RSG grew in the first few years, Maria is enjoying increased flexibility to focus on growing the business instead of working within it. She attributes this to the great staff that has been put in place.
The most challenging part of what she does at RSG? There’s a consistent desire to grow more quickly than they’re able to. “There’s a wealth of knowledge we have and we just want to get it out there to help as many people as we can. If we had it our way, we would already be in offices across the nation,” says Maria.
Having increased flexibility has allowed Maria not only to focus more on managing the business, but also to spend more time with her family.
“Anthony and I are a blended family. We are a “His, Hers, and Ours” kind of family. Aaron (28) and Zac (23) are my stepsons and Kristina (21) is my biological daughter. We had our son Kody (7) together.
I’ve learned so much about blending families that Anthony and I began holding blended family small groups at our local church. If you’re part of a blended family, you know there are challenges associated with it. We’re really blessed, though, that even through these challenges our family is strong and we love each other greatly.”
If she could give just one piece of retirement planning advice, Maria would say this:
“Don’t wait to plan. Start putting money back now. Unfortunately we see too many people not make planning for retirement a higher priority. It’s so much more fun to plan vacations and fun things in life, but it’s a day that’s coming for all of us and it’s so important to be ready. And when you’re ready to retire, or just need a better plan than what you have, we’ll be here for you.”
Thank you Maria, for sharing with us! If you have questions for Maria you can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org .