When the opportunity for Solid Rock Financial Group to be featured in this magazine presented itself, we couldn’t have been more honored. I immediately sought out an individual to pen an article about us. Who we are, what we believe, and more importantly – why we believe it. While I was successful in finding several wonderfully qualified and worthy people, ultimately I became aware that this was so close to my heart that I needed to use my own voice. Please indulge a first time writer as I share not only the story of Solid Rock, but my own story.
I was maybe six or seven years old when I heard it for the first time; “The only two things in life that are certain, are death and taxes.” At the time, I hadn’t the slightest clue what taxes were but I knew I wanted no part of them! Of course that was far from the last time I would hear the old adage, and before too long I was personally experiencing the joys of having Uncle Sam relieve me of a rather generous portion of my hard earned wages. I vividly remember protesting to my Dad about the matter. With a mix of laughter and lament, he welcomed me to the ranks of the American work force. I learned what every kid learns when they get their first paycheck. Taxes are certain. Thankfully it wasn’t TOO long into my adult working life before I learned that the phrase has a lesser known but even more important accompanying statement.
“There are only two types of people who pay taxes: The informed, and the uninformed.” When it comes to saving and planning for retirement, I can assure you that there is a staggering difference in the outcomes, depending on which you are. Luckily the man who related this little caveat to me also educated me on how not to be the latter.“It’s insane. We work and save and stash our money away into accounts that we have little to no control over. 12.5 years is all you have in the most common retirement accounts to spend your money when you actually want to. Before that time period starts, you aren’t allowed to touch it without incurring penalty fees. You’re paying for the ability to spend YOUR OWN MONEY. Then those years come to a close and they force you to withdraw it whether you like it or not. Who’s in charge in that relationship?’’
– Ross Welte, Solid Rock Financial Group.
Aaron and John at the Young Life Charity Golf
Scramble last summer
SRFG was born in 2009, co-founded and helmed by John Dwyer. However, this wasn’t his first gig. Due to his desire to advocate for others, John began his professional career in education, but after several years decided he was better suited for educating people about finance. Another few years down the road he was running a successful practice with clients spanning multiple generations. It was at this time that he began to discover some disturbing truths – primarily that the financial plans the industry had guided them toward were not as effective or efficient as they should have been. To put it bluntly, he discovered that these good people were going to run out of money before they ran out of life!
But how?! John had found success building his practice by following the rules of what the financial institutions had taught him to a T? To him the answer was obvious: The system was broken. He began searching for the reasons why and what could be done differently. If I’ve heard it once I’ve heard it 100 times. This is when he came home, threw down his things and said to his wife, “Maria, I’ve had enough. I’m starting my own company.” Fortunately, John and a small group of others across the country not only identified the problems, but also found the solution. The United States tax code. The little black book of the IRS. Turns out if you understand that brief piece of literature (I jest, it is several thousand pages) it can actually work in your favor. This is what started the journey towards the thriving multi state agency we are today.
Fortunately for me, I was encouraged to meet with Mr. Dwyer in 2017 and explore this uncommon approach about a year into my career in finance. As an ambitious young professional working for a fortune 300 company, I was eager to prove I could go toe-to-toe with an industry heavy weight. An hour and a half later I walked out of his office and into the lobby using language that required me to repent on the drive home. I was settled in my new office down the hall by the end of the week.
My parents, my first clients, my biggest fans:
Linda and Scott Jordan
I am forever thankful for that conversation. 19 months later, I hugged my Dad for the last time as the emergency room nurses rolled him to the operating table where he would take his last earthly breaths. In that moment, my life changed in more ways than I can share here. What is pertinent is that it changed my career and it changed my life. My parents were my first clients, and I was now on both sides of the desk. It was my last name on the death certificate; my mother was the widow whose financial future my planning was responsible for. It made the strategies tangible and real in ways I hoped I wouldn’t experience for many more years. No amount of financial planning or security will replace the hole that he left in our family. But thank God we had a plan. Through the help of this incredible group of people at Solid Rock, I experienced first-hand what it is that we promise to our clients. We are advocates, through and through. It is our passion. In our fiduciary roles and also in order to help educate people about how money really works and what’s truly possible.
“We’re asking the wrong questions, and we’re focused on the wrong things. The industry as a whole, I mean. At the end of the day the only thing that matters is how much money do you have to spend. Everybody knows that there’s wisdom in diversification, but has anybody ever talked to you about tax diversification? If the bottom line is how much we get to spend, is it not vital to factor in the entirety of tax implications? Short term, long term, and generational. It’s all about the taxes.”
– Aaron Jordan, Solid Rock Financial Group
At Solid Rock we are firm in our beliefs, and we are dedicated (and quite frankly morally obligated) to share those beliefs. We believe that Americans work hard for their money and should be in control of it. We may not be a good fit for everyone, and that’s ok. We want to work with clients who are ready to disinherit the government from their retirement, and are as dedicated as we are to achieving that goal. If that sounds like you… well, like I said, we love sharing our beliefs.
by Aaron Jordan