Meet The Faces Behind WealthSmart Solutions
We are Marnie Sablan and Dave Watkins, the proud owners of WealthSmart Solutions.
We look forward to sharing our story with you and hope you will enjoy getting to know us better.
I’ve been a business owner over the past thirty-five years. At age 35, I owned and helped to develop a printing company. When I sold my interest, we had approached the ten million dollar mark in commercial and publication sales.
During that time (around1982), we put a 401K plan in place for our employees.
I still remember the day we decided to move forward with the plan. Sitting around a large conference table, our CPA, corporate attorney, and soon to be plan administrator all talked about the benefits of tax deferral. But nobody discussed the impact of stock market losses, plan fees, or the risk that taxes could be higher when it came time for retirement withdraws.
Marnie experiences something similar.
After graduating from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, she began her professional career in the aviation industry as an aircraft mechanic. She later worked as a marketing manager and FAA Liaison. She did as she was advised, and what most of her company peers were doing. She made contributions to her company sponsored 401K plan. She received periodic statements and hoped for the best.
Fast forward to the years 2000 - 2002...
Being disciplined savers, we had both accumulated significant amounts in our 401K’s and 529 plan (college planning). We had developed a private stocks/bond portfolio as well.
Beginning in 2000, our exposure to major stock market losses took almost half of everything we had saved. By the time it was over in 2002, we were devastated. We’d never imagined such losses could happen. I was 42 years old.
Just six years later, in 2008, the market crashed again. This time losses approached 40%. Another huge set back for both of us.
Now, at age 49, it was painfully obvious that a change in our investment strategy had to be made.
We had always been told that in order to achieve retirement gains, we had to take on some level of risk. Occasional losses are a necessary evil of retirement investing. And, don’t worry about the losses….eventually, your money will come back.
( I later learned this to be a retirement planning myth or half-truth)
Anyway, we were not willing to accept that answer anymore.
At that time, we had no idea what the eventual solution would be, but we believed that we should be able to keep more of what we worked so hard to save.
Our search for alternatives started immediately, and the discovery process began with a kind referral and a simple, short phone call to a retirement planning specialist whom we had never met.
During our brief conversation, we discovered some intriguing possibilities:
1. Risk of loss was not necessary to enjoy competitive gains when they occurred.
2. If I qualified, I could create a source of lifetime tax-free retirement cash flow.
That was enough to motivate us to take a four-hour drive ( Richmond, Ky.) to meet this expert and dig into the details.
In addition to safety and lifetime tax-advantaged retirement cash flow, we learned of other advantages. They included liquidity, tax-deferred growth, tax-free transfer to our heirs, and living benefits if needed for chronic, critical, or terminal illness.
As we learned, we verified and immediately began to change the way we saved and invested.
The results of these changes, along with our passion to share what we had learned with others, inspired us to become licensed and start our own business - WealthSmart Solutions.
The industry continues to develop unique products that address the voluntary exposure most people have to stock market volatility, high fees, and increased taxes.
We continue to explore new ways to reach individuals and families who are looking for new alternatives that address common concerns (Market Risk, Fees/Commissions, Lifetime Income and Taxes) of the traditional retirement and saving strategies.
We trust you’ll find our new website, our newsletter, social media sites, and other marketing efforts resourceful.
The WealthSmart Solutions mission: Help protect and grow America’s wealth.
Our core values begin with a fiduciary responsibility to our clients. Simply put, we do what’s in their best interest. We ensure transparency in everything we do, maintaining direct, open, and honest communication.
The ability to provide clients winning results has helped our company grow. However, if it weren’t for the hard work and support of individuals within our company and the supporting organizations we work with daily, our accomplishments would be far less.
For their assistance, we are forever grateful.
On a more personal note - when we’re not working, we enjoy the outdoors.
Golfing, boating (Lake Cumberland), hunting, scuba diving, to name a few activities.
I am a pilot and have enjoyed many hours inside the cockpit of a Cessna P210.
Marnie enjoys skydiving and other extreme sporting activities like rock climbing and rappelling.
She is a member of the Delaware Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association, where she serves as Treasurer and is a proud member of the Theta Phi Alpha Central Ohio Alumnae Association.
We’re dog lovers and have been blessed with the compassionate company of Jetta - our 11-month-old labrador retriever. We look forward to hunting with her when she completes her training this winter.
We’ve enjoyed sharing our story, talking about the things that matter to us, and how they have influenced the way we do business.
If you or someone you know could benefit from our expertise as a retirement planning specialist, we invite you to get in touch. Please visit our website at www.wealthsmartsolutions.com.
Marnie & Dave