By Tiffany Cooke
Each of the Washington County Chamber of Commerce and Tourism’s monthly luncheons begin the same – with pledge, prayer, and introductions. Prior to this official start to the luncheon, attendees chat about their work schedules, struggles and concerns, and personal lives.
However, each meeting has something different – innovative information from a member.
At the June Luncheon, chamber members enjoyed a build-your-own taco bar, catered by Country Cookin’, and cupcakes provided by Fox Purlee’s mother. Not only did Purlee bring sweet treats for his fellow board members, but he also hosted the event.
Purlee, of his individually run business of Fox Purlee’s Wealth Management, provided information primarily regarding retirement saving options and pitfalls to avoid.
Purlee is an Investment Adviser Representative in Salem specializing in 401(k) rollovers, college saving plans, traditional and Roth IRAs, and 457(b), 403(b), and 401(k) plans. He graduated from Salem High School in 1995 and the Kelley School of Business in 2000. Two and a half years after receiving his degree, he decided it was time to open his own business to serve Salem.
“My only regret is not going into an individual business after 2 and a half months after graduating, not two and a half years,” Purlee said.
His business is located next door to H&R Bakery, the popular pastry shop. People often ask him why he hasn’t gained weight from being surrounded by donuts, brownies, and cookies all day. His answer is simple. Purlee’s mother managed a bakery for some time and came home smelling like donuts; He’s had his fair share.
She still bakes him sweets, just like the ones she provided for the luncheon chamber attendees.
After sharing this anecdote, Purlee moved onto to business, but not without disclosing that even as an adviser, he doesn’t know all.
“One of the biggest misconceptions people have is that I can predict what’s going to happen,” Purlee said. “I don’t know the future.”
However, Purlee does know one thing – the importance of having a retirement savings plan. If everyone walked around with their 401(k) balance stamped on their foreheads, people would be a lot more aggressive about saving properly, he said.
“I’ve never had anyone tell me they saved too much are started saving too early,” Purlee added.
From his experience, there are two main mistakes that people make – not choosing to opt into employer’s matching 401(k) plans or taking an early cash out.
In a matching 401(k) plan, when an employee saves back $5 in their retirement fund, a matching $5 is added to the balance. Purlee urged his audience to not put it off any longer –to start looking for that $5.
When people cash out their retirement fund, taking the money before they’re of age, there are consequences. Some cash out early for “quick money,” withdraw it when they change jobs, or to help with personal expenses. When this happens, there are penalties that must be paid and the employee must start from scratch, building back up from nothing. Because of this, they may end up ready to retire with nothing saved back. Even if there the individual withdrawing takes out a loan with it, there is an opportunity cost to consider. They’ll miss out of the growth they could’ve had from leaving the money where it was.
Not matter the circumstance, Purlee noted that there are options that don’t involve cashing out. His job is to help people meet their needs, without risking their future.
“We can’t go back in time, but we can look forward to the future, so we don’t make the same mistakes again,” he said.
Following this, there were many questions from the audience. Some asked for their personal wonderings, while others tried to get information for friends or family. After this, Purlee let the members know that he charges no fee for simply meeting with clients, so he can let them know if and how he can help before they invest in his expertise.
“We think we know money,” said Tara Kritzer, Executive Director of the Chamber, following his presentation, “but there’s an awful lot we don’t know.”
At this luncheon, there were some new faces representing businesses. They – and the regular attendees – are encouraged to gather again at next month’s luncheon on July 25.