For over 20 years, Jamie M. Waldren has specialized in helping clients’ oversee their retirement assets while navigating through financial and lifestyle choices, including achieving and maintaining financial independence throughout retirement so they can, as he describes it, “have the ability to make work optional.”
At the heart of his work, a deeper mission is at hand- helping his clients continue to live “an amazing life of significance” long after retirement.
“I work with a number of mission-driven government contractors who are usually family stewards and want to make meaningful decisions about their wealth,” Jamie explains. “They have worked hard for years building businesses they are passionate about, and as they are preparing to exit, they want to be confident they are making smart decisions that create the best financial outcomes possible. And it also goes beyond that… they want to make decisions that honor the integrity of their business, ensure their loved ones will always be well-taken-care-of, and enable them to contribute to the causes they care about.”
Through his retirement planning framework, often used with government contractors, Jamie utilizes a highly-customized, comprehensive approach to support his clients in making optimal financial decisions for their business or retirement situation while also helping them achieve the personal financial goals most meaningful to them and their loved ones.
This holistic approach is a culmination of Jamie’s own journey as a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional and his own life experience lends him a personal understanding of how important retirement planning is for protecting one’s family.
And, like many of his clients, Jamie’s journey to offering this level of support is marked by his commitment to hard work and perseverance- values he developed through very formative experiences in his youth.
Hard Work and Perseverance Paves the Way
From being a paperboy to building houses in the summer, Jamie began working at 13 years old and hasn’t stopped since.
“Strong work ethic runs in my DNA. I’ve never been afraid of hard work,” he shares with a smile.
During his sophomore year in high school, Jamie felt an even deeper commitment to hard work being called forth, and the decisions he made during this time in his life solidified within him a deep understanding of the sacrifice it takes to achieve the greatest results possible.
Realizing it was time to get serious about his opportunities for college, he decided to double down on his dedication to both his education and his athletic career, which led to a scholarship to play football at Missouri Western.
The level of responsibility required to excel as an athlete, maintain his scholarship, and work to help pay bills along the way greatly refined and fortified his values of hard work and perseverance.
Jamie graduated in 1978 with a BS in Business Management, an experience that gave him a deep sense of accomplishment and the drive to build a highly successful career.
Soon after graduation, Jamie secured a position as a sales professional for a Fortune 100 company in Chicago. Jamie had a fruitful career there for over a decade, the most valuable aspect of which was learning how to build and maintain meaningful relationships with his clients to better understand what is important to them- a value he carries forward to this day as a financial advisor.
But a sudden hardship in Jamie’s family would soon influence him to leave his position and pursue a path he had a true passion for… and a career through which he could help his own mother on her journey to thriving financially.
A Personal Journey to Retirement Planning
In March of 1984, when Jamie was 28 years old, he received a phone call that his father, who had been struggling with some health issues, was admitted to the hospital and was not expected to survive.
After experiencing the loss of his father, Jamie also saw the effect that a lack of investment planning had on his mother, as she struggled to figure out how she would be able to retire with a sense of security.
The passing of his father left Jamie questioning the path he had chosen for his career. “I began asking myself, is this really what I want to do for the rest of my life?” Jamie recalls.
The truthful answer was... it wasn’t.
Fortunately, Jamie’s dedication to giving back would return a blessing to him tenfold by leading him to the career path of his dreams.
During his late twenties, Jamie served as a counselor to high school sophomores for HOBY- the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Foundation.
A few years after his father passed, Jamie was attending a HOBY event and listened intently as one of the speakers there gave a talk on his career as a financial advisor.
The talk resonated deeply with Jamie, and he quickly realized this was the path that was calling to him. After the talk, he introduced himself to the speaker… who soon introduced Jamie to the office where he would begin his new career as a financial advisor.
This was also the move that empowered him to turn things around for his mother, helping her retire with a newfound confidence that she could provide for herself and maintain her lifestyle throughout retirement.
Helping to take care of loved ones through retirement planning decisions is a core aspect of Jamie’s work that is of utmost importance to his clients.
“One of the things my clients worry about is taking care of their loved ones if they’re not around,” Jamie shares. “A lot of them are ‘do-it-yourself-ers.’ But if something happens to them, it can be difficult on their loved ones if they don’t have the proper planning. So we also focus on making sure their loved ones are set up for success.”
A Government Contractor Approach
Soon after being trained and getting his license as a financial advisor, Jamie noticed there were many people in the defense industry around the nations’ capital in need of support in preparing for retirement.
During that time, Northrop Grumman bought Westinghouse, causing 500 employees to seek early retirement, and Jamie began hosting educational seminars to share with them important aspects of retirement planning.
As time progressed, Jamie excelled in his career and began to serve more and more business owners, senior executives, and engineers in the defense industry, helping to manage many of their financial decision striving to keep all of their personal and business financial affairs to keep everything in sync and helping them prepare for optimal retirements.
Noticing the vast needs of his business-owner clients, Jamie decided to obtain a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ ™ designation - For this designation, I had to complete approved educational programs, pass rigorous examinations and meet stringent experience requirements.
In working to optimize the sale of their business or their transition into retirement, Jamie helps his clients put together a team of advisors that do more than just investments. He often works alongside accountants, attorneys, investment bankers, ESOPs, and other advisors so that every aspect of his clients’ wealth is working together in a cohesive manner and they are supported in making the best decisions possible for their unique situation.
Jamie strives to be seen as a leading contributor to the retirement planning industry for government contractors, having published several articles on ESOPs in the Washington Technology Magazine for the government contracting community. He has spoken at various seminars and trade conferences, such as the National Center of Employee Ownership Association, ESOP Association, and the Professional Service Council on retirement planning and business succession planning. Furthermore, Jamie’s connection to government contractors goes beyond his ability to deeply understand the nuances of their wealth management needs.
“I work hard to resonate with government contractor professionals because of their level of commitment toward their mission,” Jamie shares. “Many of them also have great family values and care about giving back to their communities.”
Jamie has fortified these values in his own life- from ensuring his investment plan is solidified so his family will always be well-taken-care-of too spending time supporting the causes he cares about- and he enjoys helping his clients carry these same values forward.
Because while helping a number of government contractors build life towards financial independence after transitioning from their business is what he does, empowering them to live an amazing life of significance long after retirement is who strives to be.
Leadership / Volunteer Experience:
Jamie currently serves as the chair of the investment committee of the Mid-Atlantic United Methodist Foundation where he oversees more than $100 million in church assets.
He is also on the board of the Candlelight Concert Society of Maryland and chair of the major donor program.
From 2015-2019, Jamie served as a member of the planning committee for the Professional Service Council, a Trade and Advocacy Group for Government Contractors.
• BS Business Management Missouri Western, 1978
• CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ designation from the College of Financial Planning
• FINRA Registered representative (Series 7, 8, 63, 65 and 31)
• Maryland Insurance License
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