Taking Care of Business
After Tammy McKennon graduated from the University of
Missouri with a degree in finance in 1983, she went to work
for Merrill Lynch as an advisor doing cold calls, which she
describes as “a cubby hole and a phone book.”
She left the wirehouse after eight years to raise three chil-
dren and is now an advisor with Edward Jones in Orange
County, California. (Her kids followed her lead and were
In fact, her youngest daughter “saw how I was able to buildmy business and even get back into the worst [low employ-ment] workforce of 2009.” Today, she’s busy helping clients inequally rough times.
“I have a client who is 63 years old and worked for aFortune 500 corporation. [Because of the pandemic,] the firmannounced they would be offering voluntary retirement packages, and said if they aren’t taken, another option could be aninvoluntary retirement scenario,” McKennon said. The client ismarried, has no children and planned to retire in a couple years.
“Upon this announcement, he came to me, since his com-
pany gave him two weeks to decide, and he wanted to make
an informed decision,” she explained. “His spouse [who had a
job] came with him, and we spent time looking at the full pic-
ture of their household spending, their desired lifestyle and
retirement, and planning for future health care costs.’
With tools from Edward
Jones, the advisor reviewed
their situation and showed
them different scenarios to
help them make an informed
decision about their future.
“He decided to take the early
retirement. He wanted to be
in control, as he wasn’t sure
what the involuntary pack-
age would look like,” she
“Because of our planningand working together for somany years, he knew he wouldbe OK with an early retirement, and … could put off taking Social Security until hegets maximum benefits at age70,” according to McKennon.
Does she have clients pulling money out of their retirement savings?
“I’ve actually seen some
people who are more proactive
and are doubling the
amount that they’ve been
monthly, because they’ve seen
extreme volatility [before]. They
remember 2008-2009 and see where their [accounts] are
today,” she said.
On the other hand, “I do have a young client who has a
family member whom she wants to help during the pandemic,
and she took money out of her company retirement savings.
She knows it’s wrong but has a family member in distress,”
McKennon explained. “She knows she’ll have to work longer —
people aren’t oblivious to the costs.”
Veteran advisors “have a lot of experience to draw on from
on highly volatile market environments,” she said. “And my job
as an advisor, like all advisors, is to help clients avoid making
emotional, short-term decisions that could negatively impact
their long term goals.”
When McKennon’s met with clients virtually, she’sexplained: “If they were to move to cash and no longerhave those monies available to be earning a stated rate ofreturn through their life expectancy — that would impacttheir net worth and their ability to sustain themselvesthrough retirement.”