Our own Blake Zaal, President of American Teachers Retirement Services was interviewed by Voyage Dallas!
Today we’d like to introduce you to Blake Zaal.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I started my journey 3 days removed from obtaining a bachelor’s degree in Business Marketing from Louisiana State University. I was recruited into the business by my father Chris Zaal. For the first 5 years of my career, I served as a retirement specialist working with educators. The last 7 years I have managed the agents and the last 4 years become President of the company.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I don’t know anyone that has had much success that can say it was a smooth road. The real measure of success is how we react to adversity. The biggest came on December 13th, 2012 when my father was stricken with GBS and nearly died. Up until that point, he was running the day to day operations. He was in ICU for a month and had to learn how to walk again. We survived, grew, and just finished our brand new 4,000 sq/ft building last month.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
We educate those in education to become financially secure. I tell my agents all the time that there are two types of compensation; monetary and emotional. This business appeals to both. What sets us apart is that we truly educate them on their state teachers retirement. This includes showing them how many years until they can retire, what they will get when they do retire, and finally some ways to increase what they will have upon retirement.
What were you like growing up?
I was always business minded. As far back as I can remember I was always coming up with ways to make revenue while helping others. I was and still am very involved with sports. I was a stand out tennis player growing up. Now I enjoy playing basketball, golf, softball, triathlons, obstacle racing, and coaching my kid’s teams.
Thank you to Voyage Dallas | View Original Article
A 403(b) plan (tax-sheltered annuity plan or TSA) is a retirement plan offered by public schools and certain charities. It works in the same way as a 401(k) plan that you would find with a for-profit company. Like a 401(k), a 403(b) plan allows employees to move some of their salary into individual retirement accounts. Usually this portion of the salary that is deferred is generally not subject to federal or state income tax until it has been distributed. However, a 403(b) plan may also offer Roth accounts. Contributions to Roth accounts are taxed as usual. Therefore, distributions and withdrawals are totally tax-free. Check out our 403 (b) FAQs Page for more information on this tax savings retirement account.
- How old should I be when I retire?
- Will I sell my home and move closer to relatives or to another destination?
- Did I want to take some time to travel?
- When I retire, what debt will I have, such as credit cards, car loans, or a mortgage?
- When I retire I will receive a lump sum. Should I take those funds and pay off my mortgage?
- Will I need to continue paying for my life insurance?
- Do I need long-term care insurance?
- How much money am I going to need when I retire?
- Do I want to go back to work after I retire?
- What will my end of year taxes look like after I retire?
- Will I receive my spouse’s social security?