Headquartered in Indiana, Pennsylvania, and serving clients throughout the US, GCES is known for being a highly reputable financial services company. The firm, founded by Galen Bargerstock and Clinton Smith, believes that education is the biggest tool needed by anyone who wants to achieve a comfortable retirement.
Galen Bargerstock, the president, has a unique ability to fully listen to clients and understand their needs. This, along with his attention to detail and talent to simplify complex concepts, allows him to establish a comfortable working relationship with his clients. Bargerstock believes that an educational approach is the best way to help clients prepare for retirement. He knows that trust and communication are the backbone of forming relationships with clients
“Everyone has a story, and that helps me to better educate them and tailor solutions to their specific situation,” he says. That often means untangling the most complex knots of government legislation and decoding its notorious alphabet soup, as well as navigating the many faces of private retirement options.
CEO Clinton Smith is dedicated to talent recruitment, as is Bargerstock. Their work has paid off with a team that is committed to excellent customer service and finding the right retirement options for every client. GCES continues to grow its team of licensed professionals who share the same passion for revolutionizing how individuals, families, business owners, and more take charge of their own retirement goals.
Sometimes retirees and pre-retirees are not provided with the proper tools to understand the benefits they are entitled to or the strategies they can employ. Many people find these financial situations overwhelming. That’s why outreach specialist Lorraine Campbell-Taylor knows it’s important for clients to get a better perspective of the opportunities that are available to them.
“I understand that the notion of retirement planning can be a daunting – even scary – process, so I try to do what I can to alleviate that apprehension,” she says.
Financial advisor Nolan Stokes specializes in retirement income planning at GCES and enjoys helping people decipher their retirement funding puzzles. His specialty is taking complicated financial situations and explaining them in a way that is easy to understand.
All of the professionals with GCES are prepared in different ways to assist clients who have questions about planning for their retirement, whether they’re young people starting in their careers or people approaching retirement who need to make sure they won’t run out of money early.
For federal employees, here are some of the options that the GCES financial planners often advise people to choose, along with ones to avoid, depending on the client’s circumstances.
The Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) Rollover is a good plan, with a low cost and good benefits, but it has drawbacks. It only has five investment options, it doesn’t allow in-plan Roth conversions, and there are penalties for some issues.
Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance (FEGLI) can get expensive and gets more expensive as you age. Private insurance could be a better bet for many federal employees.
The Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) pension has substantial penalties if you want to retire early. Anyone over 62 with 20 years of service would be eligible for a higher pension.
For private employees, some of the choices that Bargerstock and Smith and their team recommend include saving, sticking to your goals, learning your retirement needs, considering basic investment principles, putting money into an Individual Retirement Account (IRA), checking your social security benefits, and asking questions. Talk to your employer, your bank, or your union. But especially look for a financial adviser you can trust. Ask questions, listen closely, and make sure you understand the answers the experts give you.
GCES’s client relationship manager Tina Neese works closely with clients to answer questions and assist them with any of their retirement needs. With more than 20 years of experience in client relations, she is experienced in making each person feel comfortable. Tina has worked to earn her Pennsylvania health and life insurance license, which will enable her to help Galen Bargerstock recommend retirement options to clients.
As marketing director, Shawna Jones uses the company’s website and social media platforms to help potential clients get to know the team, even before meeting them in person.
“I try to make sure clients and potential clients know what we can do for them. I’ve watched Clinton and Galen help so many different clients in so many different ways,” Shawna says. “The whole team here puts so much time, effort, and thought into making sure that clients have a sound retirement strategy.”
Bargerstock and Smith even have a YouTube channel with educational videos to help people learn what they need to know to plan for retirement.
GCES specializes in helping individuals, families, and business owners analyze, understand, and optimize their benefits, as well as their financial and retirement plans. The company started out serving public employees but has opened its doors to anyone needing information about retirement.
Advisory services offered by Encompass More Asset Management LLC, an SEC registered investment adviser. Registration with the SEC does not imply a certain level of skill or training.