By Clinton Smith and Galen Bargerstock
Now available in audio format!


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*If you would like a hard copy of the book, we give a free copy to every individual that schedules a financial review.

The Story of Carl ‘n’ Barb

Although this book is a personal finance/retirement planning guide for federal employees, it is a story that is a work of fiction based on some of the clients that the authors have met and worked with over the years.
Federal benefits are great, but you need answers personalized to your situation. There may be some retirement benefit

its you have signed up for that aren’t right for you, or you may be missing benefits your family actually needs. While educating the reader on what they should look out for when planning for retirement from government service, a healthy mix of humor and emotion emerges as this book looks at a family experience representative of what many of our clients face and live through when they decide to retire.

The fictionalized story about The Miller family is narrated by Barb. Carl and Barb Miller are both postal employees who have two kids, Emily and Jacob, and a dog named Spot. Barb’s father, Pap, is arguably the most endearing character in the book.

When Carl and Bob decide to start talking about retirement, they seek the advice of a financial professional, Galen Bargerstock, who was referred to them by a co-worker. When they meet with Galen, he takes the time to learn what they will want and need in retirement. He then does a personal financial analysis to give them an idea of when they can retire and what they need to do to maximize their federal benefits. Throughout the story, they keep in contact with Galen as they experience different life and professional events, adjusting their retirement plan as life changes.

Barb adores her husband Carl, even when he drives her crazy; he is a big kid with big ideas. The Millers take family vacations where there are lots of mishaps and humorous shenanigans. Carl and Barb both experience injuries at work. The teenagers, Emily and Jacob, start to grow up and think about college. Carl and Barb begin to notice some things about Pap that concern them, prompting them to take a more active role in his day-to-day life and his finances.

Vacations, medical expenses, college, saving for retirement, caring for their father—the book covers all of the things that have to be paid for as the family progresses through the years, explaining federal benefits and how they fit in along the way.

It all wraps up with the inevitable retirement of both Carl and Barb. The book then fast-forwards to the future, where Barb gives us a summary of what has transpired over the last few years and where everyone has ended up.

About the Authors

Galen Bargerstock

A Purple Heart and Bronze Star decorated veteran, Galen Bargerstock, founder of Government & Civil Employee Services, LLC (GCES), experienced challenges with government agencies firsthand when navigating through the land of computer-generated responses and automatic policy changes of which he was never notified. The complexities and ever-evolving nature of benefits and pension plans for government employees were the spark that ignited the rise of GCES, and which directly led to the concept for this book.

Clinton Smith

Clinton Smith and his spectacular client service approach are the driving force responsible for the continuous growth of GCES. As CEO of Government & Civil Employee Services, LLC. Clint places a high value on maintaining a full understanding of the ever-changing regulations, policies, and procedures handed down by the federal government. Clint and the team make it a top priority to effectively educate their clients on a continuous basis, ensuring that they understand how changes impact them personally. This book came to life as part of that vision and a passion for educating.