By: Duane Blankenship | Category: Financial Services | Issue: August 2008
Mike Richardson and Kelly Woods Gallardo take pride in helping protect the families of their policyholders.
“We help people. That’s our business,” says Mike Richardson, exclusive financial specialist for the Woods-Gallardo Agency in Broken Arrow. It’s readily apparent how much pride he and agency owner Kelly Woods Gallardo have for the company when talking about the products and services they provide to policyholders.
Providing life, automotive and home insurance exclusively for Allstate Insurance Company, the agency has over 70 collective years of insurance experience and a staff that delights in providing clients with financial and retirement protection. Jim Woods founded the agency and today, you’ll find Jim, daughter Kelly, her husband Hubert Gallardo, Kelly’s daughter Mary, and Mike Richardson eagerly providing advice and services to help others with their needs for the present and future.
“It’s interesting that most people do more planning for vacations than they do for their financial futures,” says Richardson. “And most individuals don’t realize that Allstate provides financial services.”
Richardson enjoys sitting down with existing and prospective customers and talking with them about their financial and retirement needs. He recommends that retirement plans be reviewed annually. If a policyholder hasn’t been in to meet with him for two years, he insists that they schedule an appointment to review the individual’s plan for the future and determine if anything has changed that might affect future planning. “It gets away from us so quickly,” explains Richardson.
There are so many factors that can change individual or family needs – marriage, children, college, illness, retirement, and the “What happens if…?” aspect. None of us knows what the future holds, and so many things can change our lives in a heartbeat and affect future planning.
Richardson is amazed at how many people he counsels who are not taking advantage of 401K programs offered by their employers. Many employers offer matching funds up to three percent. “This is free money,” he explains. “It costs the employee nothing to get it. Many people are hesitant simply because they don’t understand the program, or they don’t realize what they’re missing.”
According to Richardson, everyone should also complete a risk tolerance survey each year. A person’s outlook on risky versus conservative investing may change depending upon various factors. Any life insurance policy a client has or needs is factored into the total financial equation. It may be determined that information needs to be revised or changed as a result of the individual’s annual review.
When doing an annual financial or retirement-needs review with a professional, a comfort factor comes into play, especially when you’re told, “Everything looks great for your retirement future. You are right on track with your plan.” And, if you’re not on track with your projected needs for retirement, what better time than now to find out what’s wrong and get it back on track?
Woods-Gallardo Agency has an optional package called “Your Choice Auto.” This package offers four basic features, from which policyholders may select one or all four. The first is accident forgiveness; if you have an accident, your rates won’t increase because of the accident. The next is deductible rewards; you receive a discount on your deductible for every year of safe driving, until you reach a specified total. Another feature is the safe driving bonus; drive safely for six months and receive a discount on your renewal premium. The final is new car replacement; if you total your new car, it will be replaced with another new car.
For more information on the “Your Choice Auto” package or other programs, products and services offered by Allstate Insurance, visit www.allstateyourchoice.com, or call the Woods-Gallardo Agency at (918) 251-0481.
Blankenship graduated from the University of Oklahoma and has enjoyed a lifetime career in advertising. He started his own advertising business in 1993 and enjoys creating graphic art and writing. Hobbies include hunting, fishing and pencil drawings. Duane and his wife, Janice, have been married over 50 years and are active in their church and community. He has been a contributing writer for Value News/Values Magazine since 2005.