PODCAST EPISODE 7

Retirement Musings with Former HEB Employee of 37 Years Dale Carse

Almost everyone receives a raise at their job sometime during their career. But did you save half of that raise when you got it? You probably didn’t.

So where do you learn the life skills about saving for retirement? Some people learn from their families. But most people learn it on their own.

Dale Carse started working at HEB at a young age. While at HEB, he learned the value of saving for retirement. And with each promotion he got, he saved half of his raise. When he retired 37 years later, he had a nice nest egg to live on because he had prepared for retirement.

Listen now to find out what Dale did with his money and how you retire stress-free.

Show highlights include:

  • Why being afraid of retirement pays your house ([11:09])
  • How putting $5 in a piggy bank for your grandchildren gives you the discipline to do the things you want to do ([12:11])
  • How trying to remember what Saturday you’re on lets you enjoy your retirement (and how you’ll be empowered to do what you want to do with the savings you’ve acquired) ([14:16])
  • Why having a financial planner 15-20 years younger than you sets you up for retirement success ([15:21])
  • How finding your passion early on in life pushes you to fund your retirement account ([17:22])

 

Retirement Musings with Former HEB Employee of 37 Years Dale Carse

 

Transcript:

Do you want a wealthy retirement without worrying about money?

 

Do you want a wealthy retirement without worrying about money? So welcome to the Retire In Texas Podcast, where you will discover how to enjoy your faith, your family, and your freedom in the state of Texas. And now here’s your host, financial advisor, author, and all-around good Texan, Darryl Lyons.

 

([00:24]): Welcome to retire in Texas podcast. My name is Darryl Lyons. I’m the co-founder of PAX financial group in San Antonio, Texas PAX financial group is the sponsor of this program. So visit PAX financial group.com. Before I get started, I got to share this dreaded legal disclosure. This material contains general information only, and it is not intended to provide specific investment tax or legal advice. Visit PAX financial group.com for more information, investment advisory services offered through PAX financial group, LLC. Okay. I’m super excited to have somebody who has worked with a company that I respect as a consumer of their goods and services. And I respect them as an employer. In fact, I would suggest to you that PAX has modeled many of the character qualities of this organization because they are an example of what it means to treat people well. So we have a longtime veteran Dale Carse with us today who has worked with HEB, nearly his entire life. And we get to glean a little insight about his experience, why he transitioned, and what he’s doing now. All right, Dale. Well, thank you for coming in. I appreciate it. Glad to do this. So this is Dale Carson. We’re excited to have you here. I’d like to know a little bit more about where you’re from originally. You’re from Texas, right?

 

([01:49]): Born and raised in Corpus Christi, Texas 1954. So did you grow up with a lot of money or was it middle-class or we were middle-class by parents. My dad was a carpenter and I was thinking about this, this morning, they live very comfortable. My sister and I there’s two children. There’s 14 years between us. So it was like two families, two different families, but same they, they retired on $80,000. They live very comfortably. They didn’t miss anything. They had what they met their needs. And I look at what I’ve accomplished with my wife and it’s like, wow. But so it was a simple beginning as simple family, simple middle-class

 

([02:30]): Did they teach you anything about money or did you observe anything that you learned? Just a funny, quick story. I remember when I was about 10 or 12 years old, some gentlemen came to the house and it was, my dad didn’t understand it was mutual funds. Looking back on it, they made the comment. If you invest in this, your son will be a millionaire by in his twenties. He says, my son shall work. He’s not going to be handed a thing. He’s going to work. So it was like, oh no, actually I had to learn it. The hard way, got married early. And we had to, we didn’t know anything about, you know, just what I did see my parents do. But as far as family discussions on money, it never, it never happened.

 

([03:10]): But now you got your first real job at 18. Is that right at HEB I and your hell. Now I have 66 with HEB the whole time I Worked for seven years and I got tired of it. I wanted to be in maintenance with my father. They wouldn’t allow because of nepotism. So they offered me a chance to be a draftsman. I took a class one class in high school about drafting did terrible at it. That one semester class got me a career at HEB. I got in there. This is pretty cool. You know, dress up up here in the office and began to draft for HEB. And they were shocked that I actually could do it. I think so it’s funny. Three months later, they all went on vacation. I left me there and they said, you can run the show for, you know what? We take a vacation. So, well, I guess I made it. So I did that for seven years and then I left, went back to trade school. I got laid off in the oil business for that $32 a barrel. I went back to HEB begging for my job in 37 years later, I read

 

([04:19]): 37 years at HEB. So what all did you do at HEB? Everything. I started out drafting and that’s exactly what I do. I started well, if you do, if you have any initiative in life, I don’t care where you’re at. You’re going to go up. Well, they offered me positions like managing their equipment for stores. So, you know, how much inventory do we have? It led to going and purchasing used equipment throughout the United States. And then that led to scheduling a project for remodels. I did that. And then the, the highlight of my career was when they made me a project manager in construction. And I was in, started on story models, but graduated immediately into running the construction for all administrative projects for HEB in the administration world, from Dallas to Macallan from Houston to San Antonio. So it was all mine. Everything is a one man show. I did it. Where now you’re living in San Antonio.

 

([05:12]): We moved here. We were willing to original people. There was 400 partners that moved with HEB calls, their employees, partners. There was 400 owners that moved from Corpus to San Antonio in 1985. And I, my old VP calls me the last of the Mohicans. I am the last original design member. That’s retired from that department here last year.

 

([05:33]): Sure. You chose to retire in San Antonio, but you mentioned that other cities, Corpus Macallan, why San Antonio,

 

([05:41]): The economy, my wife and I, this is our second marriage for both of us. And she does not like San Antonio, but I said, give me a town that compare on the economical side of have retirement dollars, bang for the buck. That’s as you show me a town that I can live the way we live now. And of course she was looking at Arizona, Colorado, Utah. It was all too expensive to live the lifestyle we wanted. So San Antonio to me is the most reasonable place to live, where a retired person that I’m aware

 

([06:14]): Of. So try not to let that secret get out too much. Okay. It’s already out. Yeah. And so when did you officially retire? Officially retired. This is 21. I retired officially in March of 2021. I did have 13 weeks of vacation. So from January to March, I didn’t work. I was on vacation,

 

([06:34]): But you were still employed. You just, you were taking your vacation. Yeah. Did you tell your employer, you were retiring and you’re going to take your vacation. Right? I told him 10 years before I was going to retire, I was going to retire. I was trying to, I hated to see knowledge, walk out the door and no one was there to hear it. And it did that. My replacement, she did have a year with me and I was, I brought that mentality. I’m going to teach you everything that you can absorb. It’s not like I got the knowledge and I’ll share what you need. No, I said, here it all is. You need all the power you can have in knowledge. So that was my goal for the last year.

 

([07:14]): I always love hearing that people leave on good terms. You know, the idea that just wake up and leave, you know, but that makes sense. And so you were a historian with HIV. That’s what we talked a little bit about that

 

([07:26]): Interesting that, you know, in this job of being the project manager for the arsenal, the arsenal of course, was built after for the military to store the munitions at worst or at the Alibaba, the Catholic church didn’t like that. So they’ve built the arsenal and that’s where all the munitions was stored to for the, all the forts out west from here during the Indian wars. And it’s interesting, the history of that building alone, you know, started pre-Civil war. Some of the buildings were completed during the civil war, by the Confederacy, then taken over again by the union, after the civil war. So the history down there it’s just, and then of course it was an active government building. In fact, it was still active when there was one building still belong to the Navy when we moved in, in 1985. So it, it stayed an active service for many, many years.

 

([08:14]): So let me make sure I understand. The arsenal is the home office of HEB downtown San Antonio. There is a complex of buildings. The arsenal is where the munitions is stored. The walls are roughly three to four feet thick. And so it’s a fake, it just stuck. We’re at the arsenal. So from day one. And so today you’ll hear that reference. When you talk to an AGV partner, they’ll say the arsenal

 

([08:39]): Headquarters. Wow. I did not know that. I know you were historian. You became a default a story.

 

([08:45]):

Yeah. I liked Texas history, but in fact it was funny when we did a major remodel down there, the VP and I were walking in one afternoon about six o’clock. And I said, you know, John Wayne’s movie of the Alamo is probably the worst movie you’ll ever see in your life, but I love it. And I said, you know, you gotta be careful what you ask because I wanted to move San Antonio as a kid because of that movie didn’t happen. Well, I got to move to San Antonio. I’m working on the oldest buildings, outside the missions. I mean, you talk about, you know, it gave me goose pimples still does that. I got the privilege to work on buildings that were built, you know, 18 63, 18 50, you know, leaves, date just fantastic.

 

([09:25]): So that’s rich history. I did not know that. Now, when you retired from HEB, did your wife want you to retire or was she a disagreement? What was the plan to retire together? In fact, she actually, or way her career worked out she’s was on the administrative side of companies and worked with a lot of physically and mentally challenged children. Well, she worked in, in businesses like that. She worked at the unicorn center. That was one of the places she worked. And so it worked out for her to retire about a year earlier than I did. So it really was a good experience to have that piece in place to see what that looked like

 

([10:02]): Because she supported you in your transition out. Yeah, it’s an interesting sort of COVID co actually was in its own weird way was the best transitional tool we had because in March of 2020 HEB shut the office down and we worked from home. So I had a year, basically the transition, but being at home, the interesting side story was there was when it first started, Beth would come in, it was, my wife would come in, Hey, Dale, look at this piece of paper. I said, if I was at work right now, I wouldn’t see this paper hole seven, eight o’clock at night. Can we talk about later? Well, six months later, I’m looking out the window. If I didn’t work for HEB right now, it could be out there working in the yard. So the COVID for that year of working from home, I think it had been a harder transition club. Boom I’m in the office, boom. I’m out of the office, but I had that year.

 

([10:54]): That’s a great point. We’re here with Dale Carson. He retired from HEB and really enjoying the conversation. And for those that are listening, be sure to download our ebook retire in texas@paxfinancialgroup.com. Let’s keep going on this conversation. Was there any fear transitioning into retirement? Yeah.

 

([11:15]): Yes. The biggest fear, I think from personally for myself, I asked my wife this before I left to drive over here. And I said to the Jason, no, not really. I said, my fear was not having a steady paycheck. And I said, but the network of friends I had and being 66, I’m still the baby of the group that I worked with. So I reached out to those gentlemen. I said, tell me, I need to know, can I make this work? And everyone says, is a house paid for? Well, that was one of Brian’s wings. You know, that was on a plan. You get that house paid for. We can do a lot of things. So we got the house paid for on our plan. And that actually I think was the key to success is getting the debt and we didn’t have much debt to begin with, but what debt we had, we got rid of it before retirement.

 

([12:06]): That’s really cool. So you have how many grandchildren it’s okay. I keep thinking it was nine it’s, 11, 11. And so what would you tell your grandchildren about debt and planning? You know, what’s some advice you might give them starting that, you know, I try to tell him to live within your means. I mean, I’ve seen, I work with so many young men that, you know, first off the comment that just upset me the most, I can’t save money. Anyone can save money. It’s a choice. It’s a life choice. You got to make the right decisions and live within your means. So I tell my grandchildren no, what you can do and what you can do and plan and put away money. Just don’t spend it. Cause you got it. My 11 year know my 10 year old was over here with the house this weekend. It’s funny. I had some big sacks of dirt. I just was too hazard. I’ll pay eight bucks to move that he did. This is I’ll put this money away, pop off.

 

([13:02]): Very good. So now what is most important to you and retirement? First off being financially secure, knowing the other resources that you can probably handle anything that’s thrown your way and the lifestyle in which we have health health is the second most important. Now I want to tease that out for a second because you had a colon cancer.

 

([13:26]): I was close to co my mother had colon cancer and my sister had colon cancer and I was close to having colon cancer. And so I would do research work for MD Anderson. And then when it looked like it was going to turn cancerous, I had my colon removed and you can live without a car.

 

([13:42]): What would you suggest to those that are listening right now? Regarding colon cancer colonoscopy don’t hesitate and you hear stories. Oh, it’s so bad. It’s so bad. The only thing bad about a colonoscopy is getting ready for the colonoscopy lunch or at a doctor’s office. That ear on propofol you’re knocked out. You don’t know it is well worth the hassle of prepping for a colonoscopy because it is a deadly silent killer. I’ve known several people that these are asleep.

 

([14:14]): Yeah. Thank you for sharing that. I hope it encourages somebody that’s listening right now. Now, as we kind of come full circle here, what are your thoughts about what your day and your weeks are going to look like going forward?

 

([14:26]): Interesting right now, you know, we’re not, we’re less than a year. We’re coming up on a year. You’re pretty quick. And I’m learning that it takes me longer to do things that used to be relatively quick to do so you get frustrated with yourself, but there again, you’re retired. If you don’t finish it today, you know, when you’re working, you start a project, the home, you know, if you’re a handyman and you want to get it done Sunday night, Monday, you walk away the clean slate retired. I don’t care if I don’t get it finished today. There’s tomorrow. The world retirement is seven Saturdays in a Sunday. And you try to remember what Saturday you’re on. Cause you can’t, you know, it’s just interesting, but no, I know I’m rambling, but it’s just the pleasure of being in you’re empowered to do what you want to do. And with the savings you’ve acquired, it gives you that ability to do what your dreams are. I mean, we were going to travel when we would COVID gets under control. We are going to go back to traveling. We love to travel RV or domestic big

 

([15:33]): National we’re debating. You know, we want to buy a new car. It’s in the plan. Again, the financial plan financial plan, I cannot say enough about financial planning, get they financial planner and get a financial planner that is bright, but at least 15, 20 years younger than you. Because if you pick one your age, you will have a planner when you get to retirement age. So it’s very imperative to get a good roundabout, young person, bright talent, intelligent person. And with that, create the plan, live the plan, do the plan.

 

([16:09]): And the plane allows you the freedom to be able to say, Hey, if I want to buy a car RV, you can stress. Test it and say, yeah, yeah, we can afford it. Yeah. And now, you know, interesting. And here’s something, you know, you talk about the fears. I don’t know if we touched enough on the fears of these fear was not knowing if, what does it look like without a steady paycheck? There’s another fear that I didn’t touch on was what does Medicare and Medicaid look like? And again, I’ll say this, we found a person whose business is that it’s out there. She’s part of our team. So we didn’t know what that looked like. Well, in Brian and plugged in all the information and his model, it was a FA you know, if you tell the other part about financial planning, be honest, you tell the planner, everything, you know, you tell him your wishes, your wants your big goal ambition, and here’s reality. Here’s what you really can do and understand that that’s really reality. And not that think you’re going to go out and buy a million dollar home the day you retire.

 

([17:07]): That’s a good point. Any other fears? Those are the two major fears was can I live without a paycheck? And what does Medicare look like it so far? I can’t say Anything good for you. Medicare has been. Yeah. If you could kind of go back and give advice to your younger self, what might you tell your younger self

 

([17:28]): Don’t mess around in a high school and go to college and get it, but do find your passion as you can early. If I had to do all over again, that probably be a pilot, But

 

([17:42]): You know, I didn’t see, I didn’t see the value in college. And it’s interesting. It’s not until the last 10 years. I finally the young people that came in my world and construction, there was that construction management degree. But now there’s so much opportunity for these folks. And it’s interesting. I couldn’t even apply for my own job after 37 years of experience. Wow. So, because it takes education. So going back, I’d say buckle down. Don’t goof off. Don’t buy a car that you can afford and get that education.

 

([18:14]): Very good. I’ve got one last question for you. What’s your favorite salsa? I saw that question. Is there a Mexican restaurant in San Antonio that has your name on it? But I worked for HEB, the construction office for years. It’s located on the south side of San Antonio and there’s so many wonderful Holden, all restaurants. Some people would cringe if I took them there, but there’s a restaurant called Blanquita was down by Lackland air force base. And they’ve got the best hot sauce and chips and excellent food. So I’d have to say Blanquita on a container road would be my favorite place to get. So

 

([18:59]): There you go. If you’re visiting San Antonio, even if you live in San Antonio, let’s check out Blanquita is I it’s new to me, but I know those hole in the wall, Mexican restaurants, all along the south side, west side there gyms. And so now I’ll have to try that one

 

([19:15]): Again. This is not for the tape. Just check this Dell story. When family come to San Antonio, of course, everybody wants to go to the river. We’ve got to go the river. We gotta go eat. That’s it. We all we can eat on the river, but it’s not the best food. That’s it. In my opinion, we go south. Well, nine out of 10. Don’t want to do that. But you know, the real food is Antonio to me is on the south side of San Antonio. So

 

([19:37]): Hey, this has been great, Dale, thank you so much. No, this is great content. I really appreciate you hanging out with me today. I appreciate doing this and anytime I can help in any way. And again, I cannot say enough about PACS PACS. Brian wing was our, our wing man, but no, I cannot stress enough how important it is to have as early as you can get early. In fact, my replacement HEB is 32 years old. She’s like a daughter to me. I am preaching, save, save, save. And just an interesting concept. I did personally. Typically they should be, you got about 3% rates on average, I took half a, whatever I got and we put it away in a retirement plan, smart and live just took that one and a half or 1%, whatever it was. But every race we divide it in the, whatever it was part went into retirement, smart meters.

 

([20:36]): Hey, thanks for listening today. Be sure to grab our eBook. It’s called Retire in Texas. You can find it at paxfinancialgroup.com. And remember you think different when you think long-term,

([20:49]): This is ThePodcastFactory.com.

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