Scott Walker: Texas Principles for a Comfortable Retirement from AT&T

You want to retire and have the ability to live a life of leisure, with the ability to take vacations with your family and know that your bills are always paid – and then some. But what does comfortable retirement really mean?

Many people retire, and still have the worries and stress of daily life sitting on their shoulders. So… let’s hear from someone who retired and lives a life of comfort, pleasure, and simplicity.

In this episode, Scott Walker, a native Texan, and recently retired AT&T employee walks us through how his financial plan set him up for a calm and stress-free retirement. He gives insights into the work ethic that brought him to where he is today-  retired in comfort, with a farm of his own and grandchildren surrounding him.

Listen now to learn how you can replicate Scott’s retirement success.

Show Highlights Include: 

  • Why instilling a strong work ethic is the most important thing any parent can do to set their child up for a financially secure life ([5:00])
  • How being in war can help you climb the ladder to the executive suite (even without a million degrees) so that you can create a stable and comfortable financial life ([7:55])
  • Depression-era money habits that help you become smarter with your money so that it works for you ([13:30])
  • Why you need to be consistently saving money for rainy days (you don’t know what’s coming) ([18:15])
  • Why you should NEVER touch your invested money (hint: it ruins your retirement) ([19:00])




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 the 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. Visit PAX financial group.com. And before I get started, I need to share our 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.com. So I’m really looking forward to today’s conversation. I’ve had a chance to know Scott Walker for a few years now, and he’s been a, a pleasure to get to know, and you’re going to enjoy getting to know him as well. He retired from ATN T after serving one of the great companies of San Antonio mob bell for many years. And so we’ll get to walk down the journey and how, and when, and he transitioned into the next chapter of life and what he’s doing today. So I’m looking forward to the conversation. Scott, thank you for being here today. You bet I wouldn’t be here.


([01:26]): So where did you grow up? Originally, are you a Texan? Are you native to Yes. I grew up in the rear Grandy valley, Mack Allen mission and LA Jolla. We moved around a bit. We were farmers and ranchers.


([01:37]): Yeah. And so we talked about this before I lived in Harlan gin for awhile and it’s changed down there now. I mean, it’s a lot different than I know that you’re older than me, but when we were down there, we talked about the ability to go over to Mexico and get some leather belts or Mexican food. And you can’t do that anymore. Right. Do you remember doing that as a kid?


([01:53]): Oh yes, we eat mine. I probably got more weapons for walking across the river and playing baseball and walking back at night than for anything else. I wish we could do that again. You know, it’s really a cool area and a cool culture. That’s maybe one day. Right. And so growing up, did you, you talked to you about your dad, given you a weapon. Did you have brothers and sisters?


([02:12]): I did had a brother and a sister and we lived on a farm. Our grandparents live with us for a quite a while and of course we didn’t have a lot of money. So we were very thrifty. I learned to be very thrifty. My grandmothers was saying was used it up, wear it out, make it do or do without say that one more time. I’m sorry. Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without. Yeah, so we didn’t have a lot of waste. And so what were y’all raising? We


([02:41]): Mostly farmed corn truck farm. We had corn, we grew cotton. You have to keep rotating your crops. And of course on this side we had a milk kale, which we got our own milk and made everything we had hogs made our own soap. And just like many of the people in the valley at that time, it was just a truck


([03:00]): Farm. So in the few, in the Rio Grande valley, there are certain times of the year where you just see ashes in the air. That’s when you burn your fields. And what that does is that puts the Ash back into the soil. You see that a lot with sugar cane down there, canes really good, but you do it with cotton or you just plow it under. It just depends. Yeah.


([03:21]): That’s been pretty interesting to see that for the first time. So you mentioned a little bit about what you learned from your parents about money growing up, any other thoughts on that? Did they teach you about money? Did they talk to you about money or was it just observed?


([03:37]): It was more of an an observation. And I thought about it years later, honestly, growing up, we worked all the time. I mean, it was just, we just worked. I mean, you got up in the morning at five 30, worked, went to school, came home worked. So it was more of an observation because the way farmers do money is you actually borrow money to buy seed and all that. And then you pay it back and then there’s a difference in there. And that’s what you live on. So like I said, we didn’t really have any discussions, much about money. I just watched and my mom saved money in a jar. And I mean,


([04:14]): And so mainly mainly the work ethic you have today because you’re still working today. I mean, you’re not working for at and Yeah. I still work. We’ve got land and cattle and sheep and chickens and ducks. And my wife always says, you know, why don’t you go get a job? I said, I would, but I don’t have time. So I Worked for free. What were you doing today?


([04:36]): I had two baby lambs this morning. I had to help deliver the, she, there were twins. The second one I had to help deliver the second one. So this morning that started my day off with a birth. And I told you, congratulations, what’s the name? Those Right? Yeah. You don’t name, farm animals.


([04:54]): So one of the things that I’m hearing you say is, and I’ve known your work ethics, since I’ve known you, you can attribute that to your parents Right? Yeah. You bet my grandparents also. And so you retired from ATNT. How long did you work there? 48 years. 48 years. And what’d you do for them?


([05:13]): I was the first four years. I actually worked as an installer and a repairman. I actually did the work and then I got promoted about four years after that. And then I think I have probably been everything in at and T but marketing, I think I’ve done every job that you could possibly do for, and then the last 20 years I was in the legal regulatory department. And for the most part, I was a professional witness or an expert witness because of all the experience that I had, I could pretty much pick up on whatever the case was, whether it be long lines or whatever the lawsuit was about, I would testify for at and T as to our intentions and


([06:01]): Equipment. Yeah. Because I’m sure they would want to know that you put in proper, you as a T and T representative put in the proper protocols. And there was nothing that was, maybe there is negligent, but it wasn’t criminal intent, so to speak. And so you’re trying to help the cross-examination understand at, and T’s position and intent on that is that right?


([06:23]): Right. And you have to have some credibility as a witness, like 30 or 40 years experience. I mean, you can’t just put anybody up there because so all the years that I had done all of that stuff, you can’t teach experience. And so you saw a lot of changes over the years at 18, originally Southwestern bell when you were there or what was the original name?


([06:45]): I went to work for some of the main computers hadn’t even been invented yet. I mean that, I tried to tell my grandchildren that TV had even been invented when I was a child. We watched the radio, my sister and I, so it’s astounding. I mean, there were no computers. We were using dial phones. I mean, this wouldn’t make any sense to anybody that was in the phone business, but I mean, it was just as simple as it gets. And then during that evolution from the time I started to the time I left, I mean, all the things that had been advantaged just there’s been a lot of believable.


([07:22]): Yeah. And at, and T is to their credit, has done a good job navigating through all that and surviving and still providing value in a lot of ways and in a wireless environment now. Yeah. And in 48 years, I think probably six of those years I spent in formal school just learning all this stuff. I mean at and T was pretty good about now, did You go right after high school to at and T how did


([07:47]): That work? I actually went to Vietnam first. And one of the reasons I got hired at Southwestern bell is because they were hiring hot or veterans. So if you’d been to Vietnam, pretty much, you could go to work for Southwestern bell, city, public service board, or the waterboard. So when I got out of the service, I applied it all three and Southwestern bell call first. So that’s how I got into the phone business. Extensive Screening due diligence is like, I got a job. No,


([08:18]): I got to, I’ve got to work. And we went down and filled all, all of the, and they call first. And I mean, I’m glad it worked out that way. So was it an enjoyable experience, challenging, or were there ebbs and flows of both?


([08:32]): Well, I mean, I think it’s a way in any business. I worked for GE with Southwestern bell corporate at and T long lines at T and T international for three years. I worked overseas and then at, and T legal and regulatory. And I mean, they’ve all got their good points and bad points, but you know, it’s still a job it’s work, but for the most part, I liked it. I, and I I’ve always enjoyed working. I’ve been working since I was, when you grow up on a farm, they give you jobs by size. So, I mean, I’ve, I can’t ever remember not working. So it’s just something that I enjoyed joy doing. I’ll work. As long as they, my grandfather died at 90 years old, he had a heart attack on her putting on a roof.


([09:18]): Wow. And I want to get into some of the stuff you’re doing now, let me tease out the transition a little bit. So when did you officially retire? March in 2019. Okay. So a few years ago. And did you plan it out or what did that look like? I mean,


([09:33]): Yeah, well sorta, I mean, I was, there was a window there that I was going to retire in. I wasn’t going to retire right then, but when they moved headquarters from San Antonio to Dallas, the option for the people in the career field that I was in was to move to Dallas. I remember that that was like 2017. I don’t know, 2019 is at


([09:56]): 29, 20 18. They started telling us they were going to do it. And then I wasn’t going to move to Dallas. There was no way, you know, I’m from here. All my kids are here. My grandkids are here. My great grandkids are here. I’m not going to go to Dallas. You know? And it’s, it just wasn’t worth the transition. So it was fine. I mean, I’d been there 48 years. I mean, that’s plenty longer than,


([10:23]): Yeah. So that relocation from San Antonio to Dallas, I think a lot of that had to do. And you hear from the outside, looking in the airport was a big factor on moving the executives. Did you hear that too? Or did you hear something different?


([10:36]): Yeah, I think it’s probably just, Dallas is core San Antonio is growing, but Dallas is really, it’s a tough area to get around in and it’s getting really expensive there


([10:50]): As a tangent real quick. I want to remind our listeners, if you think about it, go to PAX financial group and you can get a retire in Texas ebook. And so I just wanted to remind you of that. As we continue through this conversation with Scott Walker, Scott, how many kids do you have? Three, Three kids. One boy and two girls married. Yes. How many years? She, I can’t remember That a while. And so your kids are now in San Antonio or


([11:18]): All right. Well one of them is not in San Antonio. She’s actually in right outside of Albany. And my son is in Houston and my other daughter is in Lavarnia. We don’t really live in Lavarnia. We actually live in Wilson county. We say Lavarnia because that’s the postal exchange, but she lives there. My grandson lives there, we live there. My wife’s sister lives there, a wife sister’s kids live there. I mean, we’re all pretty much in the, the floors avail. Lavarnia Seguin.


([11:57]): It’s a really, for those that are listening in there’s listeners all across the country, Lavarnia is a acquaint community. I’m sure you don’t want people to know about it too much. Well, and I don’t think there ever will be. I mean, we’ve got Seguin on one side and Lawrenceville on the other, and they’ve got main roads that run from them that go somewhere USA, 87 runs through Lavarnia and it doesn’t go anywhere. I mean, it ends up in Victoria, which there’s nothing there. So people don’t really move to, I mean, there’s only 1200 people in Lavarnia proper. There’s probably more people in stone Oak than there is in Wilson county. I mean, it is where we live is very rural.


([12:39]): It’s pretty, I love the rolling Hills and various country, nice country to tease out the final part of this transition into retirement. As you transitioned in 2019, what was the scariest part for you to make that leap?


([12:54]): Because I had worked all my life and had a job and a paycheck coming in all the time. This was the first time that I didn’t have a paycheck coming in and growing up, like I said, when I grew up, my grandparents were depression people. So, I mean, they were really, and so I just, I really didn’t know. I mean, I didn’t really know. It sounds funny, but without income coming in from an outside source, you really don’t know. And what I found out, I really didn’t spend as much money as I felt I did.


([13:27]): I can attest to that Scott spend more money. Right. You know, you’ve really carried on some of those money habits from a depression era family very well. And you’ve obviously been a good steward of, of money over the years. Do you see yourself as somebody who will ever want to just kind of blow money and go on a random vacation? No.


([13:50]): Yeah. And you know me better than that. I mean, you guys have saved my money. I mean, I don’t really do anything. You do everything. I mean, and I give you an, your people, all the credit. I mean really, and truly, and this isn’t a paid advertisement. I am completely happy with PAX financial. I was with fidelity for 40 years and you guys are much better and much more approachable. And like I said, when you trust somebody with all your money, you trust them. And I have trusted you guys with all my money. And I, I think that says everything about your company.


([14:30]): That means a lot. And you have a great relationship with Monica, Monica. She’s one of our relationship manager she’s got doing. She’s the best Dash. He’s great. He’s the best. So I’d like to kind of zigzag here a little bit, and I’d like to just know, I didn’t give you this question originally, but was there a challenge in your life growing up that you can reflect on that made you into the man you are today?


([14:55]): A lot of this, when you reflect back, you don’t think a lot of it when you’re a kid. I mean, my whole horizon was Mack Allen, Texas. I mean, that was it. I mean, horizon just flat. I mean, we didn’t have, we were just rural kids. I mean, there’s the valley morning news and our, the Mac Ellen monitor newspaper, which I really didn’t read. Honestly, I wanted to play baseball and school. So that’s on my mother said I made good grades for all the wrong reasons. And that was because I had to, to play ball. So that’s being a good person for all the wrong reasons, which I was. But until I actually went in the service, of course, that was an experience because I was 18 when I went to Vietnam, thank you for your service. And I was 20 when I came back. So that probably changed me more than anything I can think of some good, some bad, but it is a life changing event. But other than that, I had a pretty normal childhood. I mean, my parents love me. I did what I was told and you know, I had a sister. I mean, it just did. I grew up in a pretty normal environment.


([16:11]): You were in the same era as Tom Landry, they shouldn’t take, My grandparents actually knew Tom. And he leaves mission, Which is right around the corner from Macallan. For the end of the. Day, he lived as a boy. My grandmother knew him. He lived right down the street from my grandparents. They lived in mission. And from what they told me, I never met him, but my grandparents knew him. And they, she called him Tommy. And, but she said he was a very, she said as a young man, he was just like, what you saw on TV? You know, he did everything hard worker. I mean, she, she didn’t have anything bad to save money. Very nice kid. Good Texan.


([16:55]): So what do you see yourself doing now? You know, with family and Well, yeah, and my grandson’s pretty good with his hands. He and I built his house, but unfortunately my daughter’s husband doesn’t know what a screwdriver is. And so, you know, I do a lot for them where their house and of course our place. And now with all these cattle and sheep, and something’s always broken. And when you live out in the country, seems like more things are broken. So I don’t have any trouble. Staying busy. People are going to call me after this and ask for you to work for Them.


([17:37]): So if you could go back to your child self, would you teach your child self anything about money? Would you be able to share some words of wisdom to your,


([17:45]): Yeah, I do teach my children about money, about saving it and because you never know what’s coming. I mean, I have had a great life. I mean, nobody should be there’s more to it than this cause nobody’s this lucky. Okay. But one of the things I’ve done is tried to save and watch my money and what I want to do with whatever most of the money that I have left is helped my kids with it because my parents didn’t have anything to help me with. It’s not their fault. They just didn’t. So what I’d like to do is help them as much as I can. I don’t want to make them rich and I don’t want them to, but I want to help them a little bit. And what I’ve encouraged them to do is, and at some point I’ll work this out with Daryl is I want to set them up with accounts, just like what I have, and then just leave it alone. Just leave it alone. Don’t touch it. That’s what I tell them. Don’t touch it. Cause every time you touch it, it’s worth less.


([18:52]): That’s quotable. You know? So as we come to a close here, I always have kind of a bonus question. I’d like to know what is your favorite salsa? You know what really in truly I’ve thought about this. And I really liked that HEB mild. Is that right? Is that the one you have a fancy stuff? I mean, when we go to there’s a Mexican food restaurant, Lavarnia that we go to and it’s good, but really in truly talking about the one that’s in the veggies and fruits area has cooled and little pay making


([19:24]): That’s good stuff. Yeah. And I like the mild. When, when I was younger, I could take the heat better, but in my age I can’t take the heat as well as I used to. So the mild one, I really liked the flavor and it’s really good.


([19:39]): Hey Scott, this has been a pleasure. I really appreciate it. I’ve learned a lot about you. I just smiled the whole time, enjoying this conversation, reflecting on your life for those that are listening. I just want to remind you to pick up the retire and Texas ebook. If you have interest in learning more about how to retire in Texas the right way. Thanks again for listening. And remember you think different when you think long-term,


([20:03]): This is ThePodcastFactory.com.


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