Personal chefs, how many of you have actually created a realist retirement program that you can stick with? We know; it’s something we all intend doing but somehow don’t quite get around to it. But, of course, time courses on and before you know it, you’ll be at retirement age!

No one knows this better than Thomas Gipson. Now a financial adviser at Primerica Financial Services, Thomas has long been a personal and private chef. In fact, he still services a handful of private clients. Candy asked him to offer our members some advice on preparing your finances for the future. He has offered these five quick financial tips for you to act on.

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Like many chefs and other industry professionals, the thrill and rush of working in a highly creative, challenging, and high energy environment is at the forefront of your daily thoughts. Planning, shopping, preparing, organizing, client relations, traveling from place to place, and even putting out a fire here and there are usually the theme of the day. I know. Like you, I’ve been a chef.

With all this going on in your life, when do you have the time to think about your personal financial security and prepare for that time down the road when your best days in the business have passed? Don’t think it will ever happen to you? Well, think again! Being self employed as a personal chef can come with some real financial challenges that must be dealt with now to avoid disaster in your later years, when it will count the most.

  • Approximately 1 in 4 employees are in serious financial distress.
  • On average, 80 percent of these individuals spend time at work worrying with their personal financial problems, wasting anywhere from 12 to 20 hours per month.
  • This loss of productivity is estimated to cost you approximately $7,000 a year, per person.

Check out these five quick financial tips you can implement now to ensure all your hard work will pay off when you really need it to.

#1. Pay Yourself FIRST: We’ve all heard this but the important question is do all of us do it? Paying yourself first means putting yourself and your family before any other demands on your money. Paying yourself first can be established as a form of self-respect.

Allocate and deposit a set amount EVERY MONTH, CONSISTENTLY, into an investment program, no matter what other financial obligations you have. See how amazingly fast your money can grow if you invest even a small amount regularly, at a good rate of return. Understanding the power of compound interest and “The Rule of 72” (dividing your interest rate into 72 equals the number of years it takes for your investment to double) is critical for your investing success.

#2. Adjust Your Priorities and/or Lifestyle: If you’re thinking to yourself, “I don’t have enough right now,” then maybe it’s time to evaluate your spending habits and adjust for more important things like, will you have enough at retirement when you may not be able to work? It’s important to understand the difference between a NEED and a WANT. It’s been said:

Make $20, Spend $19 = Happiness

Make $20, Spend $21 = Misery

Remember: It’s not how much you make; it’s how much you keep!

#3. Realign Your Assets – Two GIANT areas where people are not getting their money’s worth are:

  1. Low interest-bearing “savings accounts” with banks: When’s the last time you checked that good ole savings account at the bank? Try taking the balance of an account giving only 1 percent interest in return and invest it in an area that has higher returns potential.
  2. High-cost life insurance: Cash Value (Whole Life) insurance policies are a thing of the past and have proven to be too expensive. You can replace your cash value insurance policy with term insurance and potentially reap thousands of dollars in premium savings over time!

#4. Avoid the Credit Trap: By now, most of us know, too much credit card debt can become the reason we have to work. Don’t become a full-time employee for the banks by owing unmanageable card balances. They can be good to establish necessary credit and used responsibly but that’s it. Be careful to avoid the pitfalls of “borrowed money.” Try paying your balance in full each month. You’ll not only avoid interest charges but you’ll prevent your balance from escalating out of control. Whenever possible, pay with cash to help keep your charges under control. You’ll probably discover that you spend less when you have to use your own money.

#5. Set Financial Goals/Have A Plan: Don’t forget! Goals are for every area of your life. Your financial goals should be at the top of your list. How do you reach a destination without a road map? Chefs HAVE to be good planners to be successful. This means you can apply those same great planning skills you employ in serving your clients and growing your business into your personal finances so you can rest easy down the road. Developing a financial game plan is your road map to guide you to financial success. Remember: You DO have a choice in your financial future.

Thomas Gipson is a licensed, registered representative and financial planner in the state of Florida. After 20+ years experience in the food and beverage industry as a professional chef, Thomas has turned his work to raising a heightened awareness of proper financial education among industry professionals. To connect with him for additional information or questions please email:


Have you started developing a retirement plan? If not, what’s holding you back? What questions do you have for Thomas?

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