Sep 21, 2022
In today’s episode of the “The Runway Decade
Podcast” hosts Bill Bush and Pete Bush, advisors at Horizon
Financial Group speak with guest Sharon Whitlow, an Attorney, and
Partner at Whitlow & Simmons Law firm. She talks about her
professional journey, and how she dealt with both simultaneously,
her legal work and kids.
- 01:10 – Sharon talks about her journey of how she reached where
she is right now.
- 03:00 – When Sharon’s second child was diagnosed with Autism
that changed the dynamic resulting in working very little in legal
practice for a few years while raising kids.
- 04:55 - Sharon made the transition from her law firm to start a
new firm in January of 2020, right before COVID, which was a scary
time and a big risk.
- 07:00 - One of the reasons Ricky and Sharon were able to form a
good partnership is because their practices have been
- 08:40 – Bill asks how has life changed for Sharon in her 50s
when she compares it to her younger self.
- 10:55 – Sharon mentions that she didn't want to pay for other
people's retirement, instead she wanted to focus on paying for her
- 13:06 - One thing that both Ricky and Sharon have to deal with
is how to transition their practice. They don't want it to just
die, but they would like to be able to transition it.
- 15:30 - If you have a special needs child, and if they need the
qualifications, you have to get that process done in a judge's
signature on an order before their 18th birthday.
- 17:30 – Bill discusses the importance of retirement planning at
the right time because that is the time when you're in some version
of sand at the bottom and little grains at the top, you never
- 19:40 – Every year when you're doing your taxes, that's a good
time to update the list of your financial advisor, phone number,
policy number, etc. Advises Sharon.
- 21:10 - Sharon thinks that as you get older, there's not a
great need to look at your will every year.
- 22:45 – Sharon states that their retirement is focused on
making sure that the child is taken care of because they don't want
him to be a burden on the other kids.
- 25:21 – Bill enquires about Sharon’s favorite go-to
Three Key Points
- Sharon says that through the years, she had the opportunity to
work with some great attorneys. Through that process, you refine
the areas that you like to practice in, you find what you're good
at, and by that process, you develop specialties. So, through that
process, Sharon has had a lot of good folks that she has worked
with over the years.
- The most common problem according to Sharon is that people wait
too long to try to do estate planning due to different reasons.
Some people do not want to face their mortality, so they don't want
to think about dying or being incapacitated in their old age so
they ignore it, which is weird.
- If you have a safety deposit box, then make sure you tell
somebody which bank and where you keep the key. Otherwise, what we
have to do as part of the succession is hire a locksmith, get a
court order, go to the bank and drill it open.
- “It was not a straight path, a lot of curves in the road.” -
- “We decided to start a non-profit for young adults with Autism
to do a transition program.” - Sharon Whitlow
- “Let's talk about some good advice you have along the way in
your career.” – Bill Bush
- “Having a child with autism changes a lot, it changes your
outlook on a lot of things.” - Sharon Whitlow
- “A lot of law firms have mandatory retirement ages.” - Sharon
- “What were people missing the boat on the planning aspect and
leaving legacies.” - Bill Bush
- “You get this feeling when you turn 50 like okay, “I'm probably
more than halfway done with my life.” - Bill Bush
- “So those are the little things that you tell people in terms
of how often should you look at changing and updating?” - Sharon
- “I've had some clients who looked at their wills every day
because they were so fixated on their mortality.” - Sharon
- “Our focus is more on taking care of this child when we're
gone.” - Sharon Whitlow