Planning Leads to Growth and Freedom

Tab 1

November 14, 2016

Parents Ben and Jodi Johnson retired early to give their children lessons they’ll always remember and experiences they’ll never forget. 

Ben Johnson, a client in The Private Client Reserve, recently gave his wife, Jodi, the birthday gift of a lifetime: a two-week vacation to Bora Bora.

“When Jodi and I were first married, we had a short, two-day honeymoon in Telluride, Colorado,” explains Ben, 38, who lives in nearby Grand Junction, Colorado — just 125 miles from Telluride. “Our honeymoon was extremely important, but I had just received a promotion, and it required that I start a new job the next Monday after we were married. I didn’t exactly pull off an ‘A+’ on that one. Fifteen years later, a romantic trip to Bora Bora appeared to be the perfect chance for a redo.”

The trip was indeed perfect, and it led to a revelation about work, family and the kind of future that the Johnsons wanted to create for themselves and their 12-year-old son, Skylar, and 10-year-old daughter, Ava. This future involved less time at work and more time with the people in their lives who matter most to them.

Tab 2

November 14, 2016

Ben’s career had always been focused on the wheel business. In 2005, he saw an opportunity to pursue a new market providing wheels for power-sports vehicles, including ATVs, UTVs and golf carts. In 2009, he launched a new product line, which he subsequently bought from his employer as a means to start his own business. He named his company: Colorado Components. When his new company blossomed, Ben seized the chance to build it by bringing in private investors. Three years later, things were going very well, and he made a decision to retire.


“I wanted to spend time with my family,” Ben says. “As I started thinking about retirement, I approached my wife with the idea that maybe we could take a different path that would allow us to be around together — all of us — especially as our children grew older.”

A Road Trip to Remember

A few months after selling Colorado Components, the Johnsons left for Bora Bora. It was the first long vacation of their adult lives — but certainly not their last.


“It’s typical in America that successful people pay for their kids to have experiences with other people, such as summer camps and youth groups. Jodi and I decided we wanted to have experiences with our children instead of subsidizing those experiences through others,” Ben says. “So, we came up with the idea to take the kids on a road trip for a month.”

In July 2016, the Johnsons headed west. During the next four weeks, they visited nearly a dozen cities in a half-dozen states, staying in Airbnbs that allowed them to experience their destinations as “locals.” Highlights included Morro Bay, California, where Ben and Skylar took surfing lessons; Santa Cruz,

Tab 3

November 14, 2016

California, where the family enjoyed coastal biking and redwoods and where father and son played basketball at an inner-city park before a cheering crowd; San Luis Obispo, California, where the kids attended their first reggae concert; Bend, Oregon, where the family mountain biked; and Boise, Idaho, where the family floated down the Boise River together in inner tubes.


“The American definition of success is: Do well in school, play sports, get a college degree, find a job and then work your butt off. That’s great, but it’s very structured. We wanted to lose structure,” Ben says. “We didn’t have a schedule, and when you don’t have a schedule, it’s amazing how simple life can be.”







Simplicity wasn’t the only goal, however. Another priority was education — education of a different sort.“We want to teach our kids that they don’t necessarily need money and status to enjoy life,” Ben continues. “We want them to be who they are and to be able to choose a different path in life — whatever path is right for them. The more we show them at an early age, we hope, the more choices they’ll feel they have when they get older.”

Dollars Into Dreams

It’s the kind of life that many parents dream of having. That he gets to live it, Ben says, is a tribute to The Private Client Reserve and its goals-based approach to financial planning. This approach helped the Johnsons identify a destination — having priceless experiences with their kids instead of working — and map a route to get there.

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November 14, 2016

Because the Johnsons are based in Grand Junction and their investment team is nearly 250 miles away in Denver, the ability to collaborate remotely was key to success.

“Digital communications made it easy for us to discuss our plan without having to drive to Denver every time we needed to make a decision,” Ben says.

“I’m a really compulsive, type-A, OCD kind of guy, so it’s been hard for me to let go,” he continues. “But when you let freedom flow, it’s a lot of fun. This experience has taught me how to live in the now with my family.”

“It all started with my relationship with [U.S. Bank lender] Karen Troester in Grand Junction, who helped me borrow the money I needed to start and grow my business,” explains Ben, who was introduced to Wealth Management Consultant Bob Provencher by Troester shortly after he shared his plans to exit his business. Bob spoke with Ben about The Private Client Reserve and introduced Ben to Wealth Management Advisor Steven Blazek and the rest of the team.

This team has worked together to help the Johnsons transition from a financial strategy focused on liquidity to one focused on growth. Ben explains, “We were really cash heavy; the U.S. Bank team helped us put our money to work to strive to grow our estate rather than watch it dwindle.”


















Financial Planning