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Transitioning from Success in Career to Significance in Retirement: A Life of Travel, Family and Support for the Arts and College Education



Before retiring from Lockheed Martin, Phillip Kelley was a state representative, avid golfer, choir director and thespian, and he looked forward to devoting more of his time to his hobbies and interests after his 35-year career came to an end. Along with his wife, Betty, an educator who had retired 10 years earlier, they sought counseling from their financial advisor to help them thrive in their ideal retirement lifestyle in Guntersville, Alabama.

The Kelleys’ shared goals included supporting the local theater, volunteering in the community, spending time with family, traveling and providing college funds for their seven grandchildren. “In fact, our first grandson is heading to college in the fall, and we plan to help; however, we also want him to have some responsibility, even if that means he gets a part-time job,” Phillip said.

Phillip is also a city councilman for the third time, but his involvement in state and local politics dates back to the 1970’s when he was elected to the District 26 seat in the Alabama House of Representatives. During his eight-year tenure, from 1974 to 1982, he supported the Alabama Department of Environmental Management, improved state parks and co-authored the legislation that created the Alabama Housing Finance Authority, which helps low-income families become homeowners at lower interest rates. “The authority helped give a jump-start to the state’s housing market,” he said.

Beyond his involvement in local politics, Phillip occasionally sings in the church choir and volunteers with Betty in RSVP – the Retired Senior Volunteer Program. They have been married for more than 50 years and have served on the board of the local theater in the past and remain volunteers there today. “It’s been a labor of love to make sure that a town our size has viable theatrical productions,” Phillip said. “We want future generations to have exposure to the theater. It’s amazing to watch the kids develop, grow and get away from the electronic world.”

When they are not volunteering in their community or spending time with family, the Kelleys enjoy traveling. “About two years ago, we took a Road Scholar trip where we toured all of the canyons and floated down the Colorado River. That was a trip I think we’d definitely do again,” Phillip said. “We’d also like to see the countryside in England and Ireland, because we’ve studied 1,000 years of ancestors on Betty’s side. We know all the towns and castles they lived in and a trip like that is even more relevant when you know those kinds of things.”

Phillip and Betty are happy to be living a lifestyle that includes travel and community service while leaving a legacy that will have an impact for generations to come!