Meet Raymond T. Serna Jr.
Ray Serna served the City of Los Angeles for almost 35 years and retired in August 2009. His career with the City of L.A. began at 17 when he became a Warehouse Worker with General Services. At 25, he took a three-year leave of absence to pursue higher education at Cal State LA. While there, Ray co-founded the Hispanic Drama Club, where he directed and acted in the school’s first major Hispanic theatrical production. During that time, Ray qualified to participate in an International Cultural Exchange Program held in Havana, Cuba. The program was sponsored by the Cuban Ministry of Culture and hosted 20 students from various colleges throughout the United States. The highlight of Ray’s acting career came when he landed a principal role in a television drama series produced by KCET public television and funded by the U.S. Dept. of Education.
Ray returned to General Services and progressed up the career ladder to the position of Stores Supervisor with Transportation. Among Ray’s significant career achievements was the implementation of the City’s Supply Management System (SMS) within Transportation. He worked closely with division heads to connect SMS to all Transportation field offices and yards and received a formal commendation from the Mayor’s office for his contributions to the City.
Ray and his wife Yolanda have lived in Arcadia for more than 32 years. They have two adult children and two grandchildren. Ray and Yolanda believe that leading by example is the most effective education parents can give their children. They were always on the go, attending their children’s school activities from pre-school through their high schools years. Both Ray and Yolanda volunteered much of their time co-chairing the Parent’s Advisory Boards and organizing school fundraisers, annual festivals and talent fashion shows.
What was the smartest thing you did to prepare for retirement?
Ray’s Retirement Plan:
When Ray and Yolanda were in their mid-40s, they realized the importance of planning for retirement, so they sought help from a financial adviser. They found they had a significant amount of disposable income so they started individual retirement accounts (IRAs) and 457 Deferred Compensation Accounts to supplement their pensions.
In retirement, Ray is an investment adviser with PFS Investments, Inc., a full financial services practice in Santa Fe Springs. He holds a Series 6 and 63 securities license and has his life, health and casualty insurance licenses in multiple states. As a financial broker with access to the best products in the marketplace, Ray provides holistic financial solutions that enable his clients to realize their financial goals.
Among Ray’s many involvements in retirement, he is an active member of LACERS, RLACEI, AARP, AFSCME Retirees, Chapter 6, Living Hope Church and the Arcadia Community Center.
What are his words of wisdom for Retirees or those about to retire?
Ray advises that when considering retirement it is important to look at three areas of your life:
• Your current lifestyle
• Your monthly expenses
• Your monthly income
As a general rule of thumb, 75 percent to 100 percent of a Retiree’s gross income is needed during the early retirement years. Why? Because your lifestyle and monthly expenses will most likely not change when you retire. Debt such as your home, car and credit cards may not be paid off. And, perhaps you’ll probably want to travel once or twice a year.
Retirees should determine exactly how much money is needed to live comfortably in retirement. Ray recommends consulting with a financial professional (or him if you don’t have one) to determine if you’re on track to reach your retirement goals. He emphasizes, “You wouldn’t go on a long trip without mapping out your journey; hence, you should approach your retirement the same way.”
Ray’s set of Core Values:
• Live by the golden rule: “Treat others the way you want to be treated.”
• Offer value to people who you interact with.
• Maintain a level of professionalism and integrity.
• Always be honest and courteous when dealing with people.
• Motivate others to pursue their goals and dreams.
• Help others experience the freedom of financial worries.
How does he fill his days?
Ray says for him retirement is:
• Lying in bed in the morning and not worrying about what time it is
• Walking in the morning at the park
• Working out at Gold’s Gym
• Listening to music while planting beautiful flowers in the garden
• Watching a movie at home with his family until 1 a.m. on a weeknight
• Golfing in the morning, then having breakfast at the Club House
• Taking his mother-in-law with him on a cruise to the Mexican Riviera
• Going on weekend retreats withhis wife at their timeshare resorts
• Going to Hawaii for his goddaughter’s beach wedding
• Going on a Caribbean Cruise to Columbia, Panama, Costa Rica, Cozumel and Cayman Island.