I’ve known Ryan Neely for years. We were in the same graduating class at Claremore High School. We attended Oklahoma State University together and shared a few classes. (How a finance guy and a journalism girl crossed class schedules, I’ll never know.) My sorority house was across the street from his fraternity house. Now we’ve both returned to the Claremore nest and have offices separated only by the courthouse parking lot.
I caught up with him recently to see what’s new, especially since he’s a fancy businessman now.
We’ve all heard of Neely Insurance; Paul Neely started the business 65 years ago. Since 1957, Neely Insurance has occupied the same space on 1st Street, just south of the courthouse (and that aforementioned parking lot). Over the course of the years, the building has been added onto a whopping seven times. The original structure is now 4,800 square feet. Last year was the most extensive remodel yet, both interior and exterior, including gorgeous new signage by Adventure Signs.
While Ryan may have been born into the insurance biz, he handles the other arm of the company, the financial portion. The business is technically Neely Insurance & Financial Services now. Being that I am not a finance wizard, I asked Ryan to explain to me in layman’s terms what exactly he does.
There are three phases of money life that Ryan handles: accumulation, distribution, and preservation.
The accumulation phase is for younger families who are looking to grow wealth so they aren’t living paycheck to paycheck, and also figure out how retirement is possible someday in the future. Apparently some people don’t want to work for all of eternity, and a retirement fund is necessary to make that happen.
Another phase is distribution; after a person retires, he wants to be able to live out his life without having to go back to work. During distribution, Ryan shows how to make money last (apparently just buying the store brand for everything isn’t enough).
The final area is preservation. After a person dies, his remaining billions are usually bequeathed to loved ones or a charity. Ryan’s job is to be responsible for making sure the money gets to the right people.
The process is fairly simple. A potential client just needs to call and set up a financial appointment with Ryan. The first session consists of information gathering; he’ll ask about income, insurance, bank accounts, stocks, etc. Together you’ll determine your goals for the future: do you want to retire at 50? 75? Do you want college funds for your kids? He’ll also ask what prompted your visit.
The next step is Ryan’s favorite part, and it’s building a financial plan. He takes all of the information from the first appointment and figures out what is best for your family. He takes into consideration how aggressive or conservative you wish to be with your money. (Bet it all on red! Just kidding.) He will determine if you need an IRA, life insurance, or college savings.
I asked Ryan what a lot of people will want to know: how does he get paid? He generally gets paid for figuring out your financial future by insurance companies or brokerage firms.
Of course, Neely Insurance & Financial Services still sells insurance, as well. They cover it all, from home, auto, workers compensation, and liability. They handle group medical, special event policies, they’ve even insured racehorses.
The Neely family has been a pillar in Claremore for a long time. They apply their personal touch to their daily business, treating customers like real people instead of a number. Because it’s an independent agency, the Neely staff is able to shop multiple carriers, insuring (see what I did there?) the best product for the best price for their customers.
Ryan’s father, Steve, is still very active in the business, dealing with insurance while Ryan specializes in finance. As an agency, Neely is a member of Independent Insurance of Oklahoma, Trusted Choice, and has been named the best insurance agency in town by the Claremore Progress multiple times. Ryan is a member of Rotary, having served as president and as a board member, has been active with United Way, and currently sits on the board of directors for CIEDA. His team has won People’s Choice for three out of four years at Zipper Q.
If you’re in need of insurance or financial advice, Neely Insurance & Financial Services is an excellent one-stop shop in Claremore for anything you might need. Neely is located at 505 W. 1st St. in Claremore.