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Are You Prepared for What’s Around the Bend?

Helping railroaders stay on track to maximize their hard earned railroad retirement.

Schedule a Free Consultation

Who We Serve?

Highball Advisors specializes in partnering with professionals in the railroad industry.

As a railroader – you know your benefits are complex.

You can find lots of information about financial planning. But railroaders really do have unique financial planning considerations that generic financial planning firms doesn’t address.

And you can find lots of  information online about your railroad retirement benefits. But it usually is geared towards educating a group – which makes it difficult to sort out how to make the best choices for your situation.

It is rare to find a financial professional who really knows the ins and outs of railroad retirement. Rarer still to find one who actually does full financial planning.

But Highball Advisors is unique. We assist railroad professionals who lived frugal upper-middle income lives, allowing them to accumulate enough wealth to retire. We help you plan for and transition into retirement. We are a comprehensive fee-only financial planning and investment management office. We partner with railroaders from all over the country. We'll take the time to get to know your goals and help you navigate your financial options to build a retirement strategy that works for you. We respect the hard work and sacrifices that you have made throughout your career. Now let us help you maximize your hard earned Railroad Retirement. Take the next step to staying on track by taking advantage of the free 30- minute consultation.

Get Started Now

All Aboard...Get to Where You Want to Go with Your Retirement

What We Do?

How Do You Maximize Your Railroad Retirement Benefits?

How Does Your Railroad Retirement Annuity Affect Your Retirement Investments Risk Profile?

What Unique Tax Planning Opportunities Are Afforded Railroad Retirees?

These are just some of the critical questions that every railroader who wants to maximize their retirement should have answers too.

Highball Advisors is a fee-only Registered Investment Advisor (RIA), which means we receive no commissions from mutual funds, insurance companies, etc.. We focus on the individuals needs by providing comprehensive financial planning and investment management services. We offer three tiers of services in order to assist railroaders so they can enjoy their hard earned retirement. See menu below for details on our services:

Railroad Retirement Analysis

  • Find the best strategy to maximize lifetime benefits

  • Making correct decisions can means tens of thousands in extra retirement dollars

  • Sequence possible Social Security benefits with Railroad Retirement

According to the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) , in 2017 the average combined benefits for the employee and spouse annuities averaged $5,560/month. Furthermore, a retired couple at age 62 can expect to live almost 21 years as noted in the RRB longevity study of railroaders. With longevity rates for railroaders increasing  it is imperative that individuals maximize their Railroad Retirement benefits. Your Railroad Retirement Annuity is the cornerstone for that successful retirement. Therefore, we created "Coach Class" planning for railroaders. Our "Coach Class" program will help railroaders answer fundamental questions surrounding payouts for their Railroad Retirement annuity and how much it will help build a successful retirement.

While "Coach Class" isn't comprehensive financial planning, it is  a good starting process for individuals to understand one of their most important streams of retirement income. The average railroad couple can expect to receive over $1m in benefits from their Railroad Retirement. We make sure you are getting the right amount for you and your family.

As a customer of "Coach Class" you will receive all the services listed below for a one-time cost of $250. This includes access to one hour video call with a Railroad Retirement Specialist. In addition, you will also receive access to your own online retirement portal. 

What We Do For You

We Maximize Your Railroad Retirement

Get a Personalized Railroad Retirement Strategy

We Show You the Best Claiming Strategies

We Will Calculate Impact on Retirement Goals

We Will Estimate Your Future Payouts

We Will Identify Social Security Opportunities

Click Here to Get Started Maximizing Your Railroad Retirement

One-Time Comprehensive Financial Planning


Overwhelmed by all the moving parts in your financial life?
Afraid you’re missing opportunities?
Want to create a strategy that gives you confidence in each decision you make?
A one-time comprehensive plan can give you that clarity and confidence. 




Over the course of 3 meetings, we start with understanding what is important to you and what life you want to lead.

Our work together culminates with a plan we create together. This plan reviews all important aspects of your financial life, highlights where you are now, where you want to go, and personal tools you’ll use to get there. The plan also provides a list of specific, narrowly defined steps to get you to that future.

The cost of a one-time financial plan starts at $2000. In order to align cost with the value you’ll receive, your specific fee is based on the complexity of your financial situation. Some common examples of complexity are stock compensation, couple vs. single, multiple investment accounts, and rental real estate. 

I will send you a quote for our work together after our free consultation.

Click Here to Schedule Free Consultation

Ongoing Financial Planning and Investment Management


George Pullman established his company in 1862. He built luxury railroad passenger cars that were known for their high end finishing such as upholstered chairs, libraries, carpeting, draperies, etc.. However it was the first class service by the railroads that made the Pullman Service experience the most luxurious and relaxing way to to travel. It is the Pullman principles of customer service that I will bring to your financial life.

When you sign up for Pullman Service with Highball Advisors, we will partner collaboratively to develop you financial plan. We start by creating an initial plan that showcases where you are now financially, and also your goals and vision for your life. We then work together systematically to implement the action steps and get you closer to your goals As changes happen in your life, we adapt our strategy so it still makes sense for you. Once a year we do a thorough review of the plan to ensure we’re still headed in the same direction.

As part of this ongoing relationship, I also manage and provide advice for all your investment accounts.



  • The first year features 4 or more meetings, in which we get clear on your values and goals, understand your full financial picture, explore possible paths forward (until you find a path you like), and whatever else is on your mind
  • Subsequent years kick off with an Annual Renewal Meeting, and quarterly-ish meetings throughout the year, depending on what’s going on in your life
  • A written Financial Planning Summary that lays out goals, strategies, and action items. This Summary gets renewed annually.
  • Investment management and advice
  • Anytime access (via email, text, phone, and meetings)
  • Reminders, to help keep you on track
  • Secure, simple, online access to all your information

We agree to a flat annual fee at the beginning of our work, and you pay it monthly ( out of cash flow or your investment accounts). The fee is calculated on the basis of assets under management, as you report to us before our engagement begins.

Fee Calculation

Assets Under ManagementAnnual Fee
Up to $1,000,0001.00%
Over $1,000,0000.50%

Minimum Annual Fee:We specialize in working with railroaders throughout their careers and into retirement. We know that it takes time and dedication to a well thought out plan to build wealth. To enable us to serve railroaders in their wealth building years, we have a minimum annual fee of $2,400 per household.Example:
  • A client with $75,000 in assets under management (AUM) will be charged $2,400/year.
  • A client with $500,000 in AUM will be charged 1% = $5,000/year.

Click Here to Schedule Free Consultation


"In the end, it's not the years in your life that counts. It's the life in your years." ...Abraham Lincoln

John McNamara, CRPC® Photo

John McNamara, CRPC®

Prior to starting Highball Advisors, I owned a commodity trading and brokerage company in New York, Chicago, and Dublin. Fear, greed, and pride were some of the daily working conditions in the financial markets. I enjoyed my twenty plus years in the trading “pits” and came away with some great life lessons. Regrettably, computers and automation would descend upon the financial industry and with that the trading “pits” would vanish. Progress eventually catches up with most industries. You either adapt or go away. I adapted by starting my own internet trading exchange in Dublin, Ireland called Intrade. Government regulation would eventually shutter the business after ten years.

Leveraging my years of experience in the financial markets and business, I wound up working for a large national broker-dealer in Greenville,SC. However, it didn’t take me long to realize that individuals need a partner to offer impartial financial advice and not a salesman. There is no doubt people need help. Study after study has demonstrated that. But people don’t want to be “sold” unnecessary investments. So I opened up my fee-only advisory firm, Highball Advisors, to provide unbiased guidance to railroad professionals. It was important to me that I only received compensation from my clients and not paid commissions by investment houses and insurance companies hence fee-only.

I currently reside in Greenville, SC with my wife Becky, our dog Phoebe, and two very cranky cats. Becky and I raised four daughters who have left the nest. Three of them live in New York City and the remaining is studying at Clemson University. My interests that I enjoy – golf, hiking, college football, and most of all traveling to see my girls in New York. Becky and I lead the Feed the Hungry Ministry at St. Mary’s Magdalene Church, which serves meals to the homeless in Greenville area. We both find it rewarding and helps us put things in perspective.

To sum it all up, I have been extremely blessed throughout my life. From family to career, I don’t have anything to complain about. Not that anyone is listening. The most satisfaction I receive however is from service to others. While Highball Advisors is a business, it is partnering together and achieving goals that is so rewarding to the bottom line.

I am a registered investment advisor (RIA) and hold a Series 7 and 66 license. I am also a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor (CRPC®).

Schedule a Free Consultation

Highball Helper Blog

The helper locomotive is there to assist trains to get over steep grades. 

This blog serves the same purpose. It is here to help give ideas to get you over those steep financial grades that lie ahead of you. I hope you enjoy!

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Answers to Your Most Pressing Questions

Why should I work with you?
How do Highball Advisor employees get paid?
I don’t live in Greenville, S.C. Can I still work with you?
Do I need a certain amount of money to work with you?
Can’t I just do all this financial planning myself?
Can I cancel my ongoing planning relationship?
What does financial planning include?
I’m not in the Railroad industry. Can I still work with you?
Do I have to pay for my first meeting with you?

Send Us a Message and See If You Are On Track!

Not everyone is right for our firm. We are very selective of the people we choose to bring on as clients, because we have a long-term planning relationship with them.

If you just want to open an IRA and manage it yourself, Highball Advisors is not for you. There are plenty of bank representatives who can help open an account.

If you only want to buy an insurance policy, Highball Advisors is not for you. There are plenty of insurance salesmen who would be happy to sell you a policy.

But if you’re looking for a trusted advisor who understands both your Railroad Retirement benefits, and the finer points of advanced financial planning, then you should talk with Highball Advisors.

Get Your Risk Number

Why Do I Need To Know My Risk Number?

By knowing your risk number you will be able to answer these fundamental questions regarding your investment practices:

  • How much Risk are you comfortable with?
  • How much Risk do you need to achieve your goals?
  • How are you currently invested?

Start Your Risk Number Questionnaire

Capture Your Risk Number

The first step is to answer a
5-minute questionnaire that
covers topics such as portfolio size, top financial goals, and what you’re willing to risk for potential gains. Then we’ll pinpoint your exact Risk Number to guide our decision making process.

Align Your Portfolio

After pinpointing your Risk
Number, we’ll craft a portfolio
that aligns with your personal
preferences and priorities,
allowing you to feel comfortable with your expected outcomes.
The resulting proposed portfolio will include projections for the
potential gains and losses we
should expect over time.

Define Your Retirement Goals

We will also review your progress toward your financial goals by
building a Retirement Map.
When we are finished, you’ll
better understand what we can do to increase the probability of success.

Start Your Risk Number Questionnaire