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Peace of Mind

Marvin Mitchell didn’t plan to be a financial adviser originally. He was studying law when he came home to St. Louis to help take care of his grandmother who had been diagnosed with cancer. “She was a strong, independent woman, and that included how she dealt with her finances,” he says. “But when the market crashed, she lost money, and other funds had to go toward health care costs.” After watching his grandmother’s struggle, Mitchell was inspired to help other retirees. He became an adviser, and after working for large firms, he discovered that there was a better way to help clients prepare for retirement. That’s how Compass Retirement Solutions started.

Compass Retirement Solutions is dedicated to helping people make informed financial decisions by providing comprehensive information and clear communication. Mitchell notes that there are traditionally two ways to handle investing for retirement. “I think of these two approaches as Wall Street and Main Street,” he explains. “With Wall Street, there is going to be a lot of risk taking with money, which can put a person in a difficult situation if something goes wrong with the market. Main Street is the opposite. When you’re afraid of the market, you invest in things like CDs or put your money in the bank. It’s secure, but the interest is low, and if you’re not keeping pace with inflation, you still lose money.”

Mitchell created Compass to provide a third option. “We believe in protecting our clients by minimizing risk without sacrificing their growth, so that during retirement, they can maintain or elevate the lifestyle they had while working,” he says. “We take a holistic approach, considering investments, taxes, costs like health care, and the legacy you want to leave for the next generation.” The firm’s advisers are fiduciaries, which means their responsibility is to put their clients’ interests first.

Compass’ methodology can be illustrated with three C’s: confidence, clarity and control. “Our clients have the confidence that they won’t run out of money, clarity that they fully understand their retirement plan, and control over their finances,” Mitchell explains. “We listen and make decisions together to help guide people so they can navigate retirement and ensure they not only survive, but also thrive.” When advisers at the firm meet with clients, they review their portfolios for hidden dangers and offer counseling on major decisions. “We work as a team because we understand that three cords are not easily broken,” he says.

Mitchell recently published a book on retirement, Retire Early: The 9 Critical Decisions When Retiring Before 65. It outlines the important things to consider when planning for life after your career and the impact your choices will have down the line. He notes that the pandemic has made it evident just how important careful planning is. “COVID-19 has shown us that there can be a lot of uncertainty in the world, but retirement doesn’t have to be a part of it,” he says. “We encourage people to reach out to see if we can help their future and secure their legacy.”

Compass Retirement Solutions offers personalized retirement services in the areas of income, investment, tax, legacy planning and health care. Pictured on the cover: President and CEO Marvin Mitchell. For more information, call 314.373.1598 or visit

Cover design by Julie Steiler
Cover photo by Colin Miller of Strauss Peyton Photography

Pictured at top: Airionne Solanke, Steve Leonard, Marvin Mitchell, Tom Elder, Mark Kaplan
Picture: Colin Miller of Strauss Peyton Photography


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