The husband-wife team started Kendra Financial Group Inc. six years ago in Florida and moved one year later to the Augusta area. Betty Kendra was originally from the area, and they wanted better weather after being hit by several tropical storms.
Their office is at 4246 Washington Road in Evans.
The financial services professionals both started out as New York Life agents before deciding to create their own company.
Bob Kendra began working with New York Life Insurance Co. more than 13 years ago, and his wife joined the company three years later.
They wanted to form their own corporation so they could expand into more product lines, such as disability insurance, group health insurance and 401(k) plans, in addition to offering New York Life products, Betty Kendra said.
Most of their clients are individuals or families.
“It’s primarily people in their 50s and 60s that are getting close to retirement age and want to make sure that everything is in line,” Bob Kendra said. “Or if they are at retirement age, they want to make sure they do the right thing with the money they have so they don’t ever run out in their retirement.”
Lately, they’ve also had success with small businesses that want to save money and have better tax benefits, he said.
Previously, Bob Kendra spent 25 years working as a golf professional, managing country clubs, golf courses and pro shops.
“I wanted to look for a new profession so I could be able to spend more with my family,” he said. “When you’re a golf professional, at least it used to be this way, you spent 60 hours a week working. I worked six days a week for 10 to 12 hours a day. It made it very difficult on my personal life.”
Betty Kendra worked in management in the textile industry for 20 years. She started out in manufacturing, moved into sales and marketing and later became a manager at a nylon plant.
“I was kind of fried with the hours and what I was doing. This offered me the opportunity to do something that I believed in, that I thought I would be helping people. And it gave me more flexibility to spend time with our kids as they were growing up,” she said.
Many of their clients are from outside the Augusta area.
“We’re actually licensed in about 12 different states,” Bob Kendra said. “Quite a few of our clients reside in Pensacola, Florida, where we started our business.”
To assist their Florida clients, one of them travels there nearly every month for a few days, he said.
Bob Kendra is certified in life insurance planning and long-term care, and Betty Kendra is trained in investments and estate planning. She also manages their Evans office.
“There’s a lot to learn, and it’s ongoing. We each have a lot of continuing-ed
credits we have to do every year to stay on top of what’s going on,” Betty Kendra said.