Rick Bernard was born in Lakeland and was raised in a working class family where his parents instilled in him the values of honesty and integrity that he still holds dear. He went on to serve 33 years as a law enforcement officer with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office before retiring as Captain in 2016.
During his time in public service, Rick was dismayed at the number of people, including other public servants, who failed to plan for retirement and ultimately made poor financial decisions when it was time to retire; many were ultimately forced to return to work. Realizing that sage and timely advice from a financial planning professional could have prevented these unfortunate outcomes, Rick was determined to pursue a second career helping people plan for and achieve a financially secure retirement.
Rick graduated Summa Cum Laude with a B.A. in Organizational Management from Warner University in 2005 and earned his MBA at Florida Southern College in 2008. He is a Florida Certified Public Manager (CPM), a graduate of Leadership Bartow XIV, and a member of the Tigertown Rotary Club. Rick also serves on the Board of Directors of the Lakeland Police Foundation. Rick is married and has two sons, and he enjoys hunting, outdoor cooking, and vegetable gardening.