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Episode 32: 7 Fun Things To Do On The Gulf Coast Thumbnail

Episode 32: 7 Fun Things To Do On The Gulf Coast

Coasting in Retirement

Episode 32: 7 Fun Things to do on the Gulf Coast that don’t cost a lot of money (usually)

Segment 1 (Show Open): 

Good afternoon, everyone! Welcome in. Welcome to Coasting in Retirement! What a show we have for you today. We have wedding announcements, we have award show announcements, we have Michelle back, we get to discuss some fun things to do down here on the Gulf Coast, it’s springtime…man. Going to have some fun today. I am your host, Josh Null, and I am joined by my lovely co-host, Ms. Michelle Lee Melton, er, or should I say, MRS. Michelle Lee Melton…-Null!? Or did I just become Josh Melton? Michelle, how are you doing after your extended vacation from Coasting in Retirement? Well, I’m sure the listeners missed you, so we are all glad you are back. 

Listeners: Michelle and I are here today to discuss financial topics relevant to those of you in or near retirement, living your best life along our part of the Gulf Coast. Here’s what we’ve got in store for you today: First segment – deep dive on our topic of the day. 2nd segment - at about 20 minutes past the hour - fan favorite, “Michelle with the News of the Week”. 3rd segment, roughly 40 minutes past the hour,” Josh’s Crystal Ball and…(Michelle:) Big Mouth”. That’s right, big mouth. So buckle up, we’ve got a lot to get to!

Quick background on me for those new to the show. Again, my name is Josh Null, I am a fee-based financial advisor, I hold my FINRA Series 65 securities license, and I am the owner of Gulf Coast Financial Advisors, an independent investment management and financial planning firm with offices in Fairhope, Orange Beach, and coming very soon, Mobile! You can find more information on me and Gulf Coast Financial Advisors by visiting our website gulfcoastfa.com, or feel free to give us a call at 251-327-2124. If you missed that, don’t worry, we will repeat our contact info several times throughout the show! 

So if the listeners were paying attention during our open, they heard me say that we have a wedding announcement. Michelle, would you like to do the honors? 

Very nice. We also hinted at this in our opening - Coasting in Retirement is up for an award, it’s from the local weekly publication called Lagniappe, and the award itself is called a “NapDpie” Our show is up for “Best Lifestyle Radio Show” under the “Media” section, and even if we don’t win, we are very proud that we were one of the 6 finalists. I believe we are the only financial topic-based show to make the cut, and I also believe we are the newest show to make the list, so many, many thanks to those of you out there that have voted for us and continue to vote for us. If you are interested in voting, visit votenappies.com and find us under the Media section. Voting ends on May 26th, so please do your democratic duty and vote early, vote often. 

Alright, back to the show. Michelle and I decided to take a little lighter approach with this episode’s topic. We are very active in the community, and I feel we do a good job of having a whole lot of fun without spending a ton of money, so we decided to put together a list of 7 things to do along our part of the Gulf Coast that don’t require a lot of money…usually. 

And as with any list with qualifications, there has to be some rules, so here they are: First, we want to try to avoid the obvious things to do, the touristy things, and try to give both people visiting here, and maybe even folks that live here, a couple of new ideas to discover on their own. Now, with that said, we obviously have to talk about some of this area’s main attractions, like our beautiful beaches, leaving those out would be like a country song that doesn’t mention momma, or prison, or trains, or getting drunk, but our goal will be to give you a few sneaky sneak spots – spots that the locals know that may not be on the wider tourist radar. The second rule is that is has to be affordable by most people’s definition. Now, listeners may be asking, how does affordability tie into show’s target audience of those in or near retirement? Easy. There’s 2 broad ways to experience life down here, and neither are wrong. As I tell my kids often, people spend thousands of dollars to experience the Gulf Coast while those same activities cost us little to nothing because we live here. The first way to experience our part of the Gulf Coast is to spend market rates on common activities, while Michelle and prefer finding the deals, finding the hidden treasures, and in my opinion, more often than not getting way more bang for our buck. 

Plus, at the end of the day, it’s OUR show, and if we want to take a quick breather from the sometimes heavy conversation about investments, insurance and retirement planning, we’re gonna do it. So, with that said, Michelle, how about you lead us off with the first item on our list of “7 things to do along our part of the Gulf Coast that don’t cost a lot of money…usually”:

1. Michelle: Alright Josh, let’s start off with something easy that even people that live here often fail to take advantage of: visiting Mobile Bay. People don’t know about public access and how Fairhope dedicated a lot of land to public use. What can you do on the Bay? Little beaches, public piers in addition to the big FH one, Daphne is re-doing their May Day park area, you can paddle board or kayak a lot of the creeks that feed Mobile Bay, etc. 

2. Josh: Get on a boat! If the open water of the Bay or the Gulf intimidate you, there’s a whole world of inshore water to explore. Fish River, Week’s Bay, Magnolia River, Bon Secour River, take the Intercoastal or trailer your boat to a boat ramp to get to Wolf Bay, Arnica Bay, Perdido Bay. Once you’re on a boat down here, a whole new world opens up. We like putting our boat in at Robert’s Bayou behind Pirates Cove, directly across Arnica Bay is OSO at Bear Point. There’s a couple of places that use to be boat friendly but have changed over the years, such as Cobalt, or even the Flora-Bama yacht club which is cool but hard to find boat parking and they don’t allow dogs anymore. Or across the Bay there’s the River Shack on Dog River, or you can go up in the Delta to Gravine Island on Tensaw River and hang with my kind of people, I’ve got friends in low places, then head back south and tie up for dinner and music at Blue Gill 

3. Michelle: Hang out at some cool places where the locals go. For example, The Legion in Fairhope, the Frog Pond in Silverhill, the hut thing you mentioned, Bohemian Park on Fish River, Week’s Bay Plantation to pick blueberries 

4. Josh: Go camping! You can do a tent, RV, 5th wheel, or travel trailer, no matter how you slice it there are tons of spots to go along the Gulf Coast and the camping season is loooong. A local favorite is Gulf State Park in Gulf Shores, but it tends to stay booked up, so you could give the KOA in Lillian a shot, or for those of you looking for a more permanent spot, there’s Lake Osprey in Josephine, which is not camping, but on the other end of the spectrum there’s also some public beaches let you camp, and from personal experience Fort Morgan didn’t seem to mind when Michelle and I randomly pitched a tent near Kiva Dunes

5. Michelle: Speaking of Fort Morgan, I think the actual Fort is pretty cool, plus you have public beaches along the way that tend to have a much chiller vibe than Gulf Shores and fewer rules than OB. After visiting the Fort, you can take a ferry to Dauphin Island and visit all the cool stuff over there, which includes an upcoming Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo & Dauphin Island Sea Lab

6. Josh: Mardi Gras parades on both sides of the Bay. If you ever wanted to participate in Mardi Gras but the craziness of New Orleans was too much for you, then you’re in luck. Even Mobile’s parades are very safe and comfortable compared to NOLA, and you can catch many family-friendly parades in Fairhope, Daphne Gulf Shores, and Orange Beach.

7. Michelle: So for the last one Josh, you mentioned New Orleans, so I’ll use it for my last one: Take a day or weekend trip to NOLA. Depending on where you live, you can be door to door in less than 2 hours. And there are a ton of affordable Airbnb’s in NOLA.

Michelle, we have done almost every single thing we listed here, and again, I feel like the value we get is incredible for the money we spend. I mean, it does make sense that there’s a lot to do down here, Baldwin County and this area of the Gulf Coast is one of the fastest growing areas in the SE US, probably in the entire US. There’s a lot to do, the winters are mild, the summers melt your face off but there’s plenty of water to jump into, and for the most part, everywhere you go has a great chill vibe. 

Well folks I hope you enjoyed our list of 7 affordable things to do along our part of the Gulf Coast. I have no idea how to tie this into a call for action, I guess it let’s people know that we lead full, interesting lives, so let’s just say this – if you want to learn more about me and my company, Gulf Coast Financial Advisors, you can set up an appointment by calling 251-327-2124, or you can reach us through our website gulfcoastfa.com. One our site, you can choose to send us a direct message, or click on the blue button in the upper right-hand corner to set up a 15-minute introductory phone call. Or do all 3!

Coming up next – regular listeners will know that our 2nd segment is usually dedicated to discussing recent financial headlines, but we’re going to keep the local vibe going with some great articles that focus on our part of the Gulf Coast, particularly Lower Alabama. So join us after the break to hear Michelle and I discuss this week’s regional headlines in our “Michelle with the News of the Week” segment. Stay tuned!

Segment 2 - Michelle with the News of the Week:

Josh: “Welcome back to Coasting in Retirement, your host Josh Null here! So typically, every week Michelle and I scour the interwebs for helpful financial articles related to our topic of the day, especially articles that pertain to those in or near retirement. But this week we kept the vibe local and found some great local resources for those who want to learn more about our area. Note: we also include the article links on our show transcript, which you can find on our website gulfcoastfa.com under the podcast tab. So, without further adieu, here’s “Michelle with the news of the week!”:

1. Michelle: Alright Josh, as many people know, Southern Living Magazine has got a sweet spot for Fairhope, Alabama, including having us in a multi-page spread a few years ago.  The title of the article is “11 Reasons You’ll Fall in Love with Fairhope, Alabama”. 

Josh: https://www.southernliving.com/travel/what-to-do-fairhope-alabama

Michelle: Next up is a news source we often reference for financial articles, but they just happen to have a super helpful article about all of the cool stuff that one can do in Mobile, where this radio show is broadcast. The article is titled “27 Top Things to Do in Mobile, Alabama” 

Michelle: Alright Josh, so let’s pivot from best-of lists and mention something that many locals cheered when we heard. A recent article on Gulf Coast Media details how the Foley Beach Express Bridge tolls are set to end at noon on May 23rd, a move cheered on by locals. 

Josh: https://gulfcoastmedia.com/stories/foley-beach-express-tolls-to-end-may-23-60-million-deal-for-orange-beach-toll-bridge-set-to-close,215904

Michelle: For the last article of the day, let’s stay down at the beaches, and let’s hear more Lower Alabama love from Southern Living. They have a recent article titled “24 Best Things to Do In Gulf Shores and Orange Beach” and…

Josh: https://www.southernliving.com/travel/alabama/gulf-shores-orange-beach-al

Josh: Michelle, great job as always with the headlines, these are all important pieces of information that impact those in or near retirement! Listeners – if you have questions around the topics in our headlines of the week, or questions related to your investment strategy or financial plan, why don’t you give us a call at 251-327-2124 to have a conversation or set up an appointment, or you can reach out to use via our contact page on our website gulfcoastfa.com.

Alright folks, coming up next : Josh’s Crystal Ball and Big Mouth. What have been some of my predictions? Have I been right? Was I ever wrong? How wrong? What do I think is going to affect investors in the near future? We talk about all of these things and poke a little fun at my big mouth. Stay tuned! 

Segment 3 – Josh’s Crystal Ball and Big Mouth: 

Welcome back! Your host Josh Null here, along side co-host Michelle. So, I am opinionated, I have strong opinions at times, I would say a radio show host that isn’t probably wouldn’t be very interesting to listen to. And I am paid in my profession to offer professional guidance and opinions to my clients, otherwise what use am I? Sometimes I feel so strongly about something that I talk about it publicly, on the various podcasts and radio shows I’ve had, sometimes I’ll even make predictions, and while I usually proved right, there are times I swing and I miss. Want to hear me eat a little crow? Then let’s get at with Josh’s Crystal Ball and Big Mouth.  Alright Michelle, what’s first?

Michelle: Alright Josh, so on a previous episode from last year, we discussed meme stocks in depth and how folks in or near retirement should avoid them like the plague. Most of the meme stocks we discussed have had a tough time since that episode, as market fundamentals brought them back to more realistic values. Well well well, it looks like all it took was for “Roaring Kitty” to re-emerge after 3 years of silence to send his famous meme stock, GameStop, to sky high valuations once again. According to CNN Business, GameStop shares surged 74% this week after the account run by Roaring Kitty, real name Keith Gill, shared a picture of a man leaning forward over this computer as if very interested in what he was reading. The shares in GameStop skyrocketed by more than 110% and were halted for volatility several times on Monday morning. Even more interesting is that this surge resulted in short sellers suffering a $1 billion in loss on their bets against GameStop, which, if you’ve seen the movie “Dumb Money”, means that probably no one is feeing any pity for these Wall Street short sellers. Anywhoo, what’s your opinion on this recent run-up, and does it change your stance on meme stocks? 

Josh: https://www.cnn.com/2024/05/13/investing/gamestop-roaring-kitty/index.html  

Michelle: Next up Josh, normally we discuss opinions and predictions that you have stated publicly, but I’m going to zag a little with this next question and give listeners a behind-the-scenes look at how you are just like most people in that you deal with plenty of worry and anxiousness about future events. The public now knows that you recently formed your own Registered Investment Advisory firm, Gulf Coast Financial Advisors, and that for the first time in your career, you don’t have a “mother ship” providing certain back office support services. What they don’t know, but I happen to know because I am around you all the time and have to listen to this stuff, is that this process took months and there were many times were you projected into the future how hard this transition was going to be. Was your existing RIA going to make a fuss? Were your clients going to understand and continue their journey with you? Was Chuck Schwab going to laugh in your face? So, did your fears play out, OR, did things go way better than you expected.

Josh: So I am a naturally optimistic person. But I am also a worry wart at the same time. But as my Dad says, “Anticipation of the event is usually much harder than the actual event itself”. We are in the final part of getting our clients squared away with our new RIA, and every single one of my existing clients that has been asked has come with us. Explain PCIA’s right of first refusal, they could have been like Jerry McGuire’s co in the movie. PCIA was great, Schwab was great, LawVisory was great, 

Michelle: Last one, and let’s save it for a prediction. Now that the dust has settled on your significant professional changes, and I must add, the VERY significant personal changes in your life, what comes next for Josh and for Gulf Coast Financial Advisors? 

Josh: Really crushed it all the way around, wouldn’t you agree Michelle? We just getting started luv. The path ahead has never been clearer. Gratitude. 

Well, listeners, I hope you enjoyed a peak behind the curtain on how I form my opinions and predictions, and more importantly, that I’m willing to admit when I am wrong. Which isn’t very often, but still.  Now, to our listeners who have more questions about the various investments and topics we discussed in this segment, we invite you to reach out to us. Call us anytime at 251-327-2124 to make an appointment or find us on our website at gulfcoastfa.com. 

Folks, that’s a wrap this week for Coasting in Retirement! I want to give a huge thank you to my lovely co-host, Michelle Lee Melton, a thank you to our awesome radio station 106.5, many thanks to the provider of our show music, local band Sloth Racer, and as always my sincere appreciation for all of your out there that have been listening and joining us on this journey. We would love to be a part of your journey as well. Until we talk again next Sunday, have a wonderful and productive week. This has been Coasting in Retirement with Josh Null! 


Gulf Coast Financial Advisors, LLC ("GCFA”) is a registered investment adviser offering advisory services in the State of Alabama and in such other jurisdictions where it is registered, filed the required notices, or is otherwise excluded or exempted from such registration and/or notice filing requirements. Registration does not indicate or imply that GCFA has attained a particular level of skill or ability, nor does it constitute an endorsement of the firm by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or any state securities regulator.

The Coasting in Retirement radio program serves mainly to disseminate general information including those pertaining to GCFA’s advisory services, together with access to additional investment-related information, publications, materials and links. The publication of this radio show should not be construed by any client and/or prospective client as GCFA’s solicitation to effect, or attempt to effect transactions in securities, nor should it be interpreted as GCFA providing personalized investment advice, or any type of professional advice, for compensation, wherever this program is broadcast. Any subsequent, direct communication by GCFA with a prospective client will be conducted by a representative that is either registered or qualifies for an exemption or exclusion from registration in the state where the prospective client resides.

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