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Scott Miller

BLOOMINGTON - Retirement proves to be a busy time in people's lives, as evidenced by Bloomington resident Albert Semmler.

The man of many hats will retire to the courtroom and the tennis court Jan. 3 after 35 years at Country Insurance & Financial Services.

"I don't want to work 70 hours a week anymore, but I think it is very important to keep the mind active," said Semmler.

Semmler began his career at Country Insurance in 1970 as manager of insurance planning. The certified financial planner carried his juris doctorate degree and a number of certified accolades from the insurance industry up the corporate ladder to become Country's director of financial planning, his current position, since 1982.

"I came here in 1970 basically to start an estate planning division," he said. "Today, more and more people are seeing the importance of estate tax laws and the need to plan for retirement. One of the most rewarding things I've witnessed is seeing this planning come to fruition."

Now, Semmler, 63, plans to practice private law, play competitive tennis and travel with his wife, Carole. His law practice will concentrate on estate laws.

"I compete in the Senior Olympics (in tennis), so I can tell you people are living longer, healthier, more productive lives. Plan for something active after retirement ¦ something beyond the typical retirement traveling.

"Plan on staying busy because if you don't, it'll kill you," he added.

Hobbies like photography and furniture have worked for Semmler's friends, he said. He enjoys tennis, and he's quite good at it. Semmler advanced to the doubles quarterfinals in the 2003 national Senior Olympics.

He also finished the Boston Marathon in 1996.

"I enjoy the competitive arena a lot," he said.

Meanwhile, Country Chief Operating Officer Doyle Williams credits Semmler for much of the company's work in financial services.

"Al was way ahead of his time in advocating for our clients," Williams said. "He long stressed the importance of insurance products, such as life and long-term care, along with the importance of secure retirement and estate planning services. He started the movement of Country towards complete financial security for our clients."

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