Finding the Road to Financial Freedom


After working as a police officer for 25 years, James Wilcox wanted him and his wife to have the ability to retire young. They decided the time was right to cash out their mineral interest so they could enjoy life a little more.

The deal I did with Gateway gave me freedom.

The ability to retire young. The ability for my wife to retire young. It gave us the freedom to do whatever we want.“

James Wilcox

Belmont County • Ohio

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    We don’t have to worry about where the money’s going to come from, or if we’re going to travel, or how we’re going to pay any bills. It just freed us up completely.James Wilcox

    James Wilcox, who owns property in Wayne Township, has roots in Belmont County that go back more than 200 years. His family settled in the area on July 4, 1815, and generation after generation were born and raised in the area. His family’s history in the region is something James finds incredibly meaningful—and something he knows a lot about.

    “I researched my family history in Belmont County, Ohio,” James said. “It took me about five years to do the research and I wrote a book that’s about 360 pages long. It includes a lot of scanned documents, images, wills, estates, birth records, and so forth. It’s a very comprehensive book.”

    While doing this type of in-depth investigation may seem daunting to most people, James has some professional expertise in this field. “I was a police officer for 25 years with the city of Wadsworth,” he explained. “My experience as a police officer, in investigations particularly, drove me to pursue investigating my family tree. I just wanted to learn more about these people.”

    That strong sense of curiosity and the drive to learn more is also what initially led James to investigate selling his mineral rights and royalties. “I had leased my property, so I was familiar with the bonuses and leasing and percentages on royalties and things like that,” James said. “But I knew nothing about selling the mineral rights. It wasn’t something that had crossed my mind initially.”

    It was only after receiving letters in the mail from Gateway Royalty and other companies that James began exploring the possibility of selling his mineral rights and royalties—and the opportunities that could potentially afford his family. “Those offers gave me the incentive to sell the mineral rights simply because I knew it would give me financial freedom,” James said.

    To James, “financial freedom” meant the ability for him and his wife of 26 years to live a more carefree life. With that goal in mind, he called Gateway. “Making the deal with Gateway was easy,” James said. “Speaking with Brandon and then Blaine was easy. We did it all in one day. Brandon drove up to the house here and we sat down and signed the paperwork that same day.”

    As a result of the deal with Gateway, James and his wife were able to retire young. “Gateway gave us freedom,” James said. “They gave us the freedom to do whatever we want to do. We can wake up in the morning and do something different every day. We can travel some place far away if we want, or we can just do little, local things if we want. It’s just complete freedom.”

    The deal also helped James and his wife eliminate some of the financial stress of everyday life. “The financial security that came from this deal definitely alleviated the financial stress we had before,” James said. “We don’t have to worry about where the money’s going to come from, or if we’re going to travel, or how we’re going to pay any bills. It just freed us up completely.”

    Now that he’s happily retired, James enjoys spending more time on his property and riding his 2002 Harley Davidson Fat Boy. “I have tons more time to ride. Before, when you’re working 40, 50 hours a week, your time is very limited. You may only have one day a week where you can ride. Now, I can ride whenever the weather permits me to ride.”

    One of his favorite places to go riding is Amish country. “I love heading down through Amish Country on that motorcycle. It’s quaint down there. It’s quiet down there. It’s beautiful down through there. So it’s a great place to ride a motorcycle.”

    That’s something he can do a whole lot more of now. “To me being retired means freedom. The freedom to go places, do things, ride my motorcycle, just do anything that I want to do,” James said. “I wake up and I can do anything I feel like doing that specific day.”


    Selling his mineral interest gave James Wilcox and his family the freedom to spend their days doing more of the things they love. For James, that means jumping on his Harley Davidson and going for long rides through Amish country.

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