US business owner pays off mortgage to help employee retire early

Something for the weekend: The owner of a garage in Texas has paid off a valued employee’s mortgage to allow him to retire earlier than planned. 

The employee, 69-year-old Vietnam veteran Albert Brigas, has worked as an auto mechanic at Renown Auto Restoration in San Antonio, Texas since 2006. He was planning to retire in 2020, but can now do so immediately, after his employer paid off the outstanding $5,000 (£3,886.32) of his mortgage in October 2019.

Brigas had been open that his ultimate goal was to pay off his mortgage and retire, and business’ owner Rudy Quinones decided to reward his hard work at the organisation for the past 13 years by bringing that aim forward. 

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Quinones told local virtual TV station KENS 5: “[His] level of loyalty [and] determination you just don’t find any more. “To give [an employee] something they’ve been yearning for their whole lives is incredible.”

The good deed would have remained relatively unknown if Joseph Winkler, customer relations manager at Renown Auto Restoration had not tipped off the local news.

“Not enough good news is out there,” Winkler explained. “This is one of those things that I thought needed to be shared so people know that there are people out there that do good things for each other.”

Brigas, who is now looking forward to being able to spend time with his family, including his 12-year-old granddaughter, told the TV station that he was touched by his employer’s kindness: “He cares about his people and what happens [to them].”

Quinones told Employee Benefits: “I did not expect, nor was it our intent, to publicise what we did for Albert; however, the positive response from people all over the world has been very heartwarming, and we now hope we can just inspire others.”

Here at Employee Benefits, we are very aware of the financial pressures placed on employees of all demographics, ages and job types. We think that an employer taking the time to recognise hard work by driving an employee towards their goals should be a great example for organisations everywhere…