We don’t work with crazy people (okay, maybe a couple, LOL), but we do work with a lot of sincere folks who first met us; after doing some internet research and then turned over a sizeable portion of their life savings in return for some annuities!
So, is this crazy or wise? It is really decided by two primary issues: First; working with the most capable advisor when you are choosing and structuring annuities. Second; understanding that you don’t really give your money to any advisor local or national. Your retirement dollars along with millions of other retirement dollars are housed with a financial custodian, such as a brokerage or insurance company, usually hundreds or even thousands of miles away.
**Guarantees, including optional benefits, are backed by the claims-paying ability of the issuer, and may contain limitations, including surrender charges, which may affect policy values. During this segment, Dick and Eric are referring to Fixed Annuities unless otherwise specified.
We all want the best possible options; whether that be the best car, best house or best retirement annuities. Sometimes, we settle for “what they have” when making choices based upon local convenience. When it comes to your retirement, you should never “settle for what they have.” As a result of the technology that exists today you can work with an annuity advisor without regard to distance one who understands your objectives and can help you identify the best possible options for a safer and more comfortable retirement. Designing a portfolio for retirement should mean a transition from an accumulation advisor to a retirement income advisor. Just like you would not let your local general practitioner perform open-heart surgery on you – you also should consider consulting with a specialist when the challenge of retirement is upon you.
Technology now makes it possible to work face to face with the best retirement and annuity advisors having any distance reduced to just a couple of clicks . This may seem like a radical idea to a few; but for many, it has been nothing more than best practices. Once folks grasp the concept of a financial custodian as the actual caretaker of their money it then becomes much more important to locate a true expert who specializes in annuities so that their initial plan is done absolutely right the first time (with no do-overs!).
According to Investopedia the definition of a “Custodian” is:
A financial institution that holds customers’ securities for safekeeping so as to minimize the risk of their theft or loss. A custodian holds securities and other assets in electronic or physical form. Since they are responsible for the safety of assets and securities that may be worth hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars, custodians generally tend to be large and reputable firms.
So who do you want holding your assets, the advisor or the custodian? If you said the advisor — We cannot help you.
Lastly, who do you want helping you chose the optimal outcome for a safer, more secure and comfortable retirement? The local generalist or an an advisor that specializes in annuities?
Dick: Hello I’m Dick.
Eric; And I’m Eric and we’re the annuity guys.
Dick: Eric, are folks crazy to go out on the Internet and actually hand their money to an annuity specialist?
Eric: They must be crazy for handing it through… for shoving it through the disk or drive. That’s the misnomer; people say I got this chunk of cash; you want me to give it to somebody?
Dick: and folks feel like they’re doing something unusual or something that’s crazy; but when you really start to analyze it in terms of where that money goes and how that money is used effectively for their purposes, it always goes to some other place. It goes to a custodian – a third party. The advantage to working with someone on the Internet that is a true specialist is exactly that.
Eric: You can work with the best versus just working with somebody that’s around the corner because they’re there and I think that’s the challenge most people have to overcome. The reason this topic came up is people often calls us; we’ve referred to an advisor to them; why did you not refer the local guy?
Dick: Well, we love to.
Eric: First of all…
Dick: We’ve tried that.
Eric: We would rather refer the best guy and I’ll tell you what, in our practice we redefine local. Local is not just in our neighborhood; local is fifty states.
Dick: Yes, because local is as quick as a click away.
Eric: That’s right.
Dick: We can talk to an advisor; I can talk to an advisor in Texas; Allen or Rob. I can talk to them faster than I can get you Eric.
Eric: That’s right. A lot of times we can say “hey, Paul…” and Paul is five dials away and me, I’m just stuck behind the door at the back.
Dick: Eric! But that is the truth. And what we got to come back to folks is that technology today has changed everything. It’s all leveled the playing field. You no longer would consider looking around for someone to do an organ transplant locally or you know a serious heart operation or you name it. When it comes to medical elective surgeries, you’ll shop. You get on the internet. You do your research and you jump on the airplane a go where it’s best, and next to…
Eric: Well I was going to say how is retirement planning starting now? Typically with you setting up a 401K or retirement planner or your employer, it’s not like those dollars are just sitting on your bosses top drawer You’re literally setting up those accounts. Most often, they’re configured and then you’re in-charge in making the changes; you’re logging into TD Ameritrade or fidelity or TRowe Price; and you’re manipulating those accounts. Those dollars are not sitting right there; you’re working with a place that’s giving the tools to be more efficient, more affective. The planning tools are there; everything’s online so you have immediate access.
Eric: The same as…
Dick: Well, there’s been this consolidation in the annuity industry which is very similar in a sense that everything is coming down to the expert; down to the specialist; down to that aggregator or the person who has the greatest access and availability; and works with more folks and sees more things. And their specialization, their abilities continue to grow and increase; and the local person unfortunately doesn’t have that same advantage.
Eric: Right and we’ve seen many advisory and we always call them accumulation specialists that have done a great job helping you build up your savings to a certain stage. Now it’s time for retirement, well you’re accumulation specialist may not be the same guy that’s going to help you with retirement.
Dick: It takes whole different skill set. And I come back to this whole thing about the healthcare. When it comes down to choosing a specialist, I look at financial situations in people’s lives is being on par, it’s somewhere up there with those health care decision. This is going to be your entire retirement and if you don’t work with somebody who really knows how to get it right in the first place, a having that local guy is not necessarily going to be the best answer.
Eric: Yes and I guess I had never thought about it being heart surgery probably don’t get to do too many do over. They take the one out…
Dick: There’s only one shot.
Eric: Retirements much the same way. You want to compare the best way the first time. So working with somebody the best people possible should be first and foremost in your retirement planning mindset than necessarily working with the guy around the corner.
Dick: Right. And Eric when it comes to referrals, we do work with some folks from our website and we have our local practice but when it comes to referrals we’ve had to basically do the same thing. We’ve had to choose the best of the best!