By Toni Momberger
Shoulder to Shoulder Communications
The first visit to a retirement planning adviser is terrifying. The facts are clear: I am in a large club of people who are unprepared.
The good news is I didn’t wait until next year to talk to an expert.
Because when you start saving is a big deal.
Advocates for Retirement co-owner Jeran Jaurigue started preparing for his retirement when he was 18. He was still in high school.
“My adviser introduced me to an IRA,” he said. “We're not taught this stuff in school. We are sent into adulthood to raise our families without a foundation in these skills. Did you learn how to balance a checkbook in school?”
This caused me to reveal I held a common misconception. I asked him how he was in a position as a teenager to afford a retirement adviser.
Everyone is. In a commission-based business, there is no charge to customers. The institutions the customer invests with pay for the service.
“There's two ways people in this industry get paid: fees or commission,” said Jeran, who works in Redlands on commission with his wife, Nichole. “There are arguments for both ways, but if you're compensated by the vendor, the customer saves a heckuva lot of money over the years.
This is the process.
The customer tells the adviser what kind of future he wants.
“First I find out what you're looking for, what your goals are, concerns, how much do you want to have as retirement income and when do you want to retire,” said Jeran.
“I show people what the future looks like on the path they’re on, and then show different plans, like what a 401k would get you. I show them what's going to happen when they retire. I build it from their specifics. I give them a blueprint and they can review it with their CPA.”
Sometimes he looks at the path people are on and reveals that after 10 or 15 years they would be out of money, but he says they can create a plan that makes saving possible.
“We figure out what your options are and where you can free up money in your budget to set aside,” he said.
“If people are strapped, we can help them. We can put a plan together to get them out of debt. Many people have federal student loans. We have a company we work with that can reduce principal, reduce monthly payment or both.”
Then they talk about taxes. They advise on mitigating capital gains and making strategic charitable donations.
The Jaurigues look at your whole picture. They evaluate what kind of estate preservation is right for you, help you plan your business succession (exiting your business could take up to five years!) and talk about the smartest way to pass on real estate.
And of course, they can talk about IRAs and other investments.
“Not everybody is in a position to buy bonds, but everybody needs to save for retirement, regardless of income,” said Nichole.
Jeran recommends finding an adviser that’s a good fit for you.
“Let them earn your business. Let them show you a presentation and see if they can get you there,” he said. “With a commission based adviser, it costs the customer nothing. Nationwide, AIG, we’re contracting with more than 30 companies. They all give the same rate of commission, so we can recommend what's actually in the customer’s best interest. Different products have different commissions, but institutions don't.”
"Before you speak, listen. Before you write, think. Before you spend, earn. Before you invest, investigate. Before you criticize, wait. Before you pray, forgive. Before you quit, try. Before you retire, save. Before you die, give"