Frequently Asked Questions

Tell me about your business and the types of customers you help

  • I specialize in implementing risk free, tax-free income strategies for clients who are in pre-retirement or retirement.
  • The strategies reposition their assets into tax advantaged accounts to minimize taxes during retirement and insure that they are immune from any future tax increases.
  • My role is to provide knowledge and implement the strategies used by the top 1% of tax payers, so everyone can benefit from the strategies.
  • A good analogy for ‘what I do’ is a baseball pitcher who is called the “saver.” The saver enters the game in the late innings to save the game, just like one approaching retirement.  My role is to help my clients accumulate money when in pre-retirement and to keep the money safe, minimize taxes and assure their money will last for their lifetime.
  • My approach to develop a plan for retirement that is comprehensive, meaning I use a wide choice of different strategies to achieve my clients’ goals.
  • The first step is to identify my client’s visions, goals and essential living requirements.
  • The second step is to provide knowledge for them and work collaboratively work with them in developing a retirement plan.
  • I am determined to be unbiased as possible & provides fees which are transparent.
  • The third step is to guide them to clear decisive decisions.
  • The plan typically includes guaranteed income for both spouses & increasing income when their ages are applicable.

How do you separate yourself from other advisors?

  • I define myself as a tax strategist because my focus is on forward thinking for future years which is opposite of a CPA who focus on looking backward over the past year.
  • Forward thinking tax strategies can create double digit multiplier of tax savings as compared to one year’s tax savings.
  • The emphasis is on paying taxes on the seed (similar to a farmer and not on the harvest.)
  • These specialties separate me from CPAs, financial planners and order taking insurance agents in the same way that a brain surgeon separates his specialty from family doctors.
  • The level of education and experience is what allows them to be elevated in their field of expertise.
  • CPAs, financial planners and order taking insurance agents do not have the time to educate and prepare themselves to be a forward thinking strategists.
  • Ones assets are categorized into three buckets, Taxed, Tax Deferred and Tax Free.
  • The aim is to leave the Ideal Amount in each bucket and move the excess money from the Taxed Bucket and Tax Deferred Bucket to the Tax Free Bucket.
  • Changing your money from "Always taxed to never taxed” -Ed Slott, CPA.
  • My aim is to have my clients’ principal positioned in strategies that are considered SAFE and tax-free.
  • Then considering strategies that will provide them tax free income in their portfolios.
  • We use the tax-free bucket as much as feasible.  Going from “Always taxed money to Never taxed money” is the goal.
  • If you have seen Ed Slott on TV, I am his disciple.

How do you address the tax savings that a CPA and many financial advisors do not address?

  • Most CPAs and financial advisors are not aware of, and especially do not have competent knowledge of, the strategies that advanced insurance products currently offer in the area of tax minimization.
  • Tax strategies dealing with insurance are characterized as advanced insurance strategies.  This is similar to doctors who are specialists or are PhDs of any subject.  Even insurance companies have a limited number of employees available for consultation who are knowledgeable with these strategies and products.
  • The population that utilizes theses strategies are a portion of the top 1% of tax payers.  And even only a small percentage of them employ these strategies.
  • Therefore only a small percentage of CPAs and financial advisors are aware of them and even less have experience in implementing them.
  • Hence, only a few have competent knowledge of the strategies.
  • This is the breakdown, only the top 1% of tax payers own 22% of all life insurance.
  • The 2nd largest segment of ownership are the banks.
  • The 3rd largest segment is corporate America.
  • My role is to introduce you to these strategies to anyone who it would be suitable and can benefit from them.
  • There are strategies that enable you to :
    • Convert your IRA/401(k) to tax free income for life without paying taxes from your pocket.
    • Convert a portion of your 401k/IRA to a Roth IRA without paying taxes from your pocket.
  • Transform your IRA/401(K) to mimic a Roth so your IRA will produce tax free income.
  • They buy their life insurance within their 401(k), hence receive a 30% to 40% discount and later legally transfer it to their personal ownership by paying pretax dollars for the cash value.
  • I use strategies that utilize arbitrage like the banks do. If it is legal and good enough for the banks, it is good enough for me and my clients.
  • The bottom line is to minimize the clients taxes to maintain their lifestyle and not be impacted when taxes are increased to pay the national debt.

Why do CPAs and financial advisors have a negative perspective on life insurance products?

  • Many CPAs and financial advisors knowledge of insurance is exclusively limited to death benefits.  This is 180 degrees opposite to what advanced insurance products offer.
  • Advanced insurance products offer living benefits and minimum death benefits.
  • It is the difference between a zebra and a horse.  They look similar, but the horse’s utility is significantly different from a zebra.
  • The knowledge difference is great gap when the CPAs & financial advisors do not have the training nor passed the tests for an insurance license.  They really are operating as a medical doctor who has not passed the boards. This why some of the advice that they give is erroneous.
  • Knowledge of advanced strategies for licensed CPAs and financial advisors are rare because most do not deal with the top1% of tax payers with advanced strategies.
  • However there is a small percentage of CPAs and financial advisors who actually sell some of the products we are talking about.  They specialize in death benefits and annuities but not that much in advanced products.
  • The reason is not that the products are good or bad, it is how much time they can invest in getting licensed, trained, and keeping current in the never ending changes.
  • So when you are asking a CPA or financial advisors for their opinion, ask if they have a license and what training they have taken.  Ask them how many clients they have who are 1 percenters and how many have the advanced products.
  • Otherwise you are asking someone who is not qualified to give you a qualified opinion.  This is common because what they do not know, they do not know.
  • My purpose is to make these strategies available to everyone that can benefit from them and afford them.

What are the most common obstacles that prevent individuals and from planning their retirement?

Intellectually, they believe they want guaranteed income, tax-free income and/or minimized taxes.  However, typically they have done nothing about it because of five prevalent reasons:

  1. They are not emotionally involved; they have not experienced or anticipated any pain relative to finances.
  2. They fear moving their money, hence procrastinate, and as a result, procrastination is a decision.  This creates loss opportunity situations. 
  3. They are in error thinking that CPAs are knowledgeable professionals to consult regarding new and unique investments.  Therefore, not realizing they may be receiving ill-advised  advice due to lack of knowledge, thus remain in the status quo and experience lost opportunities.
  4. They believe other advisors will give them an honest assessment and are capable of giving accurate opinions they are receiving. 
  5. They believe they can research a subject on their own.  They research topics that are not even applicable to their situation or applications that are not relevant.  Sometimes they  research topics that are years old and obsolete.  As a consequence, they become overwhelmed and confused. 

What are the most common misconceptions that pre-retires have?

Almost all people believe that the IRA and 401(k) are the ideal strategies to save money for retirement.  This is not entirely TRUE.  There are pros and cons.

  • The 401(k) strategies can grow the assets tax deferred, however as the assets growth compounds, the taxes also compound.  Then the 401(k)’s are taxed as ordinary income when you withdrawal it.
  • Actuaries have mathematical models providing alternate investments producing yields that will outperform the 401(k)/IRA’s.
  • When taxes are part of the equation, the 401(k)’s are seriously outperformed by both a Roth or alternative vehicles.
  • I always ask, “If everything you thought to be true about IRA’s/401(k)’s were untrue, when would you want to know?  ”

Most people believe they will retire at a lower rate than they are in.

  • That is only true if they have not saved any qualified money, IRA/401(k).
  • However, when they have large 401(k)s or IRAs and desire to maintain their life style, their tax rate will be comparable to when working and may be higher due to RMDS from qualified accounts or tax increases.
  • This is a large nut to swallow after their CPAs and advisors have told them for years that they should have lower tax rates when they retire.

Most people believe taxes will be increased sometime in the future.

  • However, few do anything to mitigate or reduce the taxes. Believing taxes will increase but doing nothing is the ninth wonder if the world.
  • Future taxation is important and most CPAs and financial advisors do not address it.
  • The nearly 22 trillion dollar US debt has to be paid and the 33 trillion of qualified money makes a perfect target.
  • What you think you have today after the current taxes are paid, may shrink significantly when taxes are increased.
  • Congress can do this overnight if they ever talk to each other.  They have increased taxes in the past over night and can do it again.
  • There have been proposals to eliminate any new Roth IRA’s.
  • There are books and articles published by authorities there substantiate the proposed tax increases.
  • Ed Slott, CPA, on the PBS channel, is a great source of information.

Most people want to maximize their social security. However, this is not feasible for many people.

  • If they do not have adequate qualified money or assets, they will need to optimize their social security benefits.  The operative word is assets.
  • This is accomplished by balancing your assets and spending down your IRA money first.  This allows your social security to grow 8% tax free.
  • This may not be the situation for everyone but we have specially designed software that determines several scenarios and the timing.
  • The solution is education and then see how the numbers unfold in the illustrations.

What are the most common Pitfalls Preventing Your Prospects from achieving their goals?

Most people I have met have experienced one or more of the following:

  • They do not start savings & planning early enough.
  • Many believe the stock market is the only way to make money and the dips will recover rapidly.
  • They do not realize S&P Compound Average Growth Rate from 2000 to 2016 was 2.4%.
  • If money was in a BYOB life insurance policy during 2007-2016, it's  Compounded Average Growth Rate was 7.2%.
  • Principal is guaranteed not to lose principal and retain its gains.
  • Believing CPAs, stock brokers and security advisors with all the credentials are knowledgeable in Advanced Insurance Products (AIP).
  • It is impossible for them to competently know advanced insurance products as only a portion of the top 1% of tax payers have them, hence the average CPA and advisor have no experience with AIP.
  • The time required to learn and stay current on AIP, the CPA & advisor just does not have and when they do not employ them, why would they?
  • Unfortunately most CPAs and advisors believe AIPs are Death Benefit insurance policies, it’s like a zebra is a horse sort of thing.
  • Don’t let me give you the wrong impression, I do have 5 CPAs that are clients and slowly increasing who have implemented the AIP in their practices.
  • They are the minority.
  • These have taken the time and energy to learn the AIP.
  • Another small percentage of the competition have sold the basic annuities and death benefits.
  • The problem is that over 95% of them have not a clue regarding AIP.

Can you share a lesson you learned in your early days that impacts how you perform your services now

  • 35 years ago I had a negative experience with an Insurance agent when I had my consulting business.
  • I purchased a 7 pay life insurance policy in my 401(k).
  • My agent did not tell me the pros and cons.
  • Hence when interest rates dropped, I ended up paying the premiums for life.
  • As a result, I am compelled to give clear pros and cons or downsides for every strategy or product.  I do not want anyone to have the same experience I had of being blind sided and paying premiums for life.

Are there some things that we may not have covered that you can share now?

  • Lesson #1. Never listen to anyone.
  • Take the time to educate yourself with the concepts and strategies.
  • Know the moving parts as well as the pros and cons.
  • Read books and articles from my website.  Watch videos on my website.
  • Most importantly, read the disclosures (contracts) with me so I can explain them and answer your questions on a real time basis.  This is the where the true facts are.  Never try to read them yourself as you need an interpreter. That is me or my partner.
  • If you are compelled to have your CPA involved, involve him early so he can be educated along with you.  He most likely is starting from the same place as you or sometimes behind you.

How does one benefit by being knowledgeable?

  • By viewing my website, reading the recommended books and articles, watching the videos and webinars with me, you will be superior in knowledge compared to anyone you ask for an opinion.
  • You will not need to have opinions from others, i.e. CPAs, financial advisors because otherwise it would result in you being confused from their inputs.
  • You won’t receive ill-advised, antiquated advice from CPAs and advisors.
  • You will have read the disclosures with me.
  • YOU will have clarity in your decisions.