Who’s Your Pilot?


Who’s Your Pilot?

Do you like to travel?  When you do, do you take an airplane?  What do you expect when you step foot on that plane?  You are probably expecting a few things: 1. That the pilot is qualified, 2. That the pilot has a flight plan to make it to your destination, and 3. That the pilot can manage any turbulence that comes your way in order to provide a safe landing.

Who’s your pilot when it comes to retirement?  First of all, you’ll want to work with someone who has a specialty in retirement planning.  Just because someone has three or four letters after their name on their business card, does not mean they are a retirement expert – it may just mean they passed a test. At our firm, distribution strategies are our specialty.  95% of our clients are pre- or post-retirees, so having a distribution strategy is paramount to their success.  Most stockbrokers or advisors may know a good amount about investing, but what about distribution, tax, and wealth preservation strategies?  Only a small percentage of advisors really specialize in this area, so you’ll want to make sure you find the right advisor for this stage of life, if retirement is drawing close.  Many advisors are generalists and many only focus on basic investments fit for “everyone”. In this phase of your life, you deserve a retirement distribution strategist.

Having a Flight Plan. Your pilot also needs to have a flight plan in order to get you where you’re going in retirement.  This means they need a strategy- one product or investment will not solve all of our needs. Many stockbrokers are incentivized to offer products or funds offered by their parent company and they may not be what is in your best interest. Have you ever taken a connecting flight, stopping in another city before reaching your final destination? While that may be okay, a connecting flight may not be what’s best for you, similar to some of the products these brokers are given incentivized to offer. Now, imagine that instead of a connecting flight you were offered a private jet. Working with an independent advisor allows you to have a flight plan similar to a private jet- customized based on your needs. An independent advisor can ensure that there are no conflicts of interests when it comes to their recommendations because sales quotas and financial incentives are removed from the equation. Then, the focus can be on the overall strategy. An independent can choose from any financial tool or solution because they only answer to you, the client. This goes a long way in creating your “flight plan”. The flight plan you need for retirement consists of a detailed income distribution plan that minimizes taxes, maximizes income, and increases your probability of having enough income to sustain your ideal retirement lifestyle.

Handling the Turbulence. Lastly, what about the turbulence on your flight?  Hopefully, if you have a good pilot, they will be in communication with you when the ride gets rocky.  Does your advisor call you only when the markets are up, or does he or she call when it’s down too?  In addition to communication, it is important that your pilot has structured your flight to minimize the turbulence as much as possible. A distribution specialist focuses on wealth preservation and part of preservation is minimizing market turbulence, known as volatility.  Our investment discipline is to minimize volatility as much as possible, so your accounts maintain as much of your principal as possible.  Our investment philosophy does not shoot for high returns, and by doing that, we can minimize the downside as well.  What matters more to you:  Having your pilot speed to your destination, with the potential for turbulence (or worse- running out of gas), or taking a more conservative flight, ensuring that you land safely to your destination?  On your retirement flight, all you need is to enjoy the ride with the least amount of volatility, ensuring your money meets your lifestyle all the way to your final destination. How you get there, or if you get there, depends greatly on who you choose as your pilot.

Questions, comments, concerns? Feel free to contact me!
Rich Feola

732 364 5462


At Family Focus Financial Group, Rich develops unique retirement strategies for his clients and recognizes that there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Rich is committed to developing both a custom strategy and close relationship with each client. He believes maintaining a relationship with our clients will ensure their strategy is always on course to reach their goals. Rich Feola maintains an insurance practice and the fiduciary standard of Investment Advisor Representation, a series 66 licensed registration, with Global Financial Private Capital, an SEC Registered Investment Advisory Firm.

*Investment Advisory Services offered through Global Financial Private Capital, LLC, an SEC Registered Investment Advisor. Global Financial Private Capital and Family Focus Financial Group are not affiliated companies. Not intended for specific legal or tax advice. Any views expressed are for information purposes only and should not be construed in any way as an offer, an endorsement, or an inducement to invest or purchase insurance products.