Company retirement plans can be expensive and many people are considering to rollover their account. But what considerations should be thought about before you take any action? Today John and Nick discuss the fee structures, investment options, and a few more factors when deciding if a rollover is right for you.
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For a transcript of today's show, visit the blog related to this episode at https://www.pfgprivatewealth.com/podcast/
Transcript of Today's Show:
Marc Killian: Hey, welcome into the podcast folks. Thanks for tuning in here as we talk about retirement planning redefined with John and Nick from PFG Private Wealth. What's going on, guys? How you been, Nick? What's up buddy?
Nick: Doing pretty well, doing pretty well. Just kind of getting settled back in over the last couple of weeks. With the lockdown going on as long as it's been going on, I decided to take a little bit of a road trip. So I drove up north and stayed up north for about six weeks total.
Marc Killian: Oh, wow.
Nick: Yeah. So it was pretty cool. The virus situation in my hometown is a little bit better, which is Rochester, New York. Once we knew that we weren't going to be meeting face to face with any clients here anytime soon as the numbers got worse here locally, I decided I needed to take care of my cabin fever and get out of Dodge a little bit.
Nick: So I drove up, made some stops. Stopped in Savannah and Pittsburgh on the way up, and then outside of Philadelphia and DC on the way down. Stayed with friends and family and had a good time. It was good to get away.
Marc Killian: You couldn't get any more diverse than saying Savannah and Pittsburgh in the same sentence.
Nick: Yes, yes, definitely. But I'll tell you what, I was pretty impressed with Pittsburgh.
Marc Killian: Oh no, it's actually a nice town. They've made a lot of changes. I used to live not far from there, back in the late 70s, early 80s. I was just a kid, but yeah, I've definitely made a lot of changes.
Nick: Yeah. Yeah, it was my first time there so I'll be back.
Marc Killian: Very cool. Well, nice extended holiday. John, what about you buddy? I know you got the little one there. Did you do anything with the little baby?
John: Yeah, so we normally, the last couple of years, we've gone up to Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg area and rented a house there. But this time, after that last drive with a seven month old for 11 hours, I decided I didn't want to do that again until she was facing front because she doesn't like being in a car. We decided to change and go to Sanibel Island here in Florida.
John: So that was nice, actually. I'm not normally a like sit around the beach type person, but we had nothing to do. So it was about a week of just nothing to do where normally on vacation I'm either going up to Boston where I'm from and I'm seeing a bunch of people and doing all this other stuff, or going to Pigeon Forge and just trying to do as much as we can within a week period. But this time it was actually pretty relaxing where we'd wake up and we wouldn't figure out our day until about 10, 11:00. It was a change of pace for me, so it was actually pretty nice.
Marc Killian: Very cool, yeah. Well, we're going to talk today about rollovers. Actually, we're going to do a two part series on rollovers and things to know and think about. But I want to ask you real fast, this kind of bit of an extended vacation, did she put the phone down a little bit? Because I got to say for my wife and I, when we can put the digital leash away for a little bit, you just feel so better. Did you get a chance to do that at all?
John: I did at Sanibel and it wasn't because I wanted to, I was kind of forced to with the service. Where we were at, the service where we stayed, it wasn't the best. So it kind of forced us to do that, and the wifi was terrible. So, it was nice.
Marc Killian: But you wound up saying that you really had actually a great time. I think your words were, "Yeah, I actually really enjoyed it." So that might've been part of it, having that digital lease put away. What about you, Nick? Did you put it down?
Nick: So, the first week that I got up to Rochester, I kind of used that as a vacation time and I was a little bit more unplugged. It was really the week of the fourth so it was pretty easy. But then the rest of the time I was still working. It was just that working remote up north versus down here.
Marc Killian: That's okay.
Nick: Summertime's always a little bit slower, so I would take my time in the morning to knock stuff out and definitely used it less than I normally do, which is normally like a 24/7 schedule. So it was good.
Marc Killian: I mean, even a week. So that's my public service announcement to our podcast listeners is even if you can give yourself just a few days from time to time just to put that digital leash away, it does wonders for how you feel. Sometimes we just have to kind of set it down and step away from it. But anyway, I'm glad you guys had a good time. Good, safe, little bit of a holiday break there.
Marc Killian: So let's get back to work and let's talk about rollovers. As I mentioned a few minutes ago, we're going to do a two part-er here on some things to know. Deciding on a rollover for your retirement funds, if it's the right thing for you. That's pretty much the first step, right John? Determining if it's in your best interest.
John: Yeah. And that will happen. We're getting a lot of questions right now. "Hey, I have a 401k plan at a previous employer or a job change," and the question is, "Should I roll it out and what's the process?" Which next week, Nick will go into details on what the process is.
John: There's definitely some factors that you need to kind of go through. I'll say one of the main ones is the investment options in your current plan. So, we work with a lot of different people and we've seen some plans where it's really limited as far as what you can go into. They might only have 15 different options and the selections really aren't that good. We've also seen some other plans where there's 20 or 30 options and there are some good tools within the platform to use.
John: So to me, that's the first step is really evaluating, what am I options within this 401k plan or retirement plan at work? And is it enough for me to be efficient and actually build a quality portfolio? Especially in this kind of volatile time period that we're in.
Nick: If I were to jump on that a little bit from the perspective of not a lot of people realize that really the size of the plan that they are in is the determining factor for what the fee structure is in the funds that they use. So, sometimes they can be in a fund that costs much more inside of the plan than it would even outside of the plan. So there's a lot of different variables to take into consideration on that investment selection process.
Marc Killian: Well, are they limited more so in those types of plans? When you're talking about that, you mentioned the investment options. A lot of times, I do think people feel that they are a bit more limited, and I know advisors think that. Is that how you see it as well?
John: Yeah, you're limited to what they are for you, and then also some plans actually limit how many exchanges you can do per year. I'd say nowadays, that might be rare, but it's still out there. So that's something you want to look into where if you're thinking about rolling it over, let's say you go into just an individual retirement account, IRA, really have unlimited investment choices. It's kind of an open architecture platform and there's no limitations and you can almost invest in anything you want to. When you have that open architecture plan, that's where you can really be creative and efficient on your portfolio and making sure that you have the right choices to weather some volatile markets.
Marc Killian: Yeah. Well, Nick, you mentioned fees. So let's dive into that a little bit because often that becomes the case for people. When you get down to all the different nuts and bolts, it's the fees that they tend to be most interested in.
Nick: Yeah. I mean, we find on a pretty consistent basis that when we tally up the aggregate fee that they're paying inside of the 401k plan and we compare it to what we can do outside of the plan, especially with how prevalent exchange traded funds are these days and with how much lower the costs are, that oftentimes, even if we combine the expenses on the underlying holdings in the portfolios that we manage and add in our investment management fee, they're coming in either equal or under what they were paying fees before. The fees are now more transparent than they were before because oftentimes, as many have come to find out over the years, they don't really understand what fees they're paying in their 401k plans. So many times we're able to reduce the fee and then add on a much higher level of management, as well as roll in additional services like the planning services, et cetera, et cetera. So, quite often you can get a lot more for the money.
John: And to go with that, a lot of people don't realize within a 401K plan, there's a lot that goes into it. I mean, there's the advisor that's on the plans getting compensated. There's typically a third party administrator, which basically helps out with the construction of the plan and the filings and stuff like that that gets compensated. The fund company are using. So that's why we see, just to reference what Nick said, the fees can add up in there as important to understand what type of plan you have and what your fees are.
Marc Killian: Yeah, definitely. And is this consolidation of accounts, can that help kind of bring all that into, I guess, better focus?
Nick: I would say absolutely. So there's a couple of things that I've seen pretty much on a consistent basis from the standpoint of experience working with clients are that number one, obviously, when you consolidate it's a little bit easier to have a good grasp on what your overall allocation is from the underlying investments.
Nick: But quite frankly, what I would say is the bigger benefit is that when people have their accounts scattered in multiple places, they tend to just be more anxious about their overall situation in general. They feel like they don't necessarily have a good grip on what they have and what's going on. They don't have a full understanding of what their overall strategy is. There's usually not a plan in place, which is a big indicator of anxiousness and anxiety when it comes to the whole retirement planning conversation. Really what that ends up then leading to are just poor decisions. So, non-coordinated decisions, maybe making a rash decision when we were going through what we were going through a few months ago when the market initially dropped.
Nick: So it's really kind of a trickle down, snowball effect where consolidating accounts, building a plan, having a concise roadmap for where you're trying to go with how your investments are managed and making sure that they correlate to your overall plan really helps with your decision making process and peace of mind.
Marc Killian: If people want to have someone do this for them, they want to kind of delegate that out, what's some steps to think about? What's some stuff they should be working towards? Things of that nature.
John: Yeah, so all the factors we've already gone through is part of that and what we find that when people are near retirement or in retirement, they really don't want to do it themselves anymore or have to check on it on the 401K platform. So what they're looking for is to work with an advisor and have them do it for them in retirement so they don't have to worry about it. It's just kind of something else where it's off their to do list and it provides some peace of mind.
John: So we've seen a lot of that where clients and prospects are... No one's monitoring this for me and I definitely need some help and I don't want to do it so I need to hire someone. So that's another reason to consider rolling it out.
Marc Killian: For a lot of people. I talk to guys all across the country, guys and gals, and it seems like the level of service sometimes from the providers or from the companies gets pretty frustrating. I mean, even prior to COVID, same kind of thing, right? You feel as though you got to go through this process and it's automated a lot of times, or you're just not getting the answers you want.
Nick: Yeah. I would say, because the reality is that inside when the funds are inside of your 401k, it's still your responsibility and your obligation as the account holder to make any investments, decisions and changes. From the standpoint of needing or requiring any sort of guidance, if you're calling a 1-800 number and you're talking to people in a call center, oftentimes those people don't have a good grasp and understanding of your overall situation. If you have gotten to that point where you're looking to make those sorts of changes, you're probably under some sort of stress or duress and having guidance and having somebody that understands what you have going on is a pretty big deal.
Nick: We saw that quite evident during the end of quarter one when the market was tanking with COVID and just being able to have conversations with clients, them knowing that, hey, we understand their situation and what's going on, we understand the longterm planning. And them knowing that, as part of our services and when we're managing assets for them, the changes that we make inside of a portfolio are proactive. We're going to automatically make those changes for all of our clients at once versus on a one-to-one, or one off basis, makes for a much more efficient process and a lot more peace of mind.
Nick: So it's a much higher level of service. I mean, sometimes we refer to it as, if you use a sports analogy, going from the minor leagues to the major leagues where it's just a whole different service level and engagement level, which we think is really, really important, especially as people get closer to or are in retirement.
John: Some other things to consider are, we have seen some people get aggravated with the 401k plan moving to a different company where all of a sudden it might've been Vanguard and they're changing to Fidelity and that requires blackout periods and stuff like that. Some people just don't enjoy that process because now it's time to really keep track of it.
John: Or if you move, it's your responsibility to tell basically the human resource where you moved to so they could start sending all the notifications to you. So there's just kind of just some inconveniences with keeping the money yet a retirement plan that you may or may not be aware of.
John: I've actually seen one plan where they got audited and no one could touch the funds for a couple of months because they were doing an audit investigation of the plan itself. So it's your money, but at the same time they were auditing so some people's funds were frozen. They weren't happy campers for that month period.
Marc Killian: I bet not. That definitely can be a pretty frustrating situation. So hopefully that'll help you out a little bit here, folks on the first part of our series on deciding on rollovers, if it's the right for your retirement funds. Nick, anything you want to add before we sign off for this week? I know we're going to talk more about some things next week.
Nick: No, I think this was a good overview and I think the reality is that, in our session next week, we'll get into the details a little bit more of how you actually process these and the things to look out for and that sort of thing.
Marc Killian: Fantastic. All right. Well, I'll tell you what, for that we're going to sign off then. So if you've got questions or concerns, again, about doing a rollover or if it's right for you, reach out to John and Nick, give them a call at (813) 286-7776. That's (813) 286-7776, or go to PFGprivatewealth.com. That's PFGprivatewealth.com.
Marc Killian: While you're there, subscribe to the podcast, click on the podcast page. You can check out past episodes, you can listen to future episodes. You can subscribe to them on various apps that are out there. Or if you're using Apple, let's say, just type in retirement planning redefined in the search box and you can also just like it that way. So lots of different ways you can find us, and we certainly appreciate it. We'll see you next time here on Retirement Planning Redefined. For John and Nick, I'm your host Marc Killian. We'll talk to you next time.