Using a consistent, fact-based approach to explaining pensions

Michael Paul Hosford opens each client meeting by showing his birth certificate, which has asterisks where his dad’s name is supposed to be (now in his late 30s, Hosford only met his father once) and indicates his mom was only 19. “That was a bad start,” the 12-year MDRT member from Bastrop, Texas said, adding that when he was 14, his mother left the state. “That was worse.”

Living with a friend’s family during high school, Hosford observed as his surrogate mom, a schoolteacher of 28 years, was not properly educated about meeting her pension requirement and wound up losing out on receiving a guaranteed monthly income for life.

While working at Walmart to put himself through college, Hosford got licensed to be an advisor. After some local advisors taught him about pension maximization, he was off and running. He targeted small-town Texas schools and explained the following:

  • A life-only option pays you more, but if you die, your spouse and kids get nothing.
  • A joint-life survivor option pays less and covers your spouse if you die first, but is taxable and pays nothing if your spouse dies first; regardless, your kids cannot be beneficiaries.
  • Therefore, the best route is to choose the life-only option and use the extra money received to buy a tax-free life insurance policy to protect your family.

This created a fact-based presentation that required little variation from person to person. “You have a guaranteed pension; let’s use guaranteed insurance to make sure it transfers to your spouse and children without going to the IRS,” Hosford tells them. “Unfortunately not too many advisors are presenting that to people with a pension.”

Read more about Hosford and his expertise helping teachers, police officers and firefighters with pensions in the November-December issue of Round the Table.

Written by Matt Pais, MDRT Content Specialist

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